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Mainstream Home Improvement won the Better Business Bureau Integrity award on Friday October 15, 2004. The award is based on ethics, integrity, and customer satisfaction.
ROCK ISLAND - The owners of Mainstream Home Improvement Inc., a start-up business, are building personal relationships one customer at a time.
The two owners, Spencer Sierra and Jeff Wroblewski, are known to canvas a neighborhood in areas where work of satisfied customers is being done.
"Knocking on neighbor's doors was hard at first but has gotten easier," Mr. Sierra said. Dave Flores, production manager maintains a constant presence at job sites.
"Word of mouth is the key thing with us," Mr. Wroblewski said. "We get a lot of customer referrals."
The owner's dogged determination and significant growth let the firm to be named SCORE's Small Business of the Year in the Quad Cities.
"Here is an excellent example of a company that puts customer relations at the top of its priority list," said Merton Sachs, chapter chairman of SCORE, or The Service Corps of Retired Executives. SCORE presented the award to Mainstream's owners at a recent Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce Morning Network at Centre Station.
"These gentlemen have only been in business two years and already they have experienced significant growth, with more expected in the months ahead," Mr. Sachs said.
Small business drives Illinois' economy, according to a report from the federal Office of Advocacy, a division of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The report indicates that more than 98 percent of all Illinois businesses are small, they create 73 percent of net new jobs, and they employ more than 48 percent of the state's non-farm private employees.
"Main Street is where America goes to work," said Thomas M. Sullivan, chief counsel for Advocacy.
Mainstream Home Improvement of 3702 - 14th Ave., Rock Island, opened July 31, 2001. The company offers roofing, siding and windows and will build decks, install soffit and fascia or perform other home-improvement work within about a 90-mile radius of the Quad-Cities.
Mainstream is the exclusive installer of Quantum2 windows and doors in the Quad-Cities area. Although they used various brands of vinyl siding, they are the only ones to offer Fullback thermal contour insulation, which conforms to the siding and prevents cracks if struck by a baseball or blunt object, Mr. Wroblewski said.
The energy-efficient products, which provide up to 20 percent savings on residential heating and cooling bills, is one of the ways Mainstream sets itself apart from their competitors, the owners said.
Strong personal relationships with their customers is another. Photographs of satisfied customers are named and mounted on the walls of the stairwells leading to their offices. They reward their customers who bring in new business with an innovative point system. Special rates also are available for senior citizens.
The owners have seen their business increase by more than 40 percent in the last year. They expect another significant boost in sales during the next year.
The owners worked together in the same line of work for another Quad-Cities company before deciding to start their own business. The three wanted "more control" over products, installation and service, Mr. Wroblewski said.
The company opened in available office - retail space in Rock Island with convenient access to jobs in Iowa and Illinois.
Selecting a name for the business was one of the hardest parts of starting the company, Mr. Wroblewski said. They spend about three months planning the business and went to SCORE a few weeks before opening.
The retired executives gave them some much-needed encouragement, Mr. Sierra said. They reviewed their plans and gave them some advice.
"I think it's a great thing, it's free, and those guys are successful guys," Mr. Sierra said.
"When they interviewed us, they asked good questions and they got excited for us," Mr. Wroblewski said.
This is the seventieth year the Quad Cities SCORE Chapter has honored a small business. Winners are well-managed companies that have exhibited steady growth and profitability. All have used SCORE's services.
As printed in the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, August 28, 2003 by Rita Pearson, staff writer.
Mainstream Home Improvement has been singled out by Keep Rock Island Beautiful, receiving the organization's monthly award which recognizes outstanding efforts on the part of businesses and individuals to improve recycling in Rock Island.
Carolyn Fuller, Executive Director of Keep Rock Island Beautiful presented the award to the managerial staff of Mainstream Home Improvement in recognition of the company's shingle recycling plan.
Keep Rock Island Beautiful is a local affiliate of the national Keep America Beautiful program, which is dedicated to promoting community improvement and beautification. Each month, the organization recognizes businesses, organizations and individuals who have made an outstanding effort to improve the quality of life in Rock Island by reducing waste and encouraging recycling.