K-State graduation year: 1975
Degree: B.S. Industrial Engineering
Other degree received: MBA, Pittsburg State University
Current employer: ONEOK, Inc.
Position:Vice President of Government Relations
Describe the process of choosing your major.
I was encouraged by teachers and counselors in High School to pursue an engineering degree due to my higher aptitude for math and physics and the job market was very good at the time.
- Industrial Engineering Student Organization - member and secretary
- Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity - member
I did not have this opportunity. I really didn’t have time due to the fact I was the Kitchen manager for the fraternity for 4 years and had a part time job at gas station/car wash off campus.
I utilized the career placement center, participated in interviews on campus, sent resume’s to companies in which I had an interest and travelled for interviews. Finally, I actually got two job offers with companies who employed a friend’s father and one where a neighbor was in senior management. It turned to be “who you know” rather than “what you know”!
I have responsibility for all government relations with state and federal officials in 15 states. I spend a considerable amount of time connecting with my staff in 4 of those states and our consultant in Washington, D.C. I also work with various industry associations and coordinate all legislative communications throughout the company. I also travel to various state capitols to participate in the legislative process in each and work with many offices in D.C. to make sure legislation and/or rules and regulations are not too onerous.
Daily interaction with employees and stakeholders throughout our service territory and the challenge of finding success in the legislative process.
Dealing with the many personalities and navigating a myriad of regulations and rules that make it a challenge to complete our work or become prohibitively expensive.
Have a great deal of patience and look for opportunities for everyone to be successful which requires compromises.
Basic understanding of the business, exposure to all aspects of the business, opportunity to manage employees, work within the community to understand politics and human nature.
As a graduate engineer with an MBA, I NEVER thought I would be responsible for the government relations and legislative success of a Fortune 500 company!
I have been happily married for 41 years providing stability, with unwavering support for my career. I helped raise two successful children and even though I was willing to relocate in the Midwest I did not need to.
Conform to an 8-5 job schedule, be willing to work hard long hours to be successful, be responsible for someone other than yourself (spouse) and be tolerant of a new living arrangement.
Always curious about a person’s vocation and how they became successful including how one can make a comfortable living.
To be involved in on campus organizations such as, student government, student union governance, alumni association and charitable causes across the community.
None really but I did like the simulation class and the project where we cast and machined a vice.
Frank Tillman was always very supportive and believed in my abilities.
The legislative/ regulatory process and how it can drastically affect the bottom line of your businesses
I have not kept in touch with other IE graduates but, I have a half-dozen fraternity brothers I have spent my life with along with their spouses. We do everything together; vacations, dinners, KSU football games, KSU bowl games, family celebrations, fundraisers, raising children, church attendance, investment clubs, Chiefs and Royals games and many other activities.
For more information, Steven can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org