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Steve graduated from English (Indiana) High School in 1973. He served 20 years in the US Navy Submarine Service; the latter twelve years as an Acoustic Intelligence Specialist. He earned his submarine warfare badge in 1975, was selected for the Navy Enlisted Scientific and Education Program in 1976, and attended the Senior Enlisted Academy in 1988. During his Navy career, Steve was awarded three Navy Commendation Medals, five Navy Achievement Medals, five Navy Good Conduct Medals, six Navy Expeditionary Medals and two National Defense Medals.
Soon after retiring from the military and returning home to Crawford County, Indiana in 1993, Steve was hired to create and manage a youth center and alternative school. He helped secure a $500,000 Community Focus Fund grant resulting in the Crawford County Youth Service Bureau (YSB) relocating into a spacious facility in Marengo, Indiana. In 1998, his last year at the YSB, Steve was on the steering committee and the founding Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Crawford County.
Steve was hired as the first employee of the Harrison County Community Foundation (HCCF) in March 1999. HCCF was created in 1996 by an initial gift of $5,000,000 from Caesar’s Indiana. The casino has provided more than $180,000,000 to the Foundation over the years. Other public donations exceeding $12,500,000 have been added to create over 250 endowed funds. HCCF has awarded $90,000,000 in grants and scholarships and holds current net assets of 195,000,000.
Steve was instrumental in creating the Jump Start Preschool program in Harrison County which pays tuition for qualified low-income and high risk students. He also piloted the Hand Up adult scholarship program providing additional assistance to clients of Work One. HCCF has also created an adult scholarship program aimed to encourage residents with some college to return and complete their degree. HCCF sponsors the Youth Philanthropy Council, funds the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the Dictionary Project, and pays for every third grader in Harrison County schools to learn to swim at the YMCA.
Steve completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational Management from Oakland City University in 1996. He has been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 2009. He completed the US Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management in 2004, The Fundraising School Certificate in Fund Raising Management in 2007, and The Center on Philanthropy Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership in 2011. He completed Leadership Harrison County in 2000, Leadership Southern Indiana Engage Program in 2014, and Ship Shape nonprofit board governance training in 2015.
Steve was on the board of directors of the Indiana Youth Services Association from 1999 – 2001; serving as president during his last year. He has been on the board of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance and is currently on the board of Align Southern Indiana.
HCCF uses unrestricted funds to meet various community needs. From grants to nonprofits for basic human services to large-scale programs such as preschool - these are made possible by using unrestricted funds. HCCF is participating in the Lilly Endowment Inc. GIFT VII Challenge in order to bring more unrestricted dollars into our community.
Every day, donors transform lives, hearts and minds by investing in the causes they care about. You can transform lives, too, by applying your passion with thoughtful philanthropy. You can give in any amount to any existing fund supporting community needs or to a scholarship fund supporting local students.