To see the FULL list of SBA Finalists, click here.
1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
It’s a long story on how Comfenergy got to where it is today, but I’ll give you the brief overview.
Justin Dobson owned a local family owned HVAC Company that still exists today, and had originated in 1975. He realized that there was more to the comfort and efficiency of a home than just the HVAC equipment alone. Other items affect the comfort and efficiency and nobody (at least locally) was paying attention to this. Justin started Comfenergy in 2010 and it took off as he was able to solve issues in homes that nobody else could by having a more holistic approach. Word spread and connection made, and now Comfenergy employs 25 people, has 3 warehouses, a large office space, and is on pace to break to $2 million in revenue park by the end of 2016.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
To have Comfenergy win a small business award would be incredible. We have been nominated the last 3 years in a row, made it as a finalist, but never won the top spot. It would mean the most to the employees of Comfenergy as they are the true heart and soul behind the business.
3. If you weren’t running your own business, what would you be doing?
If I personally wasn’t running my own business I would be coaching baseball, or travelling the world with my wonderful wife, Carolyn. I enjoy team building whether it be in a business such as Comfenergy, or as a baseball team. Traveling would mostly be to sunny places around the world and remote islands.
4. What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?
I have to be honest, I really don’t read. It’s a hobby I never had the passion for. Probably not something you would expect to hear from an entrepreneur, but it’s true.
5. What is your favorite app (computer/phone)?
I don’t use apps on my phone or computer much. I’m not a very tech savvy guy so mostly email, and information searching on the web. I’m pretty old school and it drives me nuts to see everyone always head down with their face in their phones.
6. If you have 24 hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
If I had 24 hours off, and my family was out of town, I’d probably sit on the couch and watch sports or maybe go to a local bar with a buddy and watch sports.
7. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
The smallest thing that made the biggest impact for Comfenergy was partnering with my business partner, John Le Van. Each of us has different skills that the other doesn’t possess, or enjoy performing. It’s like the perfect partnership. We have hired other employees in this manner too….finding a set of skills that we may not possess yet, and adding that to our portfolio.
8. What did you want to be when you grew up? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
I always wanted to be a professional baseball player. Baseball was life to me growing up, and I played in college at Virginia Tech.
9. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
John Le Van has influenced me the most in my career. I have learned more from him in the past 2 years about owning a business and managing a team than I ever have doing anything else. Developing processes and procedures that basically has the business to run itself, and allow the employees to make smart decisions on their own.
10. What is your favorite thing about living/running a business in Loudoun County?
My favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County is how all of the businesses help each other out. It’s a very friendly competitive culture. It’s very easy for one owner to simply call another and ask, “Could we sit down and chat?” Or, “I have an issue I’m dealing with, and I wanted to get your opinion on how you might handle it.”
Thanks, Justin Dobson, of Comfenergy, and congratulations on your nomination!
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The 22nd Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards is Friday, November 4th! Register Here