Your Master of ceremonies, event director, and party Host
Born in Fresno in the 'baby-boomer' generation, Steve moved to the country (farm) with his folks and one sister when he was 5. Steve's dad was just out of the Army and had relocated to California from his boyhood farm in Missouri - finding Fresno to offer promise for a bright future in the richest agricultural region in America. As early as 9 years old, Steve began to work the fields and tend the chores on the farm as the family relied upon its own resources to survive. The earliest passion for Steve was his love for horses - Firefly was his first bay mare at age 12. The passion grew and the next few years would result in more horses that Steve would train and show in horse shows all around the state. He built his own two-horse trailer as a project in metal shop during high school - winning a 2nd place award at the California State Fair. The most prestigious awards he received when showing was winning the Regional Western Grand Champion in 1964, and a sixth place in the California State Trail Horse Championships. He was also a five year member of the State Champion Precision Riding Drill Team – the Fresno Saddlelites.
College was next, but the challenge was interrupted by the draft and the Viet Nam War which led to a hitch in the US Naval Reserve where he earned the rank of 3rd Class Petty Officer as a Hospital Corpsman. After honorable discharge, it was then back to school at Reedley Jr. College and 'finally' earning a BS Degree in Business Administration awarded from Cal State University, Fresno in 1973.
All those years of college were intended to pave the way to a career in the world of big business but that was to be short-lived after only a six months stint working at the Regional Headquarters of Allstate Insurance in Menlo Park, California. The opportunity to return to the family farm in Fresno was tempting and at age 29, Steve began his farming career. For the next 18 years, he farmed cotton, alfalfa, corn and oats on 240 acres. Additionally, he began his own custom tractor work and hay harvesting business - providing other farmers in the area with his expertise and services. In 1981, Steve purchased a 20 acre vineyard of Thompson Seedless grapes, and then purchased the adjoining 20 acres of vineyard in 1990. In 1993, he made another critical career decision. Since Steve is a 'people' person, and found the farm life to be a bit secluded, he sold his harvesting business and all but the 40 acres of vineyard - thereby allowing for more time and attention to be focused on his involvement and love of the dance world.
Back in 1983, Steve wandered into the Crazy Horse Saloon, a local country western night club. Six months later, he would be elected as President of that dance club and the career in dance and special event production would begin.....Dancin' Z Productions was born. Since, Steve has produced the Fresno Dance Classic for 28 years; produced the Southwest Regional Championships for seven years; produced Summer Games for three years; is a founding member of the United Country Western Dance Council and served as Vice President, Directing the World Championships for Worlds II though V; was inducted into the UCWDC Hall Of Fame in 2001; and is a member of the World Swing Dance Council. For many years, Steve has served as emcee to more than 200 dance festivals in the US and Canada, and still prides himself with a genuine concern for everyone's happiness, fairness in competition, and a mutual respect for all dancers from beginners to Champions. Look up "hug" in the dictionary and you'll see Steve's picture there. During 2003 and 2004, he served as President of the United Country Western Dance Council.
Today, Steve lives on the 40 acre farm within 1/2 mile of five generations of his family, just down the street from where he grew up. The sunrises and sunsets over the vineyard are magical, the quiet of the 'country'.... peaceful and reassuring. The farm is just 10 minutes from Fresno; 1.5 hours from snow-skiing, Yosemite, and Sequoia National Park; 2.5 hours from Carmel and Monterey; 3 hours from San Francisco; 4 hours from Disneyland; and an instant from anywhere in the world via the world wide web and e-mail. With a Harley in the garage, Quarter Horses in the pasture, and music in the soul......the 'journey' in life is fantastic!
more photos of steve