Stephen was born in Gaziantep, Turkey, where the Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford sponsored his parents. They eventually came back to Connecticut and settled in Eastford, where Stephen attended schools in both Eastford and at Harvard H. Ellis Technical High School, where he studied architectural drafting. He later took courses at Eastern Connecticut State College (now University), Quinebaug Valley Community College and UCONN. Stephen served as a Connecticut State Trooper for a few years during the later 1980s and early 1990s, before working with his father building houses.
His parents owned a storied restaurant in Hartford called the Municipal Cafe (better known as the Muni). "I burnt water, so I wanted to stay out of the daily business. I focused on running the bar, but I didn't want to be a bartender, either. I was inherently shy." He ended up starting a live music club at the Muni, launching himself into the entertainment production field. Over the years, Stephen has ushered in more than 2,000 acts.
After the Muni, Stephen became assistant director of marketing for UCONN's Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts and then was creative director at the Cheney Hall in Manchester for several years. From there, Stephen came to Windsor, where he became executive director of the SS&C SummerWind Performing Arts Center. After one of the structures at the site collapsed, Stephen located a saddle-span tent to integrate into their remaining structure. Intrigued, he thought there was a market for tents like that. After leaving SummerWind, Stephen spent a year in California as the executive director for a Downtown Business Improvement District. Once he returned to Windsor, he launched his next business venture, Euphoria Event Solutions LLC.
Stephen says about Euphoria, "I've found that out of all the things that I've done, this has suited my personality the best. I like the wheeling and dealing involved with running a business. I like building things, so we get to see these structures go up. It's a unique niche market we're involved with." Euphoria has experienced a twenty percent growth rate every year. According to Euphoria’s website, the company is the largest purveyor of saddle-span structures in the U.S.—there are only two Top Tents in North America, and Euphoria owns one of them. As Stephen says, “Euphoria deals in specialty and luxury tenting, which nobody else carries."
Stephen’s wife, Terese, is part of Euphoria’s core team, concentrating on marketing. His 82-year-old father, Bob, also works with him on government relations, permitting and pitching in out in the field. Typically, four to fifteen people work on each project, which requires travel around the country to set up custom configurations.
"Windsor's a terrific town," Stephen says. "I think the nice thing about Windsor is it's got a center focal point, the town green. When you have a place where people can coalesce and enjoy the social circles that are made possible by this town, it's terrific."
Stephen continues to be involved with many aspects of the Windsor community. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Masons at Washington Lodge No. 70, and currently serves as assistant vice president of First Town Downtown. He oversees the annual Warm Sock Drive for the Homeless. He contributes his boat or flatbed for the Shad Derby parade each May, and he was the creator of the successful Blue Lobster Festival. Previously, he was a member of the Exchange Club.
On his off time, Stephen is a licensed pilot. He loves skiing and boating, and is a "junkie for art shows."
Three words that describe Stephen: Charitable. Driven. Enthusiastic.