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Brownsville, Wis.

Steve Michels may have grown up in a small town, but he always had big ideas. As a student, he appreciated interacting with individuals worldwide. “Their beliefs, cultures and habits helped me grow a philosophy to always look at the bigger picture,” he says.

This might have been an early indication that Steve’s aspirations went beyond Wisconsin and his hometown of Brownsville, Wis. — which had a population of 336.

Steve’s business ventures today span coast to coast. He’s the owner and managing member of Michels Development LLC based in Seattle, which operates and manages non-tribal card rooms in the state of Washington, and he also leads a startup company in Jupiter, Fla., that designs temperature-monitored food safety technology for the transportation industry. In addition, Steve is developing several mobile phone applications, including doddle and ZipaClip.

Despite working on both coasts, Steve remains closely connected to Marquette athletics, other initiatives and his hometown. He is an avid supporter of the men’s basketball team — attending home and road games — and has been a season ticket holder since 2001. Beyond basketball at Marquette, he has spoken to students about his business ventures and is an officer of the board of directors for the Delta Chi Educational Foundation and helped lead the organization’s efforts to build a new fraternity house near campus in 2003.

He also hasn’t forgotten his family roots and his hometown of Brownsville, where he continues to serve as an officer of Michels Corp., a leading utility contractor company that his father established in 1959.

Get to Know: Steven R. Michels

Hometown: Brownsville, Wis.

Most influential person in Steve’s life: His father, who set the example for who Steve is today.