For four generations, members of the Stone family have found rewarding and life-long careers thanks to their Dunwoody education.
“I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am today without my Dunwoody degree,” said Steve Stone, retired co-owner and Vice President of Electrical Service for Parsons, a leading electrical and technology provider in the country.
The connection with Dunwoody began with William Stone, a 1940 graduate of the Painting & Papering program. William’s talent as a painter extended beyond interior finishes. William was also a talented artist, whose paintings are on display in many sites around the Twin Cities, including Fort Snelling and the City of Bloomington.
His sons Russell and Billy Stone also chose to attend Dunwoody. Russell graduated from the Sheet Metal program in 1949 and spent his career working in the HVAC industry. Billy was a 1955 Electrical Construction & Maintenance graduate and enjoyed a life-long career as an electrician.
Steve Stone wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life after graduating from high school. Growing up he had watched his father Billy succeed in the electrical business and saw the pride he had taken in his work.
“My dad was very handy and he enjoyed his career – they all did,” Steve said about his family members. “I learned a lot from my dad.”
With than in mind, Steve decided he too would enroll at Dunwoody in the Electrical Construction & Maintenance program. He made the decision without input from his dad. “I think I actually surprised him,” Steve said about his father’s reaction when he told him the news.
When Steve graduated in 1977 he applied for the local apprenticeship program (JATC), hoping to become a Journeyman like his father. But electrical work was slow in the mid-1970s and Steve was told they would contact him when the demand for work increased.
Not content to sit and wait, Steve got out the yellow pages and started calling electrical contractors to see if they were hiring. He remembers getting to the middle of the alphabet before he got a call back. A company in St. Louis Park offered him a job.
It was a summer position and by August or September he got the call from the JATC for an interview. Three years later, after completing his apprenticeship, Steve passed the Journeyman’s test and on the same day the company he was working for made him a foreman.
That same company would soon be bought out by Parsons, and Steve as a service truck driver soon advanced general superintendent then project management. He was promoted to Vice President, and then, brought on as a co-owner/partner, Steve was overseeing the entire service and maintenance department for Parsons.
“Not by any stretch of the imagination did I ever think that would eventually happen,” Steve said about his career path at Parsons. Thinking back, Steve said it was the structure and the discipline he learned from his family and Dunwoody that made it possible.
Steve’s son Corey also made the choice to attend Dunwoody to kick off his professional life in 1999. There were multiple reasons why Corey made his decision to attend Dunwoody, but two stand out.
“I like that the classes and the College are structured and centered around preparing you for the real world,” Corey said. “I really felt motivated and supported every day since students at Dunwoody are here for a purpose and want to be here every day.”
Even during Corey’s Dunwoody career he was working at HTG Architects as a CAD Tech/3D Modeler. After graduating in 2002, Corey began working at Wilson & Associates, a small architectural firm in Minneapolis. There Corey got the chance to really interact with the construction world as he met with clients and conducted construction meetings with trade partners, including Parsons Electric.
Motivated by the desire to continuously improve himself, Corey got an opportunity in 2008 to further his 3D modeling career at Parsons by helping develop their Building Information Modeling (BIM)/ Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) group. And in 2011 Corey was promoted to BIM Manager, giving him the opportunity to further develop the Parsons’ BIM/VDC group.
Throughout Corey’s career at Parsons he was an influential part of the success on a number of Parsons’ largest projects. Most recently, Corey was the BIM/VDC Manager for Parsons Electric on the US Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. “My wife Angela is a big Vikings fan, so to be able to show her progress photos throughout the construction and then bring her on a tour near the end was priceless for me,” Corey said.
Motivated by a desire to keep learning new things and to continuously challenge himself, Corey is now taking on more Project Management rolls at Parsons Electric.
When he’s not at work, Corey, Angela and their daughter Jade have a nice home where they raise chickens and honey bees throughout the year. “It’s a pleasure coming home and watching your family enjoy being around these privileges, and it all started from a great foundation at Dunwoody,” Corey said.
Steve retired from Parsons in 2015, but the avid woodworker and handyman stays plenty busy with his building projects, golfing, fishing and landscaping. Not to mention traveling and bike riding with his wife Terry and enjoying his role as grandpa to two adorable little girls, Jade and Hayden. Their daughter Hollie is a fourth grade teacher for a local school district.
Despite his busy schedule, Steve still finds time to volunteer as a member of the Dunwoody Alumni Board of Managers.
“I like volunteering and interacting with the students,” Steve said. “And it’s definitely a source of pride that so many of my family have gone here.”