You’ve heard his name and likely run into him at a number of community events, but how much do you really know about Steve Zylstra? In this month’s employee profile, we’re learning more about Steve and what led him to Arizona and serving as the Council’s president and CEO for the past 15 years.
Where are you originally from?
I’m from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I studied Automotive Engineering Technology at Western Michigan University.
How did you start your career?
I started my career at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan in Advanced Vehicle Development. I was on a two-year training program where I did three-month stints around the company.
What interested you about the opportunity to work for the Arizona Technology Council? How long have you been working for the Council?
I was recruited back to Arizona from Pittsburgh, PA where I had run the Pittsburgh Technology Council and several other organizations.
Why do you think Arizona is an attractive place for technology companies to do business?
We have great talent, great weather, low cost of living, high standard of living and a spectacular business climate.
What is your advice for up-and-coming founders starting technology companies in Arizona?
Take advantage of the plethora of resources that Arizona has to offer, especially through our partners at the Arizona Commerce Authority.
What are your goals for the Council over the next few years?
Over the next few years, the Council is focused on:
- Attracting more young professionals to our network
- Better measuring and interpreting the needs of our members
- Creating more value-added human connections for our members
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Horticulture, riding one of my Harley motorcycles, driving my Corvette and golfing.
What is your favorite international destination that you have traveled to?
My favorite trips have been to Italy, Egypt and China.
What is one little-known fact about Steve Zylstra?
I was a high hurdler in high school and college and lettered in football too in high school.
Register for the Council’s upcoming Phoenix and Tucson tech events and Optics Valley optics + photonics events.