Though no business is a perfect corporate citizen, we know that God is present in all commerce. We know this because commerce is conducted between people…no people – no commerce.
Absolutely no one is outside the reach of some sort of transaction. As a result, everyone is a stakeholder in business corporations. You may be a shareholder, a manager, an employee, a supplier, or a customer (direct stakeholders.) You might also represent the local church or some level of government (indirect or social stakeholders.) You should care how the corporation behaves and how well it does. How it competes for resources and customers says much about its contribution to our cultural character.
Business corporations, as structures for work and personal livelihood, are not intrinsically ruthless, heartless money machines. They are entities that behave in whatever fashion human beings choose. Their value to stakeholders is driven by their mix of people; the products and services they provide; and the interactions of customers, employees, vendors, Boards, investors and others. The character of their leadership shapes this mix.
Spiritually and economically healthy business owners and employees strengthen their local churches and pastors. Tom Steen is a career-long adviser, owner, and investor in businesses that seek to grow profits and increase value. Supplied with this experience and tempered by his fear of God and desire to honor Him in every endeavor, Tom offers specific help to stakeholders by:
From April 2009 to November 2010, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Iowa Family Policy Center, the Iowa ministry affiliate of Focus on the Family. IFPC, now The Family Leader, is a public policy advocate for issues relevant to traditional marriage and successful family functioning. There were two activities initiated during his tenure that are particularly relevant to his work with TVL. The first was a character-based policy and filtering process for political candidates seeking either a state or statewide office. The second was a 50-community network of Christians who, as a result of the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling against traditional marriage, were offered a specific venue to increase their involvement in civic affairs (“Let Us Vote Iowa” or “LUV Iowa”).
Prior to his work in non-profit ministries, Tom had a thirty-year career in the corporate finance industry. Within that industry, he was a specialist in the formation of debt and equity capital for small to medium size Midwest enterprises – primarily agriculture, food chain and related biotech companies. One initiative undertaken during this period was particularly relevant to his involvement in the civic arena. From 1998 to 2004, he was engaged in the formation and deployment of a $43.0 million public/private investment partnership designed to increase the sustainability of small/medium food processing and agricultural biotech companies (connected to Iowa.) In the model, the public money is repaid (as a low interest loan) before private investment benefits, resulting in very low-cost economic development.
Tom and his wife, Michelle, are from Indianola, Iowa. They were married in 1975 and they have three grown children, with one grandchild. The Steen’s attend the First Assembly of God church in Indianola where Tom is a teacher and a credentialed pastor. His public education includes specialization in finance and accounting at the undergraduate level (University of Iowa) and the MBA level (University of Minnesota) with continuing education at the Kellogg Graduate School of Business (Northwestern University).