Cornerstone Performance Center Lives Up to Its Name

Cornerstone Performance Center - Dr. Johnny Brown and LaTeisha Brown, and Thomas Rockwood, SBA Division Manager at SouthState

“No matter what happens, always support the community. When you support the community, the community will come back and support you.”

That’s how Dr. Johnny Brown, Principal Owner of Cornerstone Performance Center, describes one of the lessons taught to him by its original founder, Dr. Eugene Sparlin. With such valuable advice, it’s easy to see how the chiropractic clinic has continued to thrive over multiple decades.

The business opened as The Sparlin Clinic in 1954, bringing chiropractic treatment to the Capitol View neighborhood of Southwest Atlanta. The area has been long characterized as underserved – with The Sparlin Clinic one of the only medical facilities within a few miles. However, despite most of the nearby businesses either failing or moving away, Dr. Sparlin made the choice to remain strong. His deep commitment to the neighborhood has played a pivotal role in the practice’s ongoing success.

“When I first started working at The Sparlin Clinic as a marketing representative in 2006, Dr. Sparlin would invite me for walks up and down Sylvan Road and Dill Avenue,” remembers Dr. Brown. “He would stress the importance of learning the community, and I’ve taken that to heart. Today, we have the great-grandchildren of former patients still coming here to receive care.”

But Dr. Brown’s journey from those early days hasn’t always been simple.

When he took the chance to become an associate after one of the existing doctors moved on, he discovered just how difficult it would be to build up his own patient base.

“It was tough,” says Dr. Brown. “There were moments where I thought I was going to lose my job because it was so slow. My wife, LaTeisha, really helped with some of her connections. I utilized all of the marketing skills I had developed. I was going to grocery stores, senior centers, fitness centers, marketing conferences. I did everything I could just to get people to come in.”

Gradually, his practice grew. And in 2010, he was invited to become a partner in the clinic – where he gained important knowledge about its behind-the-scenes operations. When Dr. Sparlin passed away in 2014, a series of circumstances saw Dr. Brown find himself in a position he had long dreamed about. He was now the most logical choice to take over the clinic.

And thankfully he had SouthState there to help.
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With the help we’ve gotten from SouthState, the sky is the limit. In that sense, it’s given us wings.

Dr. Johnny Brown, Principal Owner of Cornerstone Performance Center

“We helped finance the business acquisition as well as the real estate,” says Thomas Rockwood, SVP, SBA Division Manager at SouthState. “But it went a long way beyond just making a loan. We provided an operating line of credit to support their working capital needs. Our treasury services platform helps manage cash flow cycles. There are deposit accounts. It’s truly a partnership, and I’m proud of that.”

“The process of buying out the clinic was very daunting and intimidating for us,” Dr. Brown recalls. “During that time, we got some glowing recommendations about Thomas and SouthState. He’s intelligent. He knows a lot, and he talked to us from a practical perspective. He would even take the time to sit down with us at dinner. He made us feel like we’re a family versus just doing a business transaction.”

Today, the practice is continuing to flourish under Dr. Brown and Mrs. Brown’s leadership. After deciding on the new name of Cornerstone Performance Center, the Browns have inititiated a wider revitalization of the entire business – including a redevelopment of their premises, the addition of a training studio and a facility for Mrs. Brown’s work with the developmentally delayed, investment in new treatment technologies, marketing materials, and more.

“I felt at the beginning that the pinnacle for me would be the purchase of the business and the birth of Cornerstone,” says Dr. Brown. “But since embarking on this journey, I feel as if we’re just at the ground level. With the help we’ve gotten from SouthState, the sky is the limit. In that sense, it’s given us wings.”

SouthState helps business owners like Dr. Johnny and Mrs. LaTeisha Brown take their dreams further. To learn more, contact an SBA lender today.

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