19 Years with Safer Society
Steve Zeoli joined Safer Society in 2004 — 19 years ago! There isn’t another member of our staff who has been with Safer anywhere near that long. I have the next greatest longevity, which is a mere eight years. Nonetheless, I have learned a lot about Steve in my time here. In recognition of his anniversary, I’d like to share what I know about how much he has done for Safer Society and, perhaps more importantly, how much he means to all of us, his colleagues.
As Director of Safer Society Press for the past two years and Manager of Sales and Marketing before that, Steve has not only been responsible for the steady growth of the Press’s sales and customer base, but he is singularly responsible for building and maintaining Safer Society’s sterling reputation for customer service and relations. As with any small operation, Steve has played many roles beyond his official title. Throughout his tenure at Safer, he has managed all the printing, warehousing, and fulfillment of the books published by the Press.
When I began my job as Executive Director, I knew that Steve wrote and designed all our marketing materials, especially our extensive annual Press catalog. However, I was amazed to learn that Steve was doing all the book warehousing and fulfillment himself. Printed books were trucked to our offices in Brandon, VT, and, with the help of an assistant, Steve picked, boxed, and shipped every book order within 24–36 hours of receiving the order. Outsourcing those tasks allowed Steve to take over additional, more creative publishing projects, including commissioning the designing of books and book covers and doing some of those design projects himself.
In 2021, when our closest competitor, NEARI Press, announced their closing, Steve worked quickly and efficiently to bring NEARI’s bestselling authors and books into the Safer Society family. And in 2022, in preparation for my approaching retirement — and knowing he was totally ready for it — I asked Steve to take over the editorial acquisitions and development components of the book publishing operation. In that short time, Steve has published four new books and has signed contracts with authors for four more.
Now for the part about what Steve means to all of us. For starters, Steve is the Safer Society historian. He has not only been present for the past 19 years of Safer Society history, but amazingly, he remembers almost all of it. That makes him the go-to guy for historical information about the Press and the professionals who are our customers and their professional organizations —ATSA, MASOC, Stop It Now, and the like.
Steve is also our resident sage. None of us takes an important step or pursues a big new idea without first consulting with Steve. He listens patiently as we “run” by him a vision for the New Circle Mentoring program or the Continuing Education Center, and his excellent advice always helps us make better decisions.
Don’t know what we’d do without you, Steve!