MA Candidate - Innovation in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
Originally from Glastonbury, Connecticut, Steve served as an Army officer in both Latin America and Afghanistan from 2004 to 2008 before moving to New York to complete an MBA at Columbia Business School. After graduating, he entered the private sector, helping counsel large companies as a senior consultant for Deloitte Consulting.
In 2011, Steve's younger brother, also an Army officer, was tragically wounded in Afghanistan. When that happened, Steve realized that he wanted to address the need for more innovative amputee care. “My goal was to study how the entrepreneurial principles of the private sector can advance public causes. Innovation in the absence of profit isn’t as simple as it seems,” he says. “Gallatin was the perfect place to bring these two ideas together, to dig a bit deeper, and to lay the foundation for my future goals.”
Steve is currently working to launch his own nonprofit organization that not only advocates for amputee needs, but also helps revolutionize prosthetics and limb transplant technology. “I want to help this community imagine and then achieve the impossible, in ways that have real, lasting impact,” he says.
The Wired Nonprofit, a course taught by Professors Howard Greenstein, Marcia Stepanek, and Tom Watson, and Campaign I: Strategy and Execution, a course led by Professor Nader Ashway were inspirational to him. “These are not only intellectually stimulating courses, but they cover highly practical topics and are taught by professors who are living and breathing the material everyday,” he says. “When you have mentors like that, it helps put things in perspective.”
Steve founded a startup company, Firelight Networks, in 2013 and recently launched a mobile application, Firelight, designed to help foster meaningful connections between people. Though he’s busy, he notes that Gallatin’s flexible approach makes it more than possible to manage his time. “I often find that I can customize my studies to bring all three of my pursuits together, both inside and outside of the classroom,” he says. “It’s a lot of work, but I couldn’t be happier.”
My goal was to study how the entrepreneurial principles of the private sector can advance public causes. Innovation in the absence of profit isn’t as simple as it seems. Gallatin was the perfect place to bring these two ideas together, to dig a bit deeper, and to lay the foundation for my future goals.