Steve Mihaylo, CEO of Crexendo®, is a name that carries significant weight. His impact on the telecommunications industry has heavily influenced its current state. Steve has been a valuable asset for his contributions to the telecom industry and for employing thousands of people over the years, but the professional reputation does not define the man. Mr. Mihaylo is also known as someone who gives back.
Earlier in life, he committed time to public service by serving in the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division and specialized in radio, radar, and telecommunications. After leaving the Army, Steve leveraged his keen interest in telecom and worked in the manufacturing arm of AT&T as a field services engineer. He utilized his background in telecom to start Inter-Tel in 1969, growing the organization to about $500 million in revenue and 2,500 employees before the company was acquired in 2008.
After decades of exemplary work, Mr. Mihaylo and his family shared his vision of giving back to the local communities. Their family success had much to do with hard work and perseverance, but education ultimately afforded them their opportunities. By 2001, with the help of his family, he started a charitable foundation to help those in the community have opportunities to be successful. The Steve Mihaylo & Lois Mihaylo Foundation has granted millions of dollars to programs and initiatives that support children, education, and community services, and it has had a profound impact on those it’s touched.
The Steve Mihaylo & Lois Mihaylo Foundation has been giving back for more than two decades, donating tens of millions of dollars to more than 200 organizations in over 25 states. These consist of nonprofits that focus on education, community support, child development, treatment and rehabilitation services, and faith-based services. Mr. Mihaylo is a firm believer in education and understands the profound impacts it will have on future generations. The Foundation is “dedicated to the long-term learning and success of today’s youth.” He believes that the Foundation can support innovative projects that provide opportunities for the youth through collaborative partnerships. There are six areas the foundation focuses on:
- Workforce Readiness
Mr. Mihaylo shared his insights into the Foundation and why it’s essential. “I strongly believe that those of us who are successful owe an obligation to give back and provide support to people who need it, not as a handout but as a supportive hand. I want people to be able to access the American dream and reach their own level of success. This is why my family started the Mihaylo Foundation. My daughter, Sarah Mihaylo is the Chairperson of the Foundation and has helped build the Foundation into the great organization it is today! Sarah has made sure that the Foundation can assist people who are facing circumstances where they sometimes cannot survive without a little help.”
Steve also discusses the importance of supporting education, opportunity, and leaving a lasting legacy. “The Foundation supports education, and we support opportunity. I’ve been in tough situations growing up and I am very grateful that I can now return the support I received. As a matter of fact, I continue to work and support because the great bulk of my assets will go to the Mihaylo Foundation. My family supports me in this as they know it’s our obligation. The team at Crexendo® works with me and supports me in this. I am honored that the Foundation’s purpose will continue for a very long time.”
As Mr. Mihaylo pointed out, despite reaching the pinnacle of his career more than once and likely to reach it again, he continues to work tirelessly and ensure that the Foundation remains prosperous in the long term. To safeguard its future, he brought in Doug Gaylor, President & Chief Operating Officer of Crexendo®, and Jeff Korn, Chief Legal Officer of Crexendo® to join the board. Doug and Jeff are vital members who assist with financial decisions and organizational reviews, both areas of expertise for both men.
Here are just a few of the many charities that the Mihaylo Foundation supports:
- AZ Christian University
- Catholic Charities
- McKinley High School in Honolulu
- Big Bear High School
- Tempe Community Action Agency
- Junior Achievement
- St. Vincent de Paul
- The Goldwater Institute
- Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts
- Casa de los Niños
- PTSD Now
- Urban League
Giving back and enriching the local community enables you to influence lasting social change. When organizations receive financial backing and support, a ripple effect occurs and touches many lives for changes that last generations. Philanthropy is viewed as the cornerstone of a stable society – when people come together to help others, we’re reminded what it means to be human. As a result, communities grow stronger, outlasting the individual who provided the opportunities.
Mr. Mihaylo will have a lasting influence on the local communities he’s made an impact in. He’s a prime example of generating great success as an individual, but also giving back and providing opportunities for others to achieve his level of success. He’s touched many lives; whether it’s employing men and women across this country or through his philanthropic actions, he supports causes that matter the most to him, and Steve Mihaylo is a name that will stand the test of time.