Board of Trustees Profile: Steve Sass

Board of Trustees Profile: Steve Sass

Where did you grow up? Go to school?

I was raised on Long Island (N.Y.). My parents moved out there from the Bronx when I was six months old. My brothers and I attended public school in Valley Stream/Franklin Square in Nassau County. I first left Long Island for college, earning a B.S. degree in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. My wife Charlotte and I were in high school together and got married right after college. We both attended grad school as newlyweds. I earned my MBA from Adelphi University. 

We moved to Howard County shortly thereafter, arriving in Columbia in 1977. My recollection is that there were perhaps 30,000 people, seemingly all new arrivals like us. Charlotte had attended the University of Maryland, so we had many friends in the area. I went back to Law School at the University of Maryland some years later. 

What do you do in your “day job?”

After about 20 years in corporate management & consulting, I started working as a lawyer dealing with corporate bankruptcies and restructuring. I mostly work with a small team as  Bankruptcy Trustee in large corporate Chapter 11 cases.

Why did you want to be on the CFHoCo Board of Trustees?

Having served for more than 30 years on numerous business community boards (Chamber of Commerce,  Leadership Howard County, chairing the Economic Development Advisory Council, serving in my Columbia Village Board,  etc) in Howard County and serving on the Transition Team for every Howard County Executive since 1980 (except one), I recognized that the great quality of life in Howard County was not available to all in town. I made a slight mid-course correction to directly reach into the not-for-profit/human services arena as a way to provide input and support to individuals instead of businesses hopefully sharing the great HoCo experience with many new folks.   

When did you start giving to issues that are important to you?

My involvement in the community started not long after arriving here in 1977.  I was introduced to the Community Foundation by participating in Leadership Howard County as a twenty-something in 1987, the second class for that organization. That opened my eyes to the great diversity and some of the needs in our community and encouraged me to reach out and serve and hopefully help make a difference. I started in Economic Development around that time, culminating with my Chairing the Howard County Economic Development Advisory Council in 1990 and co-founding (with two friends) the Howard County High Tech Council at about that time. 

What are two or three areas of interest or non-profits that you give to?

I remain passionate about philanthropy, economic/community development and  education,  contributing and/or participating in organizations that further these and other goals. 

What advice do you have for those interested in giving back?

Pick an area of interest or impact to you personally…. arts, education, human services,  healthcare, general philanthropy, etc. Ideally something that touches you or your family. If it’s something about which you are passionate, it’s easy to stay involved and good for the efforts you will make.