David Steward

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David Steward

David L. Steward
Chicago, Illinois [1]

Residence St. Louis, Missouri[2]
Nationality American
Alma mater Central Missouri State University[3]
Occupation Chairman and Founder of World Wide Technology, Inc.,[4]
Board member of
Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Centene Corp., First Banks Inc., Telcobuy.com, L.L.C., Webster University,[5]University of Missouri [3]
Spouse(s) Thelma
Children 2

David L. Steward (born 1951) is chairman and co-founder of World Wide Technology, Inc.,[4] one of the largest African-American-owned businesses in America.[6]

Early years[edit]

Steward was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Dorothy, a homemaker, and Harold Steward, a mechanic.[7] As a child growing up in Clinton, Missouri, Steward faced poverty and discrimination.[1]

"I vividly remember segregation—separate schools, sitting in the balcony at the movie theater, being barred from the public swimming pool," notes Steward, who was among a small group of African-American high-school students who integrated the public swimming pool in Clinton in 1967. "These experiences had a profound effect on the man I am today. I am not one to back down when it comes to taking a stand for what I believe." Steward found a purpose for the hardship he encountered in his early years—it strengthened his character and taught him perseverance. "The adversities I encountered during my youth served as my training ground for hard times I eventually faced as a struggling entrepreneur." [8]

A determined student, Steward received his B.S. degree in business from Central Missouri State University in 1973.[3][7]

Business career[edit]

After graduating from college, Steward worked at Wagner Electric as a production manager (1974–1975), a sales representative at Missouri Pacific Railroad Company(1975–1979), and a senior account executive at Federal Express (1979–1984), where he was recognized as salesman of the year and inducted into the company's hall of fame in 1981. He owned Transportation Business Specialists and Transport Administrative Services in the years leading up to founding World Wide Technology.[7]

Founding World Wide Technology[edit]

In 1990, Steward, Jim Kavanaugh and others founded World Wide Technology, a leading systems integrator that provides technology products, services and supply chain solutions to customers around the globe.[3] In 1993, WWT concentrated its focus on the implementation of enterprise wide imaging, conversion services, and telecommunication networks. These integrated solutions have greatly enhanced WWT's overall market position and long term viability.[9]

In 1999 World Wide Technology spun off its telecommunications division to form Telcobuy.com. Sales for the two companies continued to grow, although revenues slipped in 2002 as World Wide Technology felt the impact of the technology recession. In 2003 combined reported revenues passed $1 billion, and Steward formed World Wide Technology Holding Company as the parent company for the two firms.[7]

In 2011, World Wide Technology's annual revenue are estimated to be greater than $3.2 billion, ranking it as one of St. Louis’ largest private companies.[10]

Doing Business by the Good Book[edit]

Steward is the author of the Doing Business by the Good Book.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Steward is married to Thelma Steward, and the couple has two adult children. His pastor, Dr. Lynn Mims, of Union Memorial United Methodist Church, asked him to start a Sunday school class for businesspeople. Steward was concerned about the long-term commitment but wanted to somehow accommodate his pastor’s request. His wife, Thelma, reminded him what the Bible says in Luke 12:48, "From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required." So they started the Bible study and called it Doing Business By the Book, the catalyst for his book, Doing Business by the Good Book: 52 Lessons on Success Straight from the Bible. Today the class is attended by governors of Missouri, past and present; Senators; Congressman; and other dignitaries.[12]

Civic and community involvement[edit]

Steward serves on committees and boards that include: Civic Progress of St. Louis; the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association; Missouri Technology Corporation, appointed by the Governor of Missouri; Webster University; BJC Health System; First Banks, Inc.; St. Louis Science Center; United Way of Greater St. Louis; The Greater St. Louis Area Council of Boy Scouts of America and Harris-Stowe State College African-American Business Leadership Council.[13] In 2011, Steward was appointed to the Board of Curators, University of Missouri (term expires in 2017) by Governor Jay Nixon.[3]


  • 100 Leaders for the Millenium, St. Louis Business Journal, 2000[14]
  • 100 Most Influential Black Americans - Ebony magazine [15]
  • 14th Best American Entrepreneur, Success Magazine, 1998[14]
  • Business Person of the Year for Missouri, Small Business Administration[7]
  • Company of the Year, Black Enterprise, 1999[14]
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, Black Enterprise, 2000[14]
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, 1998[14]
  • Five time winner, Fast 50 Awards[14]
  • Granville T. Woods Award for Outstanding CEO, 1997[14]
  • Honorary doctorate in humane letters, Harris Stowe State College [3]
  • Honorary doctorate in humane letters, Lindenwood University[3]
  • Minority Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Administration, 1997, 1998[14]
  • Phoenix Award, St. Louis Minority Business Council, 2000[14]
  • Small Business Association Hall of Fame, 2001[14]
  • The American Marketing Association 1996 Distinguished Executive[9]
  • Top 100 Industrial/Service Companies, Black Enterprise, 11th in 1998, 6th in 1999, 1st in 2000 and 2001[14]
  • Top 100 List of St. Louis Leaders, 2002 [14]
  • Top Minority Entrepreneur, Small Business Administration, 1998[14]
  • Black Engineer of the Year, BEYA STEM Conference, 2012[16]
  • Horatio Alger Award, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, 2014[17]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.riseandgrind.com/2009/12/03/david-l-steward/
  2. ^ Forbes http://people.forbes.com/profile/david-l-steward/17011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g http://www.umsystem.edu/curators/members/stewardd
  4. ^ a b "David L Steward". Forbes.com. Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  5. ^ http://investing.businessweek.com/businessweek/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=156316&privcapId=4218943&previousCapId=370857&previousTitle=BOEING%20CO/THE
  6. ^ "David L Steward, 1951-". Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd ed. Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/biography/S-Z/Steward-David-L-1951.html
  8. ^ Steward, David L., and Robert L. Shook, Doing Business by the Good Book , New York: Hyperion, 2004
  9. ^ a b http://www.ucmo.edu/market/html/amaexec.html#steward
  10. ^ Desloge, Rick (10 December 2010). "World Wide Technology Inc.'s sales pass $3 billion". 
  11. ^ Young, Stephanie (August 1, 2004). "The Steps to Success". Black Enterprise. Retrieved 25 March 2011. [dead link]
  12. ^ http://www.cbn.com/700club/guests/bios/David_Steward_012704.aspx
  13. ^ http://www.nmsdcus.org/nmsdc/app/template/contentMgmt,ContentPage.vm/contentid/1913;jsessionid=2DE471959040F16976A161951ED6F11E
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m http://www.answers.com/topic/david-steward
  15. ^ "100+ Most Influential Black Americans". Ebony magazine. May 2002. Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "http://www2.wwt.com/content/david-steward-wins-2012-black-engineer-year-award"
  17. ^ "http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/david-steward-named-horatio-alger-award-recipient/article_d5bbfbb3-07ef-5050-967b-1f572b445762.html"