The Bryan School of Business and Economics presented Steven Strader with the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award during the annual Emeritus Advisor Society and Awards Dinner in September. This annual award is presented to alumni who have achieved outstanding success in business. The award recognizes exceptional achievement and significant contribution to the recipient’s profession and to the business community.
Steve Strader received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business studies from the Bryan School. His career began in corporate and commercial banking, where he spent 20 years in progressively responsible positions with NCNB, NationsBank, and Bank of America. He moved to the automobile industry as Chief Financial Officer with Driver’s Mart Worldwide where he helped build an impressive company that was later acquired by AutoNation, a Fortune 200 company and America’s largest automotive retailer. He served as President of both the Colorado and Midwest markets before moving on to become Senior Vice President of Retail Operations, having responsibility for new and used vehicle sales on a national level, overseeing over 300 dealerships, vehicle pricing, car and truck inventories, associate performance development, and finance and insurance.
Over his career in both banking and the automotive industries, Steve was often assigned to areas where the business was underperforming. He developed a reputation as a turnaround expert.
“The Bryan School has a tremendous number of very impressive alumni, so to stand out among this group is truly something remarkable,” said Dean Mac Banks. “Steve built an outstanding career as a problem solver while also serving his community. We are proud to honor him.”
Steve embodies the UNCG motto of “Service.” His many philanthropic and volunteer causes have included SafeHouse Denver, Horses and the Handicapped of South Florida, Boy Scout Council of Sarasota County, The Hundred Club – an organization that supports firefighters and law enforcement officers and their families, The Economic Council of Palm Beach County, the United Way of Broward County, Racing for Cancer, and the Dolphin Cycling Challenge. He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board within the Bryan School.