Former Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee &
Executive Vice President
The Biltmore Company
Steve served as the top nonfamily executive for The Biltmore Company in Asheville, NC. During his 34-year career with the company, Steve has played a key leadership role in building Biltmore, owned by members of the Vanderbilt/Cecil family, into the most visited historic home in the United States, with over one million visitors each year. Biltmore’s operating divisions include the attraction, four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate, 170,000-case winery, Biltmore For Your Home licensing program, and Biltmore Inspirations, a direct-selling party plan business.
Steve took early retirement from The Biltmore Company on June 30, 2011, to further pursue his personal mission of working with family business leaders to help them develop world-class, sustainable family enterprises to serve their customers, employees, families, and communities. He is the founder and president of Gen-Span, a consulting business for family-owned enterprises. Steve also serves as consultant to Biltmore. Steve’s approach to family business leadership is to create and employ strategies that align business, family, and ownership goals. Legal, tax, accounting, wealth management, and other professionals who advise family businesses provide excellent counsel from the perspective of their own discipline. What is often needed is deep thinking and comprehensive planning to put all the pieces together in ways that enhance operating business performance, family relationships, and wealth creation. Steve’s areas of expertise include business strategy, marketing, succession planning, governance, and the ability to see the big picture.
Steve currently serves on the boards of Asheville Savings Bank; Draper and Kramer, a fourth-generation family-owned real estate development and management firm headquartered in Chicago; Celebration Associates, a real estate development firm headquartered in Hot Springs, VA; and Bacchus Capital Management, a financing and investment firm focused on the wine industry. He is past chair of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Mission Hospitals, the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Board, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, and the Deacon Body at First Baptist Church of Asheville. He has also served as president of the Travel Council of North Carolina, vice chairman of the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Coalition, and vice president of the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Steve graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he now serves as an adjunct professor for family business at the Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is also a graduate of UNC’s Executive Program and Harvard’s Advanced Management Program. Steve is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Management from Case Western Reserve University.
Steve is happily married to Deborah L. Miller and has two grown daughters, Stephanie and Michelle. He is an avid golfer, investor, and student of family business.