Resident of the Legacy Willow Bend Reflects On Career with Exxon Corp. and Facilitates Conversations about Current World Events

2/20/17

History is made every day through the course of events that take place around the world. Residents of The Legacy Willow Bend constantly keep up with the news, and they find one of the best ways to analyze how world events will impact their lives is to discuss them as a group. Don Steine, who lives in a villa at The Legacy Willow Bend, leads valuable conversations about current events at the community. He feels strongly about the importance of having an open dialogue, and he used to give current event presentations to assisted living residents as a volunteer, before he moved to the community himself. Steine was an executive at Exxon Mobil prior to retiring, and he has fascinating insight into the many countries he visited while working for the company.

“By having these discussions, I’m able to do something worthwhile that’s not only intellectually stimulating for others, but for myself as well,” said Steine. “Today, the world is changing rapidly and there appears to be a new threat around every corner. It’s important that we interpret what’s happening and share experiences so that we get a full picture of the world around us. By having this discussion with my neighbors, we are able to hear different opinions and draw our own conclusions.”

Born in Durham, N.C. in 1935 and raised in Raleigh, Steine spent his early years playing sports and winning the heart of his wife, Judy, before attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. It was during this period of Steine’s life that he served as president of the North Carolina BBYO (B’Nai B’rith Youth Organization), where he truly began to foster a passion for serving others and making a difference. Within a few days of his graduation from the university in 1957, Steine married Judy and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Additionally, he signed an employment contract with Exxon Corporation – later Exxon Mobil – to begin working with them once he completed his tour of duty.

“As a young man, I was determined to get a good job and make a way for myself,” said Steine. “My time spent in the Marines helped prepare me for my career, and both experiences taught me what it meant to be a good man, husband, father and citizen. I was lucky enough to have a wife and two wonderful children who allowed me to pursue a career that took me across the country and around the world. Throughout my career, I met men and women of various backgrounds and learned what it means to be actively present and aware of the world around me. That helped to define how I see the world to this day.”

Over 34 years, Steine held a variety of positions at Exxon in finance, administration, accounting and even computer systems. In 1986 he was named vice president and controller of Exxon Corporation, a position which required him to spend an extensive amount of time traveling around the globe for various business related activities. Through his travels, he learned a tremendous amount of information about other cultures, as well as how each country has its own unique approach to business and individual view of the world.

“When you work for a major corporation, you’ve got to know more than just the superficial when it comes to other countries,” said Steine. “You have the amazing opportunity to see what the world is really like and make choices that affect more than just the folks back home in Plano, Texas. You have to be able to make educated decisions, and you must be willing to understand people who are different from you.”

“We are honored to have a knowledgeable individual like Don Steine as a part of our community,” said Marilyn Israel, executive director of The Legacy Willow Bend. “He is truly remarkable, and he facilitates both engaging and worthwhile dialogue. I know that many residents look forward to his current events group, and I am thrilled that he volunteers his time in such a meaningful way.”

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