About Steve

I enjoy marketing and communications work, both from a strategic planning and a tactical, hands-on perspective. The field has afforded me the opportunity to exercise both my analytical and creative impulses while being of service to others and making a difference in the world.

Professional Background

I've been with the University of Michigan in the EECS Department since January 2009. My previous professional experience has been at technology companies, which has provided useful perspective to me in terms of approaches to technology, organizational structure, and decision-making –– it's been interesting to see the similarities between corporate and university branding and positioning strategies, and the differences in messaging tactics and audiences.

Some of those past experiences have included:

  • Managing marketing communications for two business units, located in Rugby UK and Boston, at global laser systems company GSI Group. It was at GSI that I gained experience with global business and engaged in strategic as well as tactical marketing communications.

  • Managing marketing communications and technical publications for View Engineering (which later became a part of GSI), the crazy California-based metrology company that should have been greater than it managed to be. I was located in View's SVS office, and View is where I made the transition into marcom work and connected with Frank and Susan Oddo of The Oddo Group, a national PR agency with strengths in branding and positioning for tech companies and products.

  • Managing technical publications at one of Ann Arbor's early-computer-era startups, Irwin Magnetic Systems, which in its heyday had 600 employees on Commonwealth Boulevard, just off of Green Road. We made tape-based data storage and backup systems, and I established the standards for hardware and software documentation that helped to move the company into the consumer space from the OEM space.

  • Writing technical manuals at the Systems and Network Divisions of Allen-Bradley Company. I worked with a group that experimented with integration of text and graphics and reduced text instructions, back in the day before desktop publishing. When I started at A-B, we used dumb terminals and stored work on huge 8-inch floppy drives. Shortly before I left I tried my first Apple Macintosh, and I've been hooked on the Mac OS since.
Other Interests

I enjoy building websites and have developed a set of templates that I can use to deploy small sites quickly and easily. I've recently begun experimenting with code for responsive design – which allows websites to scale down to smaller browser windows and mobile devices – and plan to make this site responsive once I've ironed out the bugs.

The Hungry Sea

I'm a board member and the webmaster for The Yellow Barn, a local live music and alternative performance venue. I play electric bass in a part-time roots rock band called The Hungry Sea, and I still have a clarinet that I dust off from time to time.

For a time, I donated my time as Public Relations Chair for two organizations in support of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Ann Arbor region: New Enterprise Forum and the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship.