IOA Board of Directors Spotlight - Steve Prevaux

by Jennifer Smith Schneider, Ph.D., Student Ombuds, University of South Florida
Editor, The Independent Voice

Steve Prevaux, who is my colleague at USF, was appointed to the IOA Board in August. In an effort to promote transparency and enhance our sense of community, I asked Steve to respond to a few questions (some of which are serious and others that are less so), and I want to share his responses with you here. I think the world of Steve, as a professional and as a human. I feel certain that you will enjoy getting to know him better. Enjoy the read!

What motivated you to become a leader in IOA?

The IOA is poised to make a very positive difference in the directional development of the future organizational ombuds practice. Colleagues have expressed that my governance background and experience with rapidly developing organizations would be helpful as our Board navigates strategic decision points during a period of rapid change. My home university has successfully closed the graduation gap among students, regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. This ethos is also a nice fit for the IOA’s current culture of sustainable inclusivity. We are now reaching for the next level of success- onward and upward!

What is your biggest goal for your time on the Board?

Creating clear and transparent processes that add consistent value! We have reached a crucial point in the organizational development of the IOA. Now is a great time to have an authentic dialogue about our future strategic direction with an eye towards positive change management. The consensus we build around our core leadership focus and resulting practices should increase transparency to members and boost our overall effectiveness. The recent hire of our first Executive Director is a solid step in this direction, and I look forward to collaborating with him during my service on the Board to promote IOA success. 

If you could give your younger self one piece of career advice, what would it be?

I have found that the Swedish Proverb rings true, “Fear less, Hope more; Eat less, Chew more; Whine less, Breathe more; Talk less, Say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours! ” Regarding the “love more” part, I would advise the younger self to look at the verses after John 3:16.

What do you think the future holds for the organizational ombuds field?

Ombuds offices will continue to proliferate and standards will continue to develop. Collaborative law practices will ascend as mediation firms race to include a broader spectrum of ADR options. I am also encouraged by an increasing awareness in the workforce that how we treat each other is as important as the work we perform and the compensation that we receive. Ombuds have a greater role to play as more stakeholders seek meaningful purpose matching talent with passion with remuneration with organizational needs.  

What is your favorite go-to snack?

I live in Florida, where it’s 90 and that’s just the humidity, so - ice cream!

Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, drive a car, or take public transit? Why?

Bike is a nice, but see #5 above. Horse is nice, but see #5 above. They don’t yet allow ice cream on the bus route, so…

Name the titles of three books you have recently read.

The Good Fight by Liane Davey, Organized Innovation by Steven Currall, and AI Super-Powers China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee.

What’s one thing IOA members should know about you but probably don’t?

Complex organizations may have an awareness that internal toxic conflict bleeds costs, but few know how to “manage” that in a fair and effective manner. I sense an urgent need for talented problem-solvers who can facilitate MORE conflict that is both constructive and rooted in trust. I hold this view so deeply that I pivoted from a 25-year legal practice to pursue it full time.

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Comments on "IOA Board of Directors Spotlight - Steve Prevaux"

Comments 0-15 of 5

Carrie Anderson - Tuesday, November 05, 2019

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing, Steve & Jennifer. I love the Swedish Proverb.

Ruthy Kohorn Rosenberg - Thursday, October 31, 2019

I'm so glad you pivoted from your law practice; thanks so much for sharing all of this

Dr. Jennifer Smith Schneider - Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ronnie -- yes! He's great with the language!

Ronnie Thomson - Thursday, October 24, 2019

I'm with Mary! Especially after spending time with Steve this week in IOA's very productive Board of Directors Meeting. One of my favorite quotes from Steve, "Let's not kill a gnat with an ax."

Mary Bliss Conger - Thursday, October 24, 2019

Loved reading this, and am very glad you're "on Board," Steve!

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