Stephen’s introduction to the food and beverage industry was back in college. As he began to pursue a career as a general surgeon, Stephen bartended and served. Realizing that the medical profession wasn’t the path he wished to continue, Stephen began working for an upscale-casual Southern seafood restaurant and bar — starting off working the fry station before returning to serving and bartending. By showing initiative and interest in multiple areas of the restaurant, during his tenure Stephen became the youngest and first employee to be promoted from server to General Manager.
He was born outside of New Orleans, but in 2006, Stephen and his family were living in Mississippi — so the family left their “underwater” home to move to Mobile, Alabama. Stephen credits his Father for modeling hard work and encouraging Stephen’s curiosity. Hurricane Katrina can also claim partial responsibility in the molding of Stephen’s pragmatic and strategic leadership style — as a victim of Katrina, he knew that predicting a disaster at work is impossible — but preparing for them is essential. This mentality has positioned Stephen well as a leader.
With over eight years of restaurant management experience and a wealth of knowledge, Stephen’s most valuable leadership lesson is the ability to ask the right questions. Knowing that good leaders ask great questions — and the ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the right answer. Stephen uses this skill to learn, grow, and connect with people.
For fun, Stephen enjoys live music and being outdoors.