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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024

Executive Profile: Steven E. Sullivan

Steven E. Sullivan


Name: Steven E. Sullivan.

Company: Sullivan International Group Inc.

Title: CEO.

Revenue – 2010: 41 million.

No. of employees: 160.

Year founded: 1998.

Education: B.S., Southern Illinois University. Currently enrolled in a Global MBA program at Manchester Business School, Manchester, England.

Birthplace: St. Paul, Minn.

Age: 47.

Current residence: San Diego.

Family: Life Partner for 20 years Kevin Hayford. Furry kids — Casper, Coty and Oreo.

Sullivan International Group Inc., is an applied science, environmental and technology firm that has been serving clients worldwide for the past 13 years. Steve Sullivan founded the firm after a successful career in the United States Navy submarine force. The company provides award winning and innovative environmental solutions for complex problems to a broad array of federal clients that include the Navy, Army, Air Force and EPA.


Essential business philosophy: Work hard, learn from your mistakes and always follow your core values and vision.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Listen to your employees, clients and peers while staying informed of current and future industry trends.

Guiding principles: Honesty: Be honest with yourself and others. Appreciation: Appreciate the contribution of others. Knowledge: Always continue to learn. Communication: Be a good listener. Community: Help those in need. Collaboration: Leverage the talent around you.

Yardsticks of success: Helping others achieve success; sustained personal and professional growth; and financial independence.

Goals yet to be achieved: Would love to write a book someday and create an endowment for the Sullivan Children’s Foundation.


Best business decision: Abandoning SafetyVillage.com, an Internet-based safety resource portal in 2000, to focus on Sullivan International Group Inc.

Worst business decision: Not hiring a solid and proven construction manager in 2004.

Toughest business decision: Laying off several senior executives in 2007, including my brother.

Biggest missed opportunity: Losing a multimillion-dollar contract because we failed to provide the proper paper on time.

Mentor: Kurt Brown — Kurt is a current Sullivan board member and president of Capital Beverages in Nevada. He has provided sound guidance and advice to me for the past several years and was instrumental in helping me develop a plan for the creation of our current board of directors.

Word that describes you: Tenacious.


What you like best about your job: I really enjoy helping to develop new opportunities for our firm to include service line expansion or new contract capture efforts.

What you like least about your job: I am not a number cruncher.

Pet peeves: Over promising and under delivering.

Most important lesson learned: With sound data in hand, always trust your gut.

Person most interested in meeting: Bill Clinton — I would be interested in understanding his outlook on the future, ways to improve our economy and his global initiatives.

Three greatest passions: Spending time with my family; community involvement; friends, food and good wine.


Favorite quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” — John F Kennedy.

Most influential book: “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins.

Favorite status symbol: Peer recognition.

Favorite restaurant: Po Pazzo Bar and Grille in Little Italy.

Favorite place for business meetings: Our office at Liberty Station.

Favorite vacation spot: Kauai, Hawaii.

Favorite way to spend time: Snow skiing or sailing without a BlackBerry — or pretty much anything else without a BlackBerry.


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