Until April 30, 1994, Steve Welker's life, as he tells it, was pretty much average. The third of four children born to a very loving -- and consistently enterprising -- couple, Lamar and Janice, the Welker kids -- Steve, brother Jim and sisters Cheryl and Janice -- had a normal upbringing, a good primary and secondary education, and they all looked forward to productive future years.
Steve chose Arizona State University as his college, and after appropriate study, coupled with extra-curricular activities in basketball and skiing, he was graduated with a degree in business with a specialization in insurance.
His career started in 1977, in property and casualty insurance, and he improved his business skills over the years, including certification as an Insurance Counselor (C.I.C.), until that fateful day . . .
. . . when he lost his sight in what can only be described as a "freaky" automobile accident. Then everything changed!
Well, almost everything. As Steve's recovery progressed, he decided to try continuing his insurance career. His then-boss was supportive and Steve's career blossomed once again. Soon, prompted by his parents' lifelong entrepreneurial examples, he found himself opening his own independent insurance agency, which he ran until 2004, selling it in order to give himself more time to devote to a new interest -- public service as a volunteer.
His challenge -- blindness -- gave him a special understanding that many people just like himself could overcome obstacles and live productive, rewarding lives. So, in the years since he lost his sight, Steve has become active -- and mightily contributory -- to the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ACVBI). He has served on the agency's Board of Directors, including several years as President, and he devotes considerable time to fundraising, not only for ACBVI but also for the Valley of the Sun United Way, where he serves as a volunteer spokesperson. He and his wife, Kristi, have also founded Welker Charities, Inc., of which Steve is Chairman.
The Welkers and their two sons, Colton and Dylan, live in the Phoenix area. Steve continues to serve the business community as an independent insurance consultant, and Kristi, who recently obtained her doctorate in psychology, works as a psychotherapist in private practice.