Steve Mihaylo was born in Los Angeles, California. Industrious and determined even as a young boy, he landed his first job as a paper boy for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner—his penchant for selling taking root. During three years of service in the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division, Mr. Mihaylo trained with the Southeast Signal School, the Army's radio and radar technician’s School. Upon his discharge in 1964, he moved to Tempe, Arizona, and began working for Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of AT&T, as a field services engineer, Mr. Mihaylo worked throughout the Western United States at various locations. Returning to California in 1966, Mr. Mihaylo attended Orange Coast College and California State University – Fullerton, completing a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance in just 30 months.
It was in 1969 that Steve graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a signed contract to join the nation’s leading accounting firm, Arthur Young. It was Steve’s passion for sales that led him in a different direction. Using his training in radio and telecommunications, Steve returned to Phoenix to start a telephone company, Inter-Tel communications. Steve grew the company to over $500 million in sales and 2200 employees before the company was acquired.
During his time leading Inter-Tel, Steve met Lois- on an airplane while traveling overseas on business. Lois a native of Hawaii, was well educated and had a fantastic career of her own.
Steve and Lois both knew that their success had much to do with perseverance, and a lot of hard work, but recognized that it was the education and training that ultimately afforded them the greatest of opportunities. This acknowledgement, with help from the Mihaylo’s daughters, ignited the formation of the Steve Mihaylo & Lois Mihaylo Foundation, which has now granted millions of dollars to programs and initiatives that support children and the community. The foundation's support of after school programs, scholarships, career development programs for children, teachers, and military men and women, along with community enhancement programs is having a profound effect on our future generations.
Today the foundation distributes financial grants and scholarships that support its six key focus areas:
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Through collaborative partnerships,
we support innovative projects that cultivate exceptional opportunities for young people to grow and achieve.