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Biblical business

image Southwest Exteriors’ Leadership Council: front row (L-R): Ann Rathbun (HR); Angela Parks (Accounting); Ana Garcia (Installation); Jim Sublousky (Installation). Back row (L-R): Ryan Houchen (Sales); Ryan Shutt (Marketing); Steve McNary (Team Leader)

SAN ANTONIO - Southwest Exteriors (SWE) has a reputation for being very good at what it does. It was the first replacement siding contractor in San Antonio to feature the new James Hardie fiber-cement siding. It’s also celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. SWE is a very successful company.

 

 

 

 

 

    It is also a Christ-centered company. One of its guiding principles is “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Col. 3:23).
    “I believe that the purpose of my life is to glorify God,” explains Scott Barr. Normally, his title would be “owner,” but since a biblical worldview guides SWE, his official title is, “steward.”
    Their 38 employees are called, “team members.” They are not managed by supervisors, but rather led by “team leaders.”
    “2018 was the 10th anniversary of when we converted from a traditional business model to a ministry model.”  The traditional model has the owner/operator as the hub of a wheel, from which everything flows out of, which are the spokes.
    As the steward, Barr said he is “in a supporting role to the team leader and Team Leadership Council,” which makes the decisions. “If Steve McNary, the Team Leader, needs input, he comes to me,” Barr said.
    Barr first came to SWE in May 1990, then called Southwest Remodelers. Its founder, Steve Bonahoom, decided to go into another business venture and sell Southwest. Barr bought it in 1992.
    Today, the breakdown of their services are 45 percent windows and doors, 45 percent siding, and 10 percent garage floors, which came into the company in 2017.
    The autobiography of famed earthmover R. G. LeTourneau, Mover of Men and Mountains, heavily influenced Barr. LeTourneau was also a devout Christian who used biblical principles in his company. “He built his business to be an economic engine to fund ministry,” Barr said. “That’s what inspired us. What we’re doing is really a combination of social enterprise and discipleship rolled together.”
    The ultimate bottom line for SWE is “to advance God’s kingdom in San Antonio,” Barr said. “Our desire to live out an authentic faith.”
    And, in following Jesus’ injunction to love God and love others, SWE’s two core principles are love and excellence. “I’m a fanatic about exceeding our client’s expectations,” Barr said. Because of such good service to its customers, the company is profitable. But Barr doesn’t want to sacrifice profit for growth. It’s the long-term, eternal perspective he has in mind, not short term.
    Barr said that the goal for the next 20 years is to “build a community of eight to 12 home contracting businesses in San Antonio, sharing the same business model as well as shared services: HR, legal, accounting, marketing, training – anything that can be shared between home contracting businesses. It’s a 30-year plan and we’re 10 years into it.”
    “We believe to build a healthy, high-performing team, you need to have healthy, high-performing people,” Barr said. This is important, because “We’re blessed with a really healthy market with a lot of demand.”
    Barr became involved with marketplace ministry in 2000 when he was introduced to Biblical Leadership Excellence, a San Antonio-based ministry. “That’s what got me started in terms of living out my faith in the workplace,” he said.
    When the faithful steward took good care of his master’s property, he was told, “Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master” (Matt. 5:21). That’s what Barr wants to hear.
    Southwest Exteriors is a residential replacement contractor, serving the San Antonio area. -dsz


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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net