Today, our Employee Spotlight is on the Chief Financial Officer Steve Sonntag. Steve has been with Steele since 2015. Before that, he was the CFO for Clark Pleasant Community Schools. We talked with Steve about his background, hobbies, and life highlights.
When and how did you get involved with Steele Benefits? I met Mike Steele in 1987 when I was the Business Manager at Lawrenceburg Community Schools. He was always a great person to talk to. In 2000, as CFO at Clark Pleasant, we eventually moved from our old benefits provider to Steele for our benefits administration and technology. In 2015, after 28 years in school finance, I decided to retire from Clark Pleasant, and I wanted to try something new. Mike heard I was retiring and asked me to join Steele.
How would you describe your role? I help facilitate, lead, and assist the Steele team to deliver our core values and benefits administration software package to our customers and their employees. Because of my background in school administration, I can help support the public sector needs because I can relate to their challenges. I also help plan and implement the special Steele events, and tradeshows and I am also the facility manager at the office. I wear many different hats.
Are there any new skills or insights you have picked up while working at Steele? I have learned a lot more about health, life insurance, and voluntary insurance than ever have before. I could hold my own as a school CFO and an officer of the school insurance committee at school corporations, but this side of it is different.
Do you have a favorite Steele memory? I have always enjoyed hanging out with the Steele team at the school state and national conferences. We get to chat with old colleagues and friends, tell funny stories about each other, and get caught up with them and their families.
Outside of work, what kind of hobbies do you have? I enjoy hiking and golfing, and I love to travel. My wife and I enjoy traveling to see our kids and grandchildren.
What is an interesting fact few people know about you? I enjoy HO scale model railroads. I have a model railroad set up in my basement. I have built railroad cars and buildings, and sometimes my daughter helps me with the scenery. I got the bug from my dad and older brother, who had Lionel trains when I was a kid.
If you were not in this line of work, what career would you want to pursue? I would love to work outdoors, maybe in forest services. I would love to work for the US Forest Service department as a park ranger.
What is one thing you would like to add to the Steele office? If I could add anything, I would add a covered structure outside the back of the building. It would have picnic tables with a charcoal grill so we could have a space to hang out, eat hamburgers, and hotdogs and have a wonderful place to take a break from work.
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