A Winning Combination
A Culture of Success Powered by Amazing People.
We hear it over and over…we are different.
Walk through our doors and you can feel the enthusiasm. Founded in 1997 “to provide a better place for people to work”, Cornerstone offers a work/life balance second to none. “It’s always been about caring about each other and those we do business with,” said Founder/Chairman Rick Rodell.
At Cornerstone, we focus on our people and believe in our core values. “People who are treated with integrity and respect, who have a good work/life balance, who enjoy their work, will deliver superior value to our customers,” said President/CEO Tim Clay.
We are relationship builders, industry leaders, experienced professionals, trusted advisors, honest communicators, and empowered collaborators. Our workplace is filled with birthday balloons, chili cook-off trophies, 5K marathon medals, Hawaiian luau leis, and countless photos from the Halloween costume contest. Flyers are posted for Food Truck Friday, Cinco de Mayo festivities and the local food bank drive.
Our atmosphere is family friendly and our employees are appreciated every single day.
We nurture our culture because we believe in it, and in each other. It is our differentiator.
The original four employees who founded Cornerstone in 1997. Left to right: Executive Assistant Sheryl Barton, President/CEO Tim Clay, IT Manager Charles Corpier, Founder/Chairman Rick Rodell. All but Charles Corpier (retired) still work for Cornerstone today.
Special Message from President/CEO Tim Clay
My earliest memories of our first office are very vivid. We had approximately 5,000 feet of office space, no furniture, no computers or equipment, and a few employees. We did have 6 cell phones resting against the window due to the poor reception in our building, but very few calls. At this point, it seemed more like a dream than a reality. But what we couldn’t see, was the large number of talented individuals who would soon join us in Rick’s vision of a very unique company.
Our Purpose Statement, “To Provide A Better Place For People To Work” encapsulates the essence of Cornerstone. A simple but powerful belief that people who are treated with integrity and respect, who have a good work/life balance, who enjoy their work, will deliver superior value to our customers. This is our competitive advantage. The people whose commitment, professionalism and skill delivers the value our customers expect on a daily basis.
Over the years we have experienced tremendous growth in our business yet our purpose has never changed. The decision by Rick in 2012 to make Cornerstone an employee-owned company was the ultimate fulfillment of the vision that started our company. How fitting is it that those who built this company now share in its ownership.
To our customers, we can’t thank you enough for trusting us with your business. You gave us the opportunity to deliver on our promises. You have our commitment that we will continue to strive to exceed your expectations!
To those whose efforts have made Cornerstone, I can only say thank you. It has been a blessing and an honor to work with you. I look forward to our future and to what we can accomplish as we continue to move our company forward.
How It All Started – Founder/Chairman Rick Rodell
Transportation veteran Rick Rodell founded Cornerstone Systems with the simple purpose of providing a better place for people to work, and a goal to create one of the finest transportation providers in the United States. On April 21, 1997, Cornerstone was incorporated in the state of Tennessee with just four people, six cell phones and an empty 5,000 sq. ft. office space. The four people were Rick Rodell, Tim Clay, Sheryl Barton and Charles Corpier, and the first load moved was a truckload of furniture on June 2. Within 6 short months, Cornerstone quickly grew into a multimillion dollar industry leader, and that growth still continues today.
One reason for our success…we are relationship builders. Known for providing an exceptional customer experience, our personalized approach to all we do has also created an outstanding culture for our employees with a family-friendly environment and work/life balance. “We have always believed that the best way to care for our customers is to care about each employee and their families.” said Founder/Chairman Rick Rodell. “People are what make Cornerstone Systems valuable to its customers. People doing their jobs, being involved and caring about our customer’s freight is what we are about. We are all in this together and what sets us apart from our competitors is our focus on the customer and our employees.”
Still privately held and operated today, and employee-owned since 2012, Cornerstone Systems is an award-winning industry leader and premier nationwide provider of solutions for transportation and logistics, offering intermodal, railcar and railcar consolidation, truck brokerage, LTL, supply chain solutions, domestic transportation of U.S. imports/exports, container drayage, warehousing, transloading, on-site logistics, specialized shipments and more.
Back in 1997 Rick Rodell decided to create something better for those he cared about. His wife found the name of his future company from the Bible and he formed Cornerstone Systems. “To our employees, thanks. Thanks for doing your jobs and for taking the extra time to do it right. Thanks for being Cornerstone and the company that Cornerstone has become.”
Yes, Rick indeed met his goal.
Purpose Statement and Core Values
Our continued growth is a true testament to our employees, and a steadfast belief in our Purpose Statement and Core Values. A purpose statement is different than a mission statement. In a conversation with Founder/Chairman Rick Rodell, he was asked what was the purpose in creating Cornerstone in the first place? “To provide a better place for people to work” he replied. That simple statement, along with our set of core values, still serve today as the fundamental foundation of who we are, how we hire, and how we conduct ourselves with each other and with our customers.
“To Provide A Better Place For People To Work”
Integrity – Period
Honesty – Absence of Deceit
Respect – How We Treat People
Loyalty – What We Give And Expect In Return
Never Satisfied – We Will Continously Seek Improvement
ESOP – Employee Stock Ownership Plan
“Running this company is personal because the business or heart of the company is all about focusing on people” said Founder/Chairman Rick Rodell. “Customers, vendors, employees and their families. It’s a focus on people, it’s not just a business.” It’s been that way since Rodell started the company in 1997. “It’s always been about caring about each other and those we do business with. Period.”
In 2012 Rick took it one step further by selling shares of his company to the employees, making Cornerstone an ESOP. “It’s always been about the employees because that’s the best way to take care of our customers and run a successful business. I tend to get all of the credit but it is the employees that do all the work. It is important that they get rewarded for all of their hard work.”
As an employee-owned company, our ownership culture encourages us to think and act likes owners. “With giving shares of the company to our employees, I believe the employees take ownership in their actions which will continue to keep Cornerstone strong”, said Rodell. “If I take care of my employees, they will take care of our customers.”