CRAIG T. STEVENS
Growing up in southern Orange County California, Craig Stevens spent his time doing what many teens from that part of the country enjoy – surfing and hanging out at the beach. After completing high school at Dana Hills High School, he was accepted at several universities in the region. Stevens chose to attend San Diego State University for its laid back lifestyle and it’s proximately to the ocean. “I wanted to have fun while at school and I believed in my networking and ability to perform in the real world,” said Stevens. “Simply stated, I just wanted to get out with a degree as fast as possible, so I could then light the world on fire.”
Setting the world on fire is exactly what he did. After Stevens graduated in 1982 from SDSU with a B.S. in Business Administration-Finance, he entered the financial services industry at San Diego-based LPL Financial Services, where he was the youngest person to obtain the SEC/NASD series 7, 24, 27, 53 and 63 licenses, his California insurance licenses and work towards his Certified Financial Planner designation. Craig moved up the ladder and into the securitization of commercial real estate as the senior vice president of a large Southern California developer and then built Fidelity National Financial’s 1031 exchange intermediary business into the largest in the U.S.
But it was his California Real Estate Broker’s license that has allowed him to achieve the freedom he has always envisioned for himself. First with CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial real estate firm in the position of managing director – strategic accounts and later as the founding principal and CEO of Mar West Ventures Inc. The firm, based in Tustin, Calif., has six offices in California and operations in Nevada and Texas, Mar West Ventures specializes in working with 70 commercial property developers in the formation and management of Commercial Property Owners’ Associations (CPOAs). Mar West Real Estate manages 165 office and industrial parks/associations.
But even with all his success, Stevens hasn’t forgotten his time at SDSU. Over the last year he has dedicated himself to building a strong alumni network in Orange County* by putting his energy towards inspiring other alumni to get involved and give back to SDSU. As chairman of the SDSU Orange County Alumni Association, Stevens, together with the Orange County Alumni Board, has organized several events this past year including two alumni “meet and greet” events, group bus trips to football games, the John R. Wooden Classic, and is partnering with SDSU Athletics on their Annual Orange County Golf Tournament. His tireless efforts and passion for his alma mater has made the Orange County Alumni Chapter among the largest in SDSU’s Alumni Association with a membership base of over 370 members.
It’s not surprising that with Stevens’ dedication to his alma mater and fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, that there is a second generation of Stevens’ to attend SDSU. Son, Parker, successfully completed his first semester at SDSU in December. Stevens, who serves on the SDSU Parents’ Advisory Board, said of Parker: “He also surfs, so it’s ironic that he chose SDSU for the same reason’s his old man did. It’s a great place to go to school. Parker has declared business as his major, but is exploring all options.”
Craig lives in north Tustin with his wife April and younger son Cole. Their daughter is a junior at San Francisco State University.