All I can say is ‘thank you’. You, sir, are a remarkable human being. Our time together showed the true posture of your heart towards the people of this city — a posture of kindness, passion, servitude, and generosity.
Kindness — You continue to want to hear the voice of others before making your own voice heard. In talking with you over the course of this interview, even in my personal trips to Fortezza Coffee, I recognize how kind you are in always considering others. It is not something you do merely because they are your customer, but because you genuinely want to hear their voice and what they have to say.
Passion — Someone that is willing to get up at the wee hours of the morning, on his day off, just to roast coffee for a church congregation has to have some level of passion. Continuing to faithfully serve a group of people, no matter the organization’s growth rate, is impressive and displays a level of passion like no other.
Servitude — Service could easily be thrown in the same category as kindness, however, the way that you talked about serving your family is remarkable. You serve your wife daily, despite the mood you are in. That is an example like no other. Just as impressive, you serve your foster kids as if they are your own, training them to be people of character. This, Steve, is what truly sets you apart a “Tastemaker”.
Generosity — As a person, it is clear, you just want to give. You want to give to your family. You want to give to your foster kids. You want to give to the patrons that come through the doors of the coffee shop. You want to give to the city at large. However, what makes you truly generous, is that you give anything can. You bring whatever talents and abilities you have to the table so that you can just give and not take.
You are truly a one of a kind individual. Your heart for the city, its culture, and its people shines! When asked, “Why Fort Wayne?”, you responded with a level of authenticity that was remarkable. Your answer to that question truly defines you and sets the bar for those to come as a local Tastemaker.