Steve Stagner: The Importance of Philanthropy in All Seasons
Steve Was A Previous Executive Chair and CEO of Mattress Firm.
Stagner is A Strong Ambassador of the Seena Magowitz Foundation
With everything going on in the world this year, Covid-19, economic setbacks, many industries are changing the way they operate, and the way they give. We sat down with one of our Ambassadors, Steve Stagner, to talk about the importance of philanthropy in every economic season.
Steve Stagner is the former Executive Chairman and CEO for Mattress Firm. He oversaw the Company’s growth from $400 million in sales to over $3.5 billion. It was during that season when he met the Seena Magowitz Foundation’s founder, Roger Magowitz.
“My company, Mattress Firm, was growing across the country and he seemed to be an industry leader. In my opinion, Roger Magowitz was one of the founding fathers of the industry, if you will. So it was just wonderful to meet him and to get to know him, at the time. And then to see that it wasn’t just about selling mattresses for him. He definitely had a higher purpose. That was really the big connector to me.”
Steve says Roger’s tenacity was contagious.
“He’s extremely positive that one day we’re going to find an early detection or ultimately a cure. But he’s got a tenacious discontent that we can’t stop. He has a sense of urgency that we have to keep fighting, every single day. I’ve never met anyone who just, you know, you can’t say no to him.”
And that’s exactly why Steve decided to partner with Roger, to take the cause of the Foundation to a national platform.
“Business leaders are very good at mobilizing people, solving problems, and certainly raising capital.”
Now, with the economy in its current state due to COVID-19, Steve says business leaders should continue to prioritize giving.
“Not every season can you contribute at the same level. But I think business leaders who have core values established, and if the core value is that we’re going to make a difference in the world, and this becomes part of what they’re about, then, regardless of the up times or the down times, they’re going to continue the effort. Now, the effort may not always be monetary, the effort can be done in other ways. There’s always ways you can make a difference.”
He’s encouraging business owners to use this season as an opportunity to be creative.
“The challenge is, ‘If not me, then who?’ And so, if you can’t give a dollar, then come up with a way to influence a way to create value for someone else.”