A little over two years ago a mutual friend introduced me to Steven Summer. I didn’t know it at the time, but this fortuitous introduction very possibly changed my life.
Dr. David Nash, an advisor of mine kindly offered, “Hey Jeff, there’s a friend by the name of Steve Summer that I’d like you to meet.” Steve had recently retired as CEO from the Colorado Hospital Association where he served for thirteen years (a sequel assignment to his earlier thirteen year run as CEO to the WVHA). Nearly five decades of faithful service to the industry, how cool is that? I thought. But maybe not as cool as this discovery: Steve spent his early professional years living in my childhood hometown of Pikesville, a small, Jewish suburb outside Baltimore. Steve moved to the area in the mid 70s. He started his storied career in healthcare working with the Maryland Hospital Association. In 1985, Steve met Loraine who would become his wife. To think, when Steve moved to the area I was a toddler. And a rising junior in high school when he married. My only focus: sports, girls, and more sports. It turns out we were nearly neighbors. Thirty five years ago. Our paths never did cross back then. Not even during those sticky summer nights at CJs Crabhouse or Mike’s Pizzeria, two places Pikesvillians always gathered to eat, laugh and people watch.
But as fate would have it, Steve and I did finally meet. Just over two years ago. On zoom. We were at the earliest stages of building our startup. I was looking for guidance. Steve got wind of our company mission to ‘build better boards’ through a disruptive e-learning platform. He volunteered to lean in as coach. This was the beginning of a new friendship. Steve is a stalwart. Not just for me, but for our entire team who regularly take witness to his energy, insight, and deep sense of humility. We’d like to celebrate Steve’s contributions to the field of healthcare. A big thanks from all of us who benefit from all of you. Thank you, Steve.
-Jeffery Adler, CEO