My Missouri Lecture - A Conversation with David Steward, Founder and Chairman, World Wide Technology

David Steward was the featured speaker in the State Historical Society of Missouri’s annual My Missouri Lecture on Oct. 28, 1 p.m. at the Center for Missouri Studies in Columbia, Mo. Steward is the founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, the largest Black-owned company in the United States. The civic and business leader will be in conversation with Gary Kremer, executive director of the State Historical Society, about how Steward’s upbringing in Clinton, Mo. and his Missouri experiences contributed to his success in building a technology company in St. Louis.

Steward was born in Chicago and shortly after moved with his family to Clinton, Mo.  After graduating from Central Missouri State University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in business management, Steward moved to St. Louis. He was the first African American hired by the Missouri Pacific Railroad to sell rail services. After leaving Missouri Pacific, he joined Federal Express as a senior account executive and was recognized as the FedEx salesman of the year in 1981. Steward has received many awards and has served on the board of numerous leadership and philanthropic organizations in St. Louis. He and his family are supporters of many community efforts, including the opening of the Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz in St. Louis.

World Wide Technology began in St. Louis in 1990. It provides technology solutions, specializing in cloud capabilities, data center, and networking technologies for a range of clients from manufacturing to commercial, government and telecom sectors. WWT employs nearly 9,000 people globally and generates more than $17 billion dollars in goods and services annually. For the 12th consecutive year, WWT made Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list in 2023.

The My Missouri lecture series offers prominent Missourians from all walks of life an opportunity to reflect on what being a Missourian has meant to them as they share how the state’s history, people, and culture have shaped their experiences. Prior lecturers in this series include MU basketball legend Norm Stewart, as well as U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt.

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