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Meet Steve 

  • Family - Married 23 years with 2 sons
  • Religion - Lutheran
  • Military Service - Soldiers Medal For Heroism as Army Field Medic, Platoon Sargent, Staff Sargent, Expert Marksman
  • Education - National Merit Semi-Finalist Graduate of Permian High School, Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Accounting at University of Houston, over 1,000 hours continuing education
  • Professional - Partner in National CPA firm, Executive with International Energy Companies, TV Producer, University Instructor, Business Consultant
  • Hobbies and interests - Volunteer in numerous community organizations, Instrument Rated Pilot, Sailing, Scuba, Skiing, Tennis

Steve and Diana have been married for 23 years.  Diana, maiden name Ricalo, is a proud Latina with a father from Cuba and a deceased mother from Colombia, where she still has a large family.  She is fluent in Spanish.  Diana graduated from the University of Texas School of Nursing and has 35 years experience in many different departments of Diagnostic Center Hospital, Methodist Hospital and University General.  She finished her career as Associate Professor and Director of LVN School of Nursing at Midland College.

Steve has two adult sons and Diana has an adult daughter and son.

Religion

Steve has been a lifelong Lutheran and been active when his business travels permitted.  Diana and Steve were married in the Lutheran Church.  He served on the Board of the Southern Region of the Lutheran Brotherhood and the Board of Memorial Area Ministries "MAM".  At Memorial Drive Lutheran Church, he was on the Board, Pastoral Call Committee and lay participant in worship.

As a second generation, Norwegian-American, Steve traveled to Norway to visit his ancestral church in Ringebu, Norway where his family attended Lutheran Church for hundreds of years.

Education

Steve graduated from Permian High School and ranked in top .1% in national SAT and was National Merit Semi-Finalist.  Worked last two years after school in a grocery store to save money for college and help family.

To finance his college education, Steve was required to work and moved to Houston where commuting and working was normal for the UofH students.

He received a BBA from the University of Houston with a Major in Accounting and a Minor in Developmental Psychology.  

 In the Army, he received an education as a medic and was nominated for the Physician Assistant program. After military service he returned to the University of Houston at Clear Lake where he received an MS in Accounting.

During all of his college years, he was a full-time worker during the school year and returned to the Permian Basin each summer to work in the Oil Industry as a "Roughneck".  He incurred no student loans nor was he assisted by financial aid from any source.

From the date he passed the CPA exam in one setting, until retirement, Steve took 40 hours of continuing education per year to maintain CPA status.

Military Service

Steve's grandfather immigrated from Norway at the beginning of World War I and volunteered in the Army to earn US Citizenship for him and his wife.  Unfortunately, he immediately returned to Europe where he fought for four years.

Steve's father was studying to join the Ministry when World War II started.  He enlisted in the Army as a Conscientious Objector and served three years in the Pacific as a cook.  

Steve was drafted into the Army after completing his BBA at the University of Houston. He had previously registered as a Conscientious Objector with his draft board and was trained as a medic.  All of his service was in Hospitals in the US primarily in trauma medicine.  He rose to the rank of Staff Sargent and was awarded the Soldiers Medal for Heroism (second only to the Soldiers Medal of Honor).

As a member of the Army Reserve, he was selected to work with the Houston Fire Department in the development of one of the Nation's first Emergency Medical Technician programs.  He also, worked as an Army Reserve Medic in the nations #2 trauma center at Ben Taub Hospital.

Professional Experience

After receiving his BBA, Steve tested for and passed the Certified Public Accounting Exam and became a CPA.  He joined a Public Accounting firm and specialized in Management Consulting for the Energy Industry.  He rose to the Partner level in a National CPA firm.  An international energy company hired him as the Chief Financial Officer which started his career in Private and Public company executive offices.

The energy industry has historically had extreme "Boom" and "Bust" cycles.  The worst of the Bust periods occurred from 1982 until 1986.  That downturn bankrupted many banks, savings and loans, energy service firms and exploration and development companies.  First, Steve's employer went bankrupt and when he started an investment firm it went bankrupt forcing Steve to loose all investments, his residence and resulted in personal bankruptcy.

To respond to the depressed energy economy, in 1989, Steve evolved his career to focus on solving problems for energy and energy service companies.  His strategy was to identify problem(s) for prospective clients, and to prepare a strategic plan of action to resolve it.   His contracted to work for a fee that was dependent upon solving the problem.  He continued his consulting until retirement in 2013. 

In addition to the accounting and consulting career

 Steve had an active interest in other commercial activities.  After completing his Masters Degree he became and accounting Instructor at The University of St. Thomas.  By teaching evening classes, he was able to teach during his time in public accounting.

His volunteer activities discussed below, include working with minority and women owned businesses.  As a result the Small Business Administration retained Steve to work under their "406" program on troubled businesses.

When the Soviet Union wished to form joint ventures with companies in the United States, Steve organized Data Integrator which joined with the Laboratory of Regional Geo-dynamics based in Moscow, to become one of the first US State Department approved Joint Ventures.

 Steve has always managed his own savings in the stock market and followed financial television programs.  This interest led to Steve and Diana launching a weekly television program called Texas Financial News "TFN".  TFN broadcasted 3 years and was ultimately on 10 PBS stations in Texas.  Steve produced each program, interviewed the guests and did all financial research and analysis.  

 

Community Service

Steve has always wanted to use his education and experience to participate in community activities.  His involvement in the Lutheran Church was discussed above.  

In his profession capacity, Steve joined and was active in local, state and national accounting organizations.  He was awarded the "Most Outstanding Committee Member" at the state level.

He was a board member and active participant in the Junior Chamber of Commerce which did many worthwhile projects.

He was a Board Member of the Lutheran Brotherhood of the South which provided retirement facilities and homes for troubled youth.  In addition, he was board member of the Memorial Areas Ministries, which sold used furniture and clothing to provide free clothing and food for the homeless families in Houston area. 

Steve served in a refugee relocation arm of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Texas. 

He was a board member of Theater Under the Stars ("TUTS") which sponsored Broadway musicals in Houston.

He was President of the SBA sponsored volunteer group called the Active Corps of Executives "ACE".  In ACE, Steve and the other members gave monthly seminars on "Starting and Operating a Small Business".  He also manned a "hot line" to answer questions for startup companies.

He was a member of the"Baja Bush Pilots" which provided emergency medical services and supplies to Mexico.

He was active in the Soviet American Chamber of commerce and led a number of US and World Bank trade delegations to many different areas of the USSR.

One of his consulting project required him to live in Senegal, West Africa for two years. There he became President of the Senegalese-US Chamber of Commerce and was a Commencement speaker at the Dakar based Suffolk University. 

Hobbies, Interests & Activities

Steve has been an instrument rated pilot for 30 years, a certified open water Scuba diver, avid snow skier and has completed a number of Marathons and 10 K runs. 

Steve is dedicated to healthy living.  He does not drink alcohol, never used recreational drugs, never smoked cigarettes, eats only cold blooded animals and has been on the KETO diet for several years.  He begins and ends each day with a hike in the Ruidoso mountains with Diana and "Sasha" the family's rescue dog.

 

Steve has sailed "single-hand" their 51' Passport sailing vessel "CasaMar for a number of years. He also, snorkels and fishes in the ocean.

Steve and Diana have traveled significantly throughout South America, Mexico, Europe, the Holy Lands, North Africa and West Africa.

 

 


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