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Steve Smith

Steve Smith is a retired small business owner and former president of Rover Oaks Pet Resorts in Houston and Katy, Texas. He and a partner founded the first luxury resort in 2001. Steve sold the two businesses in 2016 to devote more time to faith, family and friends.

Before venturing into the pet world–and after receiving his bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in exercise physiology from Wake Forest University–Steve enjoyed a very successful 20-year career in the health and fitness arena. Most of those “pre-pet” years were devoted to developing and managing corporate fitness centers for Fortune 500 companies including Coca-Cola, Minute Maid, Chevron, Abbott Laboratories, and Citibank.

Steve’s community service activities over the years have included volunteering and supporting a number of non-profit agencies including the American Heart Association, Citizens for Animal Protection, PAWS Houston, and Christian Community Service Center. He has also served on the board of directors of the American Heart Association/Houston Division, Lakes of 610 Property Owners Association, and PAWS Houston, an agency that helps sustain relationships between pet owners and their pets for terminally ill or chronically ill patients.

Steve was born in Bristol Tennessee, the son of Neal and Gladys Smith. He and his sister Sandra grew up in a wonderful Christian home with loving parents who took them to church for Sunday School, worship, Wednesday Bible study and just about everything else. Steve is married to Patti Osburn, and they live in Bellaire, TX. Steve and Patti are devoted members of Bellaire United Methodist Church and have served in a number of leadership and committee roles. In 2016, when Steve was serving as Lay Leader, Pastor Seann Duffin introduced him to Gaston Warner, CEO of Zoe Empowers. After their conversation about Zoe, Steve became intrigued by the organization and the empowerment model that Gaston had described. So he studied Zoe’s website, read the Annual Review, and was hooked. Since that time, Steve and Patti have led the effort at their church to support Zoe. As a result, either the church (as a whole) or individual church members have become empowerment partners for a total of 11 groups and over 900 orphaned and vulnerable children.