Steven Ward (TV personality)

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Steven Ward
Steve Ward, CEO of Master Matchmakers® & Founder of Love Lab®.jpg
CEO of Master Matchmakers & Founder of Love Lab
Steven Brandon Ward

(1980-11-12) November 12, 1980 (age 41)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
OccupationFounder CEO of, CEO Master Matchmakers, Founder of Love Lab, Host of VH1's Tough Love
Spouse(s)Madison Ward

Steven Brandon Ward (born November 12, 1980) who also goes by Steve Ward is an American television presenter, author and matchmaker. He is most recognized for his work as the Host and Executive Producer of the show Tough Love, an American reality television series that airs on VH1.

Personal life[edit]

Steven Brandon Ward (or Steve Ward) was born in Philadelphia, PA on November 12, 1980. He has an older brother and younger sister. His mother and father divorced at the age of 5 and he was raised by his mother and step father. For most of his youth Steve lived throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. In the Fall of 1993 his family relocated to Northern Virginia and he attended Fairfax High School (Fairfax, Virginia), where he starred on the JV football team as a senior before graduating in 1998. Steve attended Drexel University from 1998 to 2003 and finished with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Economics. He was a member, and at one time President, of the Alpha-Tau chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

On November 16, 2013, while on a surprise trip to Paris for the weekend Steve proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Madison Pard.[1] They were married July 22, 2017 in Santa Monica, California in the Santa Monica Catholic Church by Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson and his longtime friend Rabbi Don Singer.


Steve began his training as a matchmaker at a very young age. Shortly after graduating college he joined his mother JoAnn Ward in her personal Philadelphia area based matchmaking business, It's About Time! Master Matchmaker. He soon rebranded the company, Master Matchmakers and expanded the business throughout the Mid Atlantic.[2]

Since 2006, he has acted as CEO of the now nationwide coaching and matchmaking practice.[3]

In 2008, Steve was hired to star as resident matchmaker and host in VH1 Tough Love, produced by Drew Barrymore's Flower Films and High Noon Entertainment.[4] The first season, which premiered March 15, 2009 involved eight single women living in one house all struggling in love. Using unconventional tactics like operant conditioning with a "zapper"[5] Steve, along with his mom JoAnn, gave participants crucial dating and relationship advice in a sometimes harsh but effective way intended to bring dramatic improvement to their love lives.

In 2009, Steve co-authored a book with his mom titled Crash Course in Love.[6] The book was published by Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster.[6] He has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Glamour, People, OK! and US Weekly magazines, and has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “Rachel Ray,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Access Hollywood,” “EXTRA” and Fox News.[7]

After two successful seasons in 2009, Tough Love Couples was produced and aired in 2010 where Steve and his mom gave relationship coaching and conflict resolution to six couples persisting in unhealthy relationships. Five of the six couples eventually were engaged and Steve personally officiated two of their weddings in the Tough Love Couples: Wedding Special.[8]

The single contestant version reemerged in 2011 with the successful Tough Love: Miami. In the middle of the season VH1 aired a one-hour special, Tough Love: The Wards Get Real[9] which gave fans a rare opportunity to see what makes Steve and his mother tick as they meet the family behind the successful "Tough Love" series. At the conclusion of the Miami installment VH1 aired another one-hour special Tough Love Miami Reunion.[10]

In April 2012, Steve was nominated by George Tsetsekos, dean of the LeBow College of Business for Drexel University[11] to be one Philadelphia Business Journal's 40 Under 40, in its 22nd year, which recognizes local young professionals for outstanding success and contributions to their community. The winners were selected from more than 250 nominations.[12]

Tough Love: New Orleans aired in the Spring of 2012. The hit franchise was renewed once again adding yet another twist. Tough Love: Co-Ed premiered August 28, 2013 on a Wednesday night (a first) at 10pm EST. This season, Steve incorporated his sister Monica Ward to give a female perspective to the male housemates. Four single men and four single women lived together to work through their dating and relationship struggles to emerge enlightened, empowered and enable to find, form and maintain healthy relationships.

On September 13, 2013, Steve launched a prototype of a free mobile application, Love Lab® on Android and iOS in an effort to verify online dating with knowledge based authentication, background checks and video chat. As one of twenty-four participants in a venture capitalist pitch competition called, Node Jam, Love Lab won the crowd favorite award on a promise to rebuild the application using a MEAN Stack. On March 31, 2014 Steve founded INC as a Delaware C-corp. On April 1, 2014 he formally partnered with Jon Kraft, a Founder of Pandora Radio and Girish Venkat, the original Chief Software Architect at Stamps, through their development firm, LiftOff LLC. On February 11, 2015 a new and improved Love Lab was launched for iOS including facial recognition, background checks, ephemeral messaging and more.[13] On October 12, 2017 Steve announced that he had launched a new startup to provide developer tools for identity verification and fraud prevention. His first customer was publicly traded, Canada based, Namaste Technologies Inc.[14] On April 1, 2022 was rebranded as Authenticate.

Steve has served as a spokesperson for brands such as Pantene[15] (Procter & Gamble) and Crowne Plaza Hotels[16] (Intercontinental Hotel Group) and has also spoken to college audiences at Ohio State University,[17] Slippery Rocky University, Chapman University, University of California Long Beach, University of California Irvine and Drexel University[18] as well as to business leaders[19] and audiences in casinos[20] and venues of the like. On March 23, 2019 he spoke in a lightning talk at the 2019 Know Conference on "Building Better Trust Scores".[21]


  1. ^ Rizzo, Monica. "People Magazine, 'Steve Ward Engaged to Madison Pard'". Time Inc. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  2. ^ Matchmaker Pairs Singles In D.C. Area | NBC4 Washington. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  3. ^ Master Matchmakers – Matchmaking, coaching and dating for upscale singles. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  4. ^ Barker, Andrew. (December 2, 2008) VH1 commits to ‘Tough Love’. Variety. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  5. ^ "Red Flags and White Lies" ( Ep. 102 ) from VH1 Tough Love | Full Episode. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Crash Course in Love | Book by Steven Ward, JoAnn Ward – Simon & Schuster. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  7. ^ Master Matchmakers – Matchmaking, coaching and dating for upscale singles. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  8. ^ "Wedding Special" ( Ep. 109 ) from Tough Love Couples | Full Episode. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "The Wards Get Real Special" ( Ep. Special ) from Tough Love Miami | Full Episode. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Reunion" ( Ep. 312 ) from Tough Love Miami | Full Episode. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  11. ^ Alumni named in “40 Under 40” review. The Triangle (April 20, 2012). Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  12. ^ 40 Under 40 for 2012 winners honored by Philadelphia Business Journal: Young, influential, entrepreneurs – Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  13. ^ "Love Lab Launches New App to Solve Biggest Problem with Online Dating: Creating Chemistry". February 11, 2015.
  14. ^ "Namaste Announces Exclusive Agreement With". October 12, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  15. ^ Pantene. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  16. ^ 11 Couples. 11 Weddings. 11 am. 11.11.11 – NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  17. ^ Steve Ward shows OSU some 'Tough Love' – Campus – The Lantern – Ohio State University. The Lantern. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  18. ^ 'Tough Love' host advises on modern relationships. The Triangle (May 4, 2012). Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  19. ^ Matchmaker Ward headlines Blend Conference on March 31 | INSIGHT – Business-to-Business Publication. (January 3, 2011). Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  20. ^ Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City will open its '[Heart]' Valentine's Day Weekend – ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.
  21. ^ " Combines Verification Services To Prevent Identity Fraud". Business Wire. March 21, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2022.