Diversity and Inclusion - Beyond Gender and Race
Through personal connections Steve's made over the years he understands the struggles, frustrations, and fears individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families face. He knows that far too often they never get accepted and never get included in our places of work, our communities, and our hearts.
And as an adventurer, along with his career in the corporate world, Steve's certainly no stranger to taking calculated risks. He knows that taking risks is essential not only for personal growth in overcoming the many obstacles life throws our way, but it's essential for employers to recognize the benefits of including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their diversity and inclusion programs to remain competitive in an ever changing business environment. Yet Steve knows taking risks is not something everyone easily embraces.
Steve's mission is to raise awareness that many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are just as capable as their non-disabled peers in performing competitive work - if only we take the risk and provide them the skills and the right opportunity to do so. Many of these individuals want to collect a paycheck instead of a disability check; and live meaningful productive lives.
Steve's involved with Special Olympics of Illinois, the Knights of Columbus; an international organization that has raised and donated more than $600 million since 1968 in support of individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, The Arc; the largest community based organization in the country supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance; the only national organization dedicated to finding a cure for tuberous sclerosis complex while improving the lives of those affected.
Steve's an award winning speaker and is ranked as one of the top 9 speakers in Chicago for best Humorous, Inspirational, and Extemporaneous speech as a member of Toastmasters International. Steve also attained Toastmasters International "Distinguished Toastmaster" (DTM) status. DTM status is the highest level of recognition bestowed on approximately 1% of its 332,000 members worldwide for attaining a superior level of achievement in both communication and leadership. Steve's also a founding member and past board member of Midwest Speaking Professionals (MSP).