Living and Leading a Legacy

Introduction of Steve Maritz

Welcome to the spring 2006 webster school of business and technology success to significance lecture series. Today, we have the rare opportunity to hear from a leader who is at the helm of a legacy. A family owned and run company since 1894. It is a remarkable story of adapting to changing times and growing to become the world's largest integrated performance improvement, travel and market research services company. Maritz's annual revenue is approximately $1.2 Billion and they employ more than 4000 people worldwide. The Maritz brand is synonymous with reliability, quality, dependability, and excellence.

Steve Maritz may have been destined to be the Chairman and CEO of Maritz, Inc. But I can assure you that he did not arrive there without hard work, dedication and perseverance. And that is the real legacy of the Maritz family.

Fresh out of Princeton University, Steve designed marketing programs for banks. And when he finally made the move to Martiz, it was in 1983 as an account executive. Already a seasoned salesperson, Steve rose through the ranks to eventually run the sales and marketing division of the company. He became president and chief operating officer in 1997, and one year later, succeeded his father, Bill Maritz, as chief executive officer. In 2001, Steve was appointed chairman of the board.

Today, Steve is the fourth generation of his family to lead the company. Now, as you might guess, it is no easy business leading a motivation and incentive company, knowing that what motivates the consumer often changes as quickly as St. Louis' weather. Yet, Maritz's success hinges on the ability of its employees and leaders to stay ahead of the curve; to know the consumer better than the consumer know themselves. They have demonstrated time and time again the ability to see around corners.

Steve and the family members who served maritz before him excelled at knowing the consumer. The maritz family clearly has demonstrated an innate ability to anticipate the ever-changing trends and tastes of consumers, but most IMPORTANTLY it's the energy they have put into building the company that has sustained it for 112 years and continues to make it one of the premiere success stories of privately held companies in the United States.

I would like to add that the success of Maritz may also have something to do with the fact that they employee 103 Webster graduates. And since Webster has been graduating highly-qualified people since 1915, I'd like to think that both institutions know a thing or two about sustaining success and maintaining legacies.

This is why we extended an invitation to Steve, one of St. Louis' most respected captains of industry, as a Success to Significance Speaker. Please join me in welcoming Steve Maritz, Chairman and CEO of Maritz.