Steve has more than 30 years of senior executive and board level experience in governance, finance, operations and strategy. He has led or participated in dozens of engagements in the governance, risk and compliance areas, including whistle-blower investigations, remediation of material control weaknesses, fund administration, and corrective action required by consent orders and administrative agreements with federal authorities.
Steve has led engagements to monitor, validate or audit the requirements in consent orders between the DOJ and corporations. He has been selected as a third-party auditor in DOJ matters involving the U.S. subsidiary of a global meat processor, the U.S. mortgage operation of a global bank, the U.S. subsidiary operations of one of the world’s leading energy companies, and a U.S. lumber importer and retailer.
Steve has served as Settlement Administrator in a certified federal class action lawsuit involving a leading U.S. lender and its vehicle finance customers. He also has served as a director of a Fortune 500 company.
Steve is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional. He is a frequent speaker on compliance, governance and the Three Lines of Defense model. He is a member of the International Association of Independent Corporate Monitors.
Calfee Strategic Solutions, LLC is not a law firm and is not authorized to engage in the practice of law. Accordingly, its advice should not be regarded as legal advice, and its services should not be considered the practice of law. Calfee Zoning operates as part of Calfee Strategic Solutions, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP.
B.S., Marquette University, Accounting
Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional
- Calfee Strategic Solutions LLP, Managing Director (2017-present)
- Grant Thornton LLP, Regional Leader Advisory Practice – Midwest (2003-2015) and Great Lakes (2015-2017)
- Ernst & Young Consulting and Ernst & Young Cap Gemini, Vice President and Central Region Leader of the High Growth Middle-Market Consulting practice (1998-2003)
- Scott Technologies (formerly Figgie International; Fortune 500 conglomerate), CFO, Senior Vice President, Member of the Board and of the Office of the Chairman (1994-1998)
- Ernst & Young, CPA (1976-1987), Audit Partner (1987-1994), Midwest Regional Leader – Litigation Services (1990-1994)
- 2018. Accepted for membership in the International Association of Independent Corporate Monitors.
- 2003-2017. Steve served as Grant Thornton’s Great Lakes and Midwest Territory Practice Leader for Advisory Services. In addition to his practice management responsibilities, Steve led the following assignments:
- 2016-2017. Engaged by a leading lumber importer and retailer as third-party auditor to evaluate compliance with provisions of a consent order between the company and the DOJ.
- 2015. Trained and certified as a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional.
- 2014-2017. Engaged by one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies as EPA independent auditor to evaluate compliance with provisions of an administrative agreement between the company, its subsidiaries and the U.S. EPA, Office of Grants and Debarment. In this capacity, we collaborated with a separate ethics monitor and a process safety monitor. Completed within the agreement time frame. Issued three reports of EPA independent auditor.
- 2013-2017. Engaged by a U.S. subsidiary of one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies as third-party auditor to evaluate compliance with provisions of a plea agreement between the company, its U.S. exploration and production subsidiary, the DOJ and numerous other federal departments and agencies. Annual work completed within the consent order annual time frame. Issued four reports of third-party auditor to the company, DOJ, Probation Office, Interior, Coast Guard, BSEE and EPA.
- 2012-2013. Led a 30-person team to evaluate the effectiveness of a company’s programs, policies and procedures described in an action plan under a consent order with federal regulators. Performed internal control reviews; interviewed employees, managers, executives and board members; and did independent control and transactional testing for the U.S. mortgage business of one of the largest global banking organizations. Work completed within the consent order time frame. Issued a validation report to the company, OCC and FRB-Chicago.
- 2003-2017. Engagement Leader for the following governance, internal control, SOX and/or internal audit engagements:
- Publicly listed health care software company
- U.S. and Japanese-listed SOX and JSOX U.S. truck manufacturer
- Publicly listed development-stage cell manufacturer
- Publicly listed, global manufacturer of machine tools
- Publicly listed financial services processing company
- Publicly listed biotech company in development stage
- Publicly listed manufacturer of medical device
- Publicly listed top 10 U.S. bank
- 2010-2013. Engaged by a U.S. subsidiary of a global food processing company as third-party auditor to evaluate compliance with hiring best practices (including I-9 and eVerify) for 25,000 employees pursuant to a deferred prosecution and settlement agreement with the DOJ and ICE. Delivered three reports and the final audit year was waived by the DOJ.
- 2010-2011. Engaged by a $300 million company to evaluate the alignment of business and IT across strategic, management, governance and operational dimensions of IT. Benchmarked using COBIT, ITIL, PMI and TOGAF standards. Deliverables included an 18-month road map to transform IT in support of business strategy.
- 2008. Led GT International one-week training course in Vietnam for seniors through partners from member firms in China, Vietnam, Korea, India, Philippines, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong on governance, risk and control matters.
- 2005-2009. Engaged by the CEO and CFO of a $300 million education services company for numerous IT and business process assignments. Conducted an IT effectiveness review to objectively analyze open IT projects and prioritize their complexity, interdependencies and order of magnitude costs; provided project oversight for the CFO of the Oracle ERP implementations; made recommendations to standardize contract administration; conducted an extensive operational assessment of the development and processing of core products of the two largest business units including a 3x3 matrix of process level recommendations and enterprise-wide root cause themes.
- 2007-2008. Following a $300 million investment by a new owner, selected to construct a six-week turnaround plan for a $1 billion, 350-location U.S. fitness company. GT’s work focused on SGA reduction, IT prioritization and reduction, footprint rationalization, outsourcing options and revenue enhancement streams. Following the board presentation, GT was engaged to implement its cost reduction recommendations with management.
- 2006-2015. Selected by the Audit Committee of a publicly held health care software development company that had three financial restatements to manage the remediation of material weaknesses, significant deficiencies and deficiencies, and to improve overall governance through an enterprise-wide risk assessment and creating an internal audit function.
- 2005-06. Assisted Special Counsel appointed by the Audit Committee to investigate allegations of improper accounting, control and reporting matters arising from a whistle-blower action at a $1 billion water infrastructure manufacturer. Work resulted in a financial restatement and executive level changes.
- 1998-2003. Steve rejoined E&Y and focused on business transformation assignments, such as ERP and dotcom projects, SKU rationalization, consignment inventory and operating process re-engineering. He was one of several partners hired to build and manage a consulting practice focused on Mid-Market Consulting. He started the Ohio and Detroit practices and was promoted to manage the Central Region (geographically, Cleveland to Texas). This practice transformed in the late 1990s from ERP and Y2K predominance to dotcom and high growth companies. The practice was transitioned as the High Growth Middle Market (HGMM) practice through the sale to Cap Gemini in 2001. In addition to his practice management duties, Steve led the following assignments during these six years:
- For a Fortune 500 manufacturer, full scale build-out of a new business model, financial dashboards and controls and back office systems to convert business processes for the manufacturer’s customers’ 4,000 stores. This client and customer changed their business relationship to scan-based trading/consignment, which required changes to all of their business processes (finance changed to record sales and profits upon store-level polling rather than based on warehouse shipments; and established controls over inventory in transit and in 4,000 stores it did not own; distribution changed from customer-order fulfillment to replenishment based on demographics of each store and project profitability presented on the dashboards).
- For a Fortune 500 consumer project company’s CFO, engaged to improve profitability by analyzing product lines, eliminating SKUs and de-integrating the earliest stage of product sourcing. The team created a three-dimensional ABC analysis of product profitability, order frequency and order volume to bring metrics to each SKU. Analyzed the manufacturing and processing plant locations, capacity and purpose.
- For a Fortune 500 manufacturer of rubber products, engaged by the CEO to analyze and redesign shop-level processes to reduce the order-to-delivery cycle from 40 days to 14 days.
- 1994-1998. During Steve’s tenure at Scott Technologies as the Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Board Member, he designed and led the financial and operational turnaround of this troubled company. His responsibilities included the following departments: Accounting, Treasury, Real Estate, Tax, MIS, M&A, and Non-Core businesses. Steve established financial transparency of many alleged improper accounting applications, improved financial reporting, avoided bankruptcy and restructured over $500 million of debt and leases. The financial assessment included cash flow and debt analysis of more than 20 operating businesses and the corporate structure to establish an override agreement with U.S. and foreign lenders and lessors. Through IPO and divestiture of units, this agreement allowed for lender debt amortization, while allowing the company to avert bankruptcy and realign its operations. The realignment allowed the stabilization of high quality units and the sale of mature and/or underperforming businesses. All lenders were repaid in full in less than 18 months and a three-year facility was executed.
- 1976-1994. At Ernst & Young, Steve progressed from accountant to Audit Partner and Special Services Partner. He achieved CPA and CFE certifications. Audit Partner assignments included client service partner for publicly-traded large banks and manufacturers and included due diligence assignments for those entities in support of their growth and expansion initiatives. Special Services Partner assignments included working for counsel to the Directors in an investigation of a Fortune 500 company whose management had been accused of numerous financial accounting, control and reporting allegations; testifying as an expert witness in an international arbitration dealing with the costs of a Middle East joint venture chemical company; directing the financial settlement of a certified federal class action suit as Settlement Administrator; and being appointed as arbitrator on numerous commercial disputes.
Professional & Community
Professional & Community
International Association of Independent Corporate Monitors, member
- Compliance & Ethics Professional, "CFIUS: Complying with a National Security Agreement," February, 2019.
- Compliance & Ethics Professional, "CFIUS and FIRRMA: Protecting Technology and Intellectual Property," January, 2019.
- Keidanren USA (Japan Business Federation). Roundtable discussion on governance and good business practices Japanese companies can take in the U.S., Washington D.C., June 18, 2018
- Detroit CAE/CCO Roundtable, Connecting Compliance and Internal Audit, Leading Practices for the 2nd and 3rd Lines of Defense, with DTE Energy. September 2016.
- Cleveland CAE/CCO Roundtable, Connecting Compliance and Internal Audit, Leading Practices for the 2nd and 3rd Lines of Defense, with The Cleveland Clinic. April 2016.
- Cincinnati and Columbus CAE/Chief Compliance Officer Roundtables, Connecting Compliance and Internal Audit, Leading Practices for the 2nd and 3rd Lines of Defense, with Kroger and University of Kentucky. October 2015, December 2015 and February 2016.
- Cincinnati CAE Roundtable, Tone from the Top, with Cintas. January 2015.
- Cincinnati CAE Roundtable, Building a World Class Audit Organization, with P&G. August 2014.
- Michigan Association of CPAs. Lessons Learned from SOX. June 30, 2011.
- Cincinnati Chapter, IIA. Chief Audit Executive Survey. March 8, 2011.
- Cleveland Chapter, IIA. Chief Audit Executive Survey. March 7, 2011.
- Knowledge Congress. COSO, SOX & Risk Management for Small and Midcap Companies. August 25, 2010.
- Financial Executives International. Private Company Forum. Running by the Numbers: Maximizing Corporate Performance Management for Small and Medium Size Enterprises. September 2008. Rosemont, IL.