How Steve Spain of Spain Commercial, Inc. built more than one of Virginia’s top commercial construction companies. How he built a legacy filled with love for his community.
Like it was yesterday, Ashley Spain Morelos and Kayleigh Spain Moore can see their Dad sitting at the small desk in their childhood home, book in hand, studying for his Class A Contractor’s License.
“We’d beg him to stop, to come read us bedtime stories,” Ashley said.
“He would. He’d always stop for us,” Kayleigh added.
“And if we woke up at two in the morning, we’d still find him in that same spot,” Ashley said. “Studying. Working hard to build his dream.”
In those early days, all Steve had was a pick-up truck, a desk in his home and a dream. Today, Spain Commercial, Inc. has celebrated 25 years in business.
Chances are, Ashley will tell you, if you ask Steve why he started Spain Commercial, Inc., or even what drove him to invest his blood, sweat and tears into building a company, “he’d tell you it was for his girls.”
“He started out to build a company,” they said, “but he ended up building a legacy.”
A legacy for his family – who has followed in his footsteps, joining the family business.
A legacy for his team – many of whom have never left after joining Spain Commercial.
And a legacy for the community – who have watched the firm grow over the years and seen firsthand how Steve’s approach to business can transform more than a construction site.
The Scout Guide Williamsburg and Chesapeake Bay recently sat down with Ashley and Kayleigh, who shared details on perhaps Steve’s biggest legacy of all – lessons in life and business that make a person successful.
“Our Dad, to us, is the American dream,” Kayleigh said. “He had no college education, came from basic living, and put in blood, sweat and tears to get where he’s at. We have, and continue, to learn so much from him each day.”
Don’t worry about punching a clock. Worry about getting the job done…right.
“I’m really amazed at my Dad’s drive,” Kayleigh said. “He used to go to work for 16-hour days, and he still does.”
Nothing – not concrete, not steel – is stronger than your word.
“People tell me all the time ‘I stick with your Dad because he practices what he preaches,’” Ashley said. “No matter what, even if we lose money, we are going to stick by our word.”
“Be a person of your word,” Kayleigh said. “If you say you’re going to do it, do it. If you say you’re going to be there, be there. And if you are at fault, accept it.”
Let people be your difference.
“Our motto is our people make the difference,” Kayleigh said. “Our employees are like family and our clients become our friends. We often say because of Dad that Spain Commercial is not a construction company. It’s a company that invests in people.”
Embrace the sacrifice.
“People don’t always realize that success comes with sacrifice,” Ashley said. “People often only see the productiveness and the rewards a small business receives. What they don’t see are the sacrifices. The failures that lead to lessons. The 16-hour days.”
Put family first…always.
“Dad would wake up at four in the morning and make his coffee, get ready for the day, get us set up with morning cartoons and kiss us good-bye,” Ashley said. “He wouldn’t come home until eight at night, and even if he was tired, he always made sure to kiss us good night. He did that – worked those long days – because family was always first, no matter what. Those early mornings and late nights meant he never missed our softball games and made a point to be there for us even if it meant making it harder on him.”
Recognize your partner, your team.
“My mom is the Queen Bee and she doesn’t always get enough credit,” Kayleigh said. “But we all know and love and appreciate that the reason my father was able to do what he did was because she sacrificed, too. When they had nothing, she stood there with him. And she still stands by him.”
Earn your way up.
“We both work with the company now, but we had to start at the bottom and work our way up,” Kayleigh said. “We had to earn it. Dad always said when you work your way up, you will be more grateful for what you earn and more successful in life.”
Can’t is not a word.
“We’re blessed to be a blessing,” Kayleigh said. “We never give to get, but it’s true what they say – when you give, you get back tenfold.”