Steve grew up in Independence, Missouri, but finished high school in Topeka, Kansas. After two years at the University of Kansas, he withdrew from school and took a job at a small Kansas City manufacturer. This experience motivated him to return to his accounting and economics studies after only one semester away but left Steve with a lifelong fascination of Kansas City's strong industrial base and the history of its manufacturing heritage.
After completing his degree, Steve rejoined his former employer and was immersed in that firm's growth and expansion. In 1981, he took a different tack and joined the Macy's Department Stores Midwest Division's management training program.
Steve quickly realized that department store retailing culture was not the best place for his next career. In 1983 he joined an acquaintance in a partnership to save the "Shirt-Man" chain of eight retail t-shirt and sportwear shops in the Kansas City market. After three years, the corporate restructuring was completed, and the business became a competitive commercial apparel screen printing business that continued for several more decades. Steve withdrew from the partnership as the company regained stability, and he then moved onto the next adventure.
In 1987, Steve joined the Stanley Works Hardware Division beginning a corporate career that included responsibilities at the new Kansas City distribution center. His duties expanded to include roles at other Stanley Distribution facilities in Richmond, Virginia, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
After retiring from the corporate world, Steve completed a paralegal certificate program. In 2004, Steve began a new career as executive director of the Jackson County Missouri Historical Society, retiring thirteen years later in 2017.
Throughout his career, and continuing today, Steve has been active in private and public civic activities. As a college student, Steve served in the KU Student Senate and as the treasurer of the Association of University Residence Halls. Later, Steve served on the Prairie Village City Council from 1991-2006, and again from 2010-2018.
Steve's commitment to supporting the preservation of area history has included work as a writer, editor, consultant, or publisher.
Steve is married to Marianne George Noll and lives in Prairie Village, Kansas, where Steve and Marianne raised their two children.