The Dean of Ball State’s College of Communication, Information, and Media, Paaige Turner, presents Steve Bullington the 2021 Award for Stewardship, an award earned over decades of service to Ball State, CCIM and CICS.
One of Steve Bullington’s favorite quotations is from Charlie “Tremendous” Jones: “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
Anyone who has ever met Steve Bullington will know how aptly this quotation captures the essence of Steve. Steve’s life and career has been characterized by continuous learning, certainly through books but in every way possible. And, even more, Steve is about relationships, about meeting others, understanding their stories, forging friendships, and forever lifting up others.
Steve graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s in TCOM and Marketing, then went to work for Mobile Comm. He quickly became a sales manager by always putting clients first. His natural curiosity pulled him back to Ball State for the CICS program. Because he was working full-time, Steve stretched his CICS experience over 4 years. He graduated in 1999 having pulled every possible experience out of CICS that one could gain.
Steve’s career and trajectory ever sense has been reflected in relationships and life-long learning. A remarkable career in sales has taken him to many of the industry leaders from Ameritech to Cincinnati Bell, to Norlight, to FedEx. Then at Interactive Intelligence, he found what many who know him regard as his natural calling as a mentor, trainer, and educator. From Genesys he moved to Salesforce where he leads Talent Development and the Scout Academy Training program.
At each of his professional stops, Steve made sure to connect his organization to CICS. He likely holds the record for most CICS graduate hires, and the number of direct and influenced hires is certainly greater than 100.
Steve has been able to help hire and place students because he has been highly involved with the Center and College from the day he graduated. Serving as a guest speaker, mentor, and alumni organizer.
For many years, Steve organized and recruited alumni for the Career Exploration Day programs. He regularly serves as a guest speaker in CICS courses. He also serves as a member of the CICS National Advisory Council. Most recently, Steve helped to develop and launch the Salesforce Challenge, which has become a signature experience for all students in the program. And, just this summer, he has helped launched the CICS Alumni Book Club and is serving as the facilitator.
Webster notes that a steward is one responsible for the care of and service to others. One who accepts a responsibility to assure that the needs of a community or group are met. Dennis Trinkle, the current director of CICS, notes that: “For more than 25 years, Steve Bullington has been (and remains) a steward for CICS and CCIM. The model of his life and career has inspired many generations of CICS students, and the entire CICS family is delighted to see his many years of support and service recognized today.”