Steve is the founder of Pathfinders Advertising & Marketing Group, Inc. From the start he realized how complicated effective marketing would be for serving diverse clientele, and that learning and adapting would be key to Pathfinders’ success. He also believed that by remaining focused on longer range strategic plans that make sense to his clients, Pathfinders would be able to generate effective long-range tactics for their audiences.
Steve knew that sometimes instincts are better than IQ, and that every good marketing engagement required a healthy combination of analytic with creative. He often advises us to let go of our egos and strive to get into other’s shoes to better understand their motivations and needs. He wants Pathfinders as a whole to always value and appreciate our clients and our team members. This was his vision in the beginning that remains evident in every part of Pathfinders – and one in which we all take pride.
Empathy is as important in business as it is in one’s personal life.
What has caused Pathfinders to grow the most?
Our people are truly craftsmen and women who are experts in their skills. We continually try to cultivate an environment for people to do what they love to do. I really enjoy seeing passion in people. Whatever they are working on, when they show they’re engaged and passionate, I know that magic things can happen.
Have you learned anything unique while working with a client(s)?
When a client tells me that we “get them,” that is the biggest compliment we can get. We pride ourselves on listening and not just telling our clients we care but showing it by learning their business and truly being a partner.
A favorite project with your Pathfinders team?
Working on Tidy Cat and Kitty Litter with Ed Lowe was my first really big client. He was a dynamic self-starter in business and in life. It was a really fun account, and I learned directly from him that drive and commitment can carry a business a very long way.
What is your idea of perfect happiness in the workplace?
It’s getting everyone on the same page and with a shared mission. The pace of our business never seems to slow, and the opportunities are always abundant. It is always enjoyable when we are all engaged and productive.
What do you absolutely have to have in your workspace?
A notepad for sure! Wherever I am in the office, I need to have a way to write things down. I encourage everyone here to do the same!
If you could have a character of fiction come to life, who would it be and why?
I really like the Dan Brown series of books so it would be the character Robert Langdon from the DaVinci Code. What a great way to go through life, decoding, looking for solutions, and figuring things out! Wait, maybe that’s what we are doing?
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Abraham Lincoln because he was a quintessential compromiser and I believe that’s a concept that is critically important in our business. Like President Lincoln, I try to be a capable compromiser. In our subjective world, it’s important to not have an ego. Coming together with a lasting solution to a problem requires that your ego take a backseat. I really enjoyed Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
What is your favorite movie?
“Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. By learning to make every day count we can use our experiences to improve ourselves and perhaps help others.
A great day?
It might include a Chicken Caesar Salad, a friendly cat, and maybe sharing an episode of the original Mission Impossible series from the 1960s-1970s. If you decide to accept this mission and are caught, I will disavow that I recommended it to you.
Who are your favorite superheroes?
Spiderman and Flash because they can quickly get in and out of tough situations.
What’s your favorite season of the year?
Spring because I can play golf – and I also love to ride my bicycle after work to get some fresh air and exercise.
You may not know…
What is something that most people would not know about you?
I can be quite emotional when I think about my family. I take great pride in our two sons and nine grandchildren, my beautiful wife and partner Nancy who did such a wonderful job raising our family, and my daughters-in-law, Amy and Maranda, who are my heroes every day for being such great role models for their children.
What is on your wish list?
If I could wish for anything, it would be that people don’t hold grudges. Life’s too short to hold grudges. If life was more resilient and grudges easier to forget, that would be a great step forward.
Have you received any professional awards? What were they? How did you win them?
I’m most proud of an early Advertising Association award we received in 1982. It was a 1stplace ADDY Award for a punch-out direct mailer. It wasn’t flashy, and I was competing against all the “big” agencies…but it was a solid piece that most importantly really worked. As you might be able to tell from the below photo, it was a way to show how easily a pager could find in your pocket and how often it could be used.
Any personal awards?
I was voted Class Clown of my senior class at John Adams High School – I am not sure if I deserved it, but I guess I have always enjoyed making people smile!
Describe your most recent home improvement project?
I’ve really enjoyed adding some home automation to our home, which only seems to impress me and my grandchildren.