Young Alumni/ae Award – Reunion 2009
That Steve DeLuca has come a long way in only ten years probably does not surprise anyone who knew him at Drew. A political science major, business management minor, and magna cum laude graduate, Steve speaks warmly of the mentoring he received from Julius Mastro, Philip Mundo, and Douglas Simon, and everything he learned as a John H. Ewing Fellow and a Board of Visitors Student Fellow. He is especially fond of Drew’s international programs, which enabled him to intern at the Parliament of Victoria, Australia during senior year. He finds his Drew experiences enabled him to develop many broad skills applicable to any situation.
Steve moved to Richmond, Virginia after graduation to join Capital One, now one of the nation’s largest banks, as a project manager. Eventually, he became chief of staff for the senior vice president of the Payments business, where he helped build a 100-person start-up division and was a speechwriter for the president of US Card. He is now director of state government relations, Capital One’s chief lobbyist in Virginia and New Jersey, representing the company’s interests to the executive and legislative branches, trade groups, and community organizations. He takes special pride in his current position, for which he lacked formal qualifications but was able to make a convincing case for the value of his in-house experience. Capital One has recognized his work with three Circle of Excellence Awards.
As a volunteer, Steve is an active firefighter with Hanover County Fire Department Engine Co. No. 10 and chairs the company’s Board of Directors; as he says, “both of my jobs involve putting out fires.” He has twice been named Firefighter of the Year and has received a Presidential Volunteer Service Award. He is also on the Board of Directors of the North Richmond YMCA and is active in the Government Relations Committee of the Virginia Bankers Association and the New Jersey Bankers Association. With a view to greater effectiveness and possible future elected office, he is a 2008 graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, which offers an immersion in Virginia politics and policy making.
Steve, who was named one of Richmond’s “Top 40 Under 40″ in 2007 by Style Weekly Magazine, has also stayed in close touch with Drew. A College Alumni Association Board member, he has served on the admissions, development, and nominating committees and as a Class of 1999 gift chair.
Steve is married to Kristin P. Walinski, a labor and employment attorney who is now a freelance editor and adjunct professor at the University of Richmond Law School. They live in Richmond with their dog and cat.