Late last week, a few of us started discussing ways we could help out local restaurants that are devastated by the COVID crisis. My friend Michelle came up with the brilliant idea to raise money to buy gratitude meals for first responders, to help express just some of our thanks for the work they’re doing and will do.
I think a lot of people want to help in various ways, and have lots of different constraints (financial, time, movement, etc.) I thought it’d be helpful to have a place where people who do have a desire to reach out have a good place to share ideas and be inspired. We’re calling the all-volunteer organization #bigthanks. It’s about putting gratitude into action. It’s available at bigthanks.org.
Yesterday we delivered hot meals to 200+ health care workers and 100+ first responders.
Today we feed another 50+ in the El Centro de la Raza community on Beacon Hill.
Through the generous support of a handful of donors, we’ve raised over $4,000 so far to help support a second-generation downtown restaurant, their kitchen staff and other food service workers in town: some much needed revenue.
We’re learning a lot about how to do this, particularly how to do this in a responsible, socially-distanced and safe way.
#bigthanks is a hashtag that’s about turning our gratitude into productive action. We’d love to hear your ideas.
Please join us at bigthanks.org.
Steve’s an entrepreneur and software leader. Steve’s worked on consumer apps, online travel, games, relational databases, management consulting and telecom. He launched Alignvote in 2019, which helped Seattle voters find their best-match political candidates by indexing their existing on-the-record stances, matching them with voter’s own answers to those exact same questions. Alignvote also offered politicians the chance to elaborate on those views. Alignvote is on hiatus for now, but might return in a future election.
Politically, Steve is an independent, and has not registered for any political party. He believes in outcome-based transparent governance; he is a moderate who believes that progressive approaches can be great if truly outcome-focused and evidence-driven, but also that unaccountable spending is a recipe for corruption and little progress. He believes that Seattle’s municipal government must work well for all 724,000+ Seattleites.
Steve’s founded multiple companies. In the early 2000’s, he founded BigOven, the first recipe app for iPhone, with more than 15 million downloads, which was purchased in 2018. Steve served as Chairman of Escapia Inc., the leading SaaS solution for the US vacation rental industry, sold to Homeaway, now part of Expedia. In 1997, Steve was cofounder, President, CEO and Chairman of VacationSpot, a pioneer in the online reservation of vacation rentals, bought by Expedia in January 2000. At Expedia, Steve was Vice President of Vacation Packages, leading the vacation package and destination services teams, helping to create two patents on the first-ever dynamic vacation packaging system on the Internet, which now represents billions in annual transactions for Expedia.
He has keynoted on several occasions at the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA), and taught a graduate level course on the strategic management of innovation at the University of Washington Foster Business School in Seattle, Washington.
Steve worked for Microsoft from 1991 to 1997 in a variety of senior marketing and executive positions, and led the creation of the internet games group, helping develop several products and patents related to online multiplayer gaming. He helped launch Microsoft Access and was involved in the acquisition of Fox Software by Microsoft in 1993. He’s worked for IBM, Booz-Allen Hamilton and Bell Communications Research.
He holds an MS in Computer Science from Stanford University in Symbolic and Heuristic Computation (AI), an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a George F. Baker Scholar (awarded to top 5% of graduating class), and a dual BS in Applied Mathematics / Computer Science and Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) with University Honors. Steve volunteers when time allows with Habitat for Humanity, University District Food Bank, YMCA Seattle, Technology Access Foundation (TAF) and other organizations in Seattle.