As the Chief of Staff to the CEO, Steve has more than 20 years of demonstrated experience as a results-focused, highly organized servant leader.
Steve builds strong relationships with our clients, business partners and our Gagen business teams to help ensure the success of our strategic business priorities. He works with the leadership team on driving the firm’s strategic initiatives and manages the CEO’s communications and platform as well as the firm’s public relations. In addition, he supports the CEO with her Board, industry association and partnership activities.
Steve started his career as a U.S. Army Air Defense Officer, stationed in Germany. He went on to serve as a U.S. Army National Guard Public Affairs Officer leading internal and external communication and local liaison efforts with first responders during multiple crises in the U.S.At Abbott Laboratories, Steve developed a crisis communication strategy for a national infant formula counterfeit recall. He also was the project leader for one of the first health resource internet sites for consumers.
While at Tenneco Automotive, he was integral in providing communication and transformation leadership support during the merger of two major North American business units.
At McDonald’s, Steve led external communication for McDonald’s USA, established the management communication function and then served in Chief of Staff roles for the President of McDonald’s USA, the Global COO and the Global CEO. He also led a team of change and communication professionals deployed to support change enablement and business transformation initiatives across the global system. He received the prestigious McDonald’s President’s Award bestowed on the top 1% of employees.
Most recently, Steve was at Cleveland Avenue, a pioneering food, beverage and technology venture capital business in Chicago. While there, he established the Office of the CEO, in addition to developing Cleveland Avenue’s professional consulting services, business operations and project management systems. Steve then served as Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships, where he partnered with the CEO and the Executive Team to lead account management, consulting and business development opportunities.