Steve's journey began in the picturesque state of Oregon, where he was born and raised. Growing up in the charming town of Milwaukie, his roots were deeply embedded in the community, a sentiment that would shape much of his life.
The foundation of Steve's connection to Milwaukie was laid decades before his birth, as his grandfather founded Milwaukie Floral in 1935. The family legacy continued when Steve's parents took over the business in 1962, instilling in him a profound appreciation for hard work and entrepreneurship. As a young boy, Steve spent his formative years learning the ropes at Milwaukie Floral, a chapter that spanned until 1975.
In 1975, Steve ventured into horticulture, founding Leitz's Oregon Grape nursery in West Linn. This marked the beginning of his entrepreneurial spirit as he explored new opportunities. In 1983, he founded Northwest Fresh Evergreen Christmas Decorations, adding another chapter to his diverse portfolio of ventures.
Steve's professional journey also led him to the enchanting Saipan, where he worked at Sports and Entertainment Hotel Nikko in 1989 and 1990. His career in nursery sales continued from 1989 to 1995 at Paul Howell Nursery Sales. Steve also served as the General Manager of Northwest Fresh Evergreen from 1995 to 1999.
A surprising turn came in 1999 when Steve embarked on a completely different career path, becoming a World Airways Flight Attendant. This chapter of his life allowed him to travel the world extensively, visiting six of the seven continents and exploring 35 countries. Fluent in Spanish, and with a knowledge of Japanese and Portuguese, Steve's global experiences enriched his perspective.
Years later, in 2011, he founded Dalia L Leitz LLC, DBA Gladstone Baskin Robbins, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit once again. Subsequently, in 2014, Steve established YOFSEL Inc, which encompassed Gladstone Baskin Robbins, Peterkort Baskin Robbins, and, in 2015, Aloha Baskin Robbins. His foray into the food industry continued in 2019 when he founded Yofsel Holdings, the entity behind Happy Valley Pizza Schmizza.
Parallel to his professional endeavors, Steve actively engaged in community service. He joined the Gladstone Rotary in 2013, eventually becoming its President 3 times in 2017, 2018, 2019 as well as having the Distinguished Club Award. His commitment to community service extended to Gladstone Kiwanis (2014 – present) and Springwater Grange (2022 – present). Steve's philanthropic contributions did not go unnoticed, earning him the title of Philanthropist of the Year from Baskin Robbins in 2018 and Gladstone Citizen of the Year in 2013.
Steve's involvement with various Chambers of Commerce, including Clackamas, Beaverton, and Hillsboro, showcased his dedication to local business communities. His educational journey included graduating from Milwaukie High School in 1969 and pursuing further studies at Portland Community College in 2012-2013. Notably, he became certified in CPR, emphasizing his commitment to the well-being of those around him.
Steve's adventurous spirit extended far beyond the business world. He achieved remarkable feats such as climbing Mount Fuji twice, in 2008 and 2012, and running with the bulls in 1990, showcasing his physical endurance and determination. His thirst for exploration led him to travel the full length of the Amazon in 1988, embracing the wonders of the natural world. His love for nature, sustainability, and his never ending spirit led him to become a bee keeper. With 5 years of experience under his belt he founded Bee-Hive Honey LCC in 2023.
Steve's dedication to making a positive impact wasn't confined to business and personal achievements. He actively participated in crime prevention initiatives, lending his efforts to both Clackamas County Crime Prevention and McLoughlin Crime Prevention.
As Steve's biography unfolds, it reveals a man deeply connected to his community, with a diverse range of experiences that reflect his resilience, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on the world around him.