Category Archives: About Us

My Journey to Step2

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Written by Chris as a part of the We’re Dads Too series

Back in August 2014, a tragic event occurred that had a profound impact on my family, particularly my wife. My sister-in-law who lived in Northeast Ohio passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. As we were grieving the loss of a loved one, we were also preparing to send my son Chris on a five country “technology detox” service program where his mission would be to help people using his hands and heart rather than a keyboard and mouse. Chris had been asked to take a year off from college as the result of his gaming addiction.

As we underwent this difficult time in our lives, I really wanted to bring my wife back to Ohio, where she grew up, so she could be closer to her family. By coincidence, I received a phone call in September 2014 asking if I was interested in interviewing for the President and CEO position at Step2 in Streetsboro, Ohio. I decided to look into the company, spoke to a number of employees and interviewed with what seemed like a hundred people over a span of four months.

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During the interviewing process, I fell in love with the culture and potential I saw at Step2. This company is like a family and it’s our goal to bring families together to play, laugh and enjoy childhood. Driving more social engagement and interaction between parents and kids is important to me. This hits home personally as I know I sometimes lose my son’s attention. However, I have faith my son will learn from his service program and reach his potential, just like I will learn and grow with the employees of Step2 and what it means to them to serve excellent products and services to parents and children.

My family and team members at Step2 motivate me each day to have a positive impact on families across the globe and I’m excited for the journey ahead.

About Chris
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Chris is the CEO and President at Step2. His most important roles also include being a husband and loving father of two. He enjoys spending time with his family and traveling. Chris is a big sports fan and active in community service.

Slobbery Kisses

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Written by Ashley S. as a part of the We’re Moms Too series. 

When my husband Patrick and I moved into together, we knew we wanted a pet to add to our family. We worked opposite shifts, so we felt getting a dog would offer both of us great companionship considering we wouldn’t see each other much more than every other weekend. Being a big guy at 6’1” and 250 lbs., Patrick has always wanted a big dog, an Irish Wolfhound named Regan to be exact, to match his mighty stature. At a mere 5’0”, I was not so sure about his aspirations, and luckily, we initially moved in to a townhouse where the weight limit on pets was only 20 lbs. We got right to work and scoured the local paper for puppies for sale, and we finally found an ad that caught our fancy – Puggles!

We called the lady up, and to our luck, she still had a few left. We were sooooo excited about this that we left right then and there to go pick up a new family member – a family member, as in singular. After spending just a few minutes with the three puppies that were left, Patrick literally begged me to say yes to leaving with two, reminding me that two of these guys were still smaller than one Wolfhound. And then the runt of the litter tugged my heartstrings, hard…he gave me those big, sad puppy dog eyes. I mean how could I say no to that teeny tiny guy?! I just couldn’t. So, we left with two new family members. And, in an ode to Patrick’s dream of one day owning an Irish Wolfhound, we gave them Irish names, Dublin and Finnegan; fitting, right?!

Fast forward five years. We bought a house, now have a decent sized yard, but we still work opposite shifts. Patrick started hinting that he wanted to expand our family, but with another pet, a big pet. A big pet that would only benefit me — that could protect me in our house when he is not home. (I’d like to think I can take care of myself just fine, but I got his point.) Patrick started looking at online ads for puppies, but I was still unsure about getting another dog; I felt two was good for us. So instead, he started looking at some rescue shelters, where he could go visit the dogs and play with them. He showed me couple of dogs he “just wanted to meet”, and I willingly said yes thinking that playing with some big dogs would get this whole “getting another pet” thing out of his system. WRONG. I should have known from that last time we came home with not one, but two puppies. He visited a shelter while I was at work, and about an hour after I knew he’d be there, I called him to see if he had fun. He didn’t answer his phone, OK, no biggie; I’d just call him on my lunch break. Noon came, and again, he didn’t answer…

I call again about a half hour later, and I hear an overly enthusiastic Patrick on the other end; in that moment, I knew I was now a mom to another dog. As it turns out, more like almost a dog – an 18-month-old puppy. I began to prepare myself for meeting a new family member. What I wasn’t prepared for was the tiny horse that came galloping out of Patrick’s truck, with drool hanging 18” off his jowels and a head as big as a watermelon — a 125 lbs. Bull Masstiff. I have to admit, I was initially intimidated by his massive size. I slowly walked over to him, giving my husband the “don’t’-you-dare-let-go-of-that-leash” look. Once I reached this massive puppy, I went over to pet him, and instead, ended up with slobbery mush- mouth kisses all over my pants and face. That was all it took, I was totally in love. We renamed him Frank the Tank, and we now have three loving dogs who keep us laughing at their very different personalities, keep us warm and snuggly in the winter and keep us forever cleaning up loving kisses of drool and slobber.

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About Ashley S.
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Ashley is a Pinterest project-oholic, an avid crotcheter and a cake decorator wannabe. She is a “dog mom” to three precious pups, Dublin, Finnegan and Frank the Tank, and loves to come home to their wagging tails and slobbery kisses at the end of the day. Ashley is a Brand Manager at Step2.

Valentine’s Day Crafts and Traditions

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Written by Tonia as a part of the We’re Moms Too series

Picture it…Valentine’s Day…1980 something.  Excitement fills the classroom as you enter with your book bag stuffed with cards you carefully selected and addressed for your classmates.    Gleefully you walk around the room dropping them into each hand-crafted mailbox.  Later in the day, room moms would magically appear with heart shaped cookies and punch and, if you were lucky, the class might get to play a Valentine themed game.

Sweet memories….

Fast forward to the modern day.  My kids are in elementary school and the Valentine cards and mailboxes are far more elaborate and so are their parties.  Pizza, snacks, goody bags and games occupy these little ones for the last hour of their school day before this holiday.  My favorite part of class parties are the crafts.  Usually it’s a cute idea that was plucked from thousands of pins on Pinterest.  Thanks to this wonderful website, parents everywhere have creative ideas at their fingertips.  Have a boat load of toilet paper rolls you need to re-purpose, why not make some Valentine owls?  Do you have kids who love the Minions?  Make their Valentine mailbox into a Minion!  The possibilities are endless.

{click on the images to be directed to the instructions for each craft}

Owl Valentine Minion Valentine
Fox Valentine Pretzel hearts

This year we made the fox out of hearts!Valentine's Day Crafts
What are your favorite Valentine crafts?

About Tonia:
toniaTonia is a wife, mom of three energetic kiddos and two four legged friends who enjoys quiet walks in the aisles of Target.   Born and raised in the Cleveland area, she is a sports fanatic who loves all things Nashville.  Tonia is the Digital Analyst at Step2.