CEO, Livingston International
Steven C. Preston has served in numerous operational and financial leadership positions in both the private and public sectors. He has served as the CEO of two private equity owned companies, headed two major federal agencies during times of national crisis, and served as the CFO of two Fortune 500 companies during times of significant change and restructuring.
Since August 2013, he has served as the CEO of Livingston International, North America’s number one company focused on customs brokerage. Livingston offers customs brokerage, trade consulting, global trade management, and international freight forwarding to clients ranging from the largest enterprises in the world to small local operators. Though the company’s primary markets are the U.S. and Canada, it has an important and growing presence in Mexico, Asia, Europe and South America.
From 2009-2012, Preston served as CEO of Oakleaf Global Holdings. Oakleaf provides waste, recycling and sustainability solutions through a network of over 2,000 providers. During his time as CEO, earnings increased fourfold, customer retention improved dramatically, and the company launched the industry leading business intelligence and technology platform. Following the acquisition by Waste Management (“WM”), Preston became WM’s Executive Vice President, overseeing operations with revenues of approximately $2.5 billion and serving as the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
From 2008-2009, Preston served as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after unanimous confirmation by the Senate. As the housing crisis ballooned, Preston expanded FHA capacity to meet mushrooming demand, broke ground on major public housing developments in New Orleans which had been stalled, expanded HUD’s ability to assist victims of natural disasters, and advanced sensible regulations requiring clearer disclosure of mortgage terms to borrowers. He also served on the board of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
From 2006-2008, Mr. Preston served as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA provides disaster loans to homeowners in addition to its multiple small business services. Following Hurricane Katrina, Preston spearheaded a reform agenda to expedite support to disaster victims, and make the agency more responsive to customers, accountable for results, and efficient in the delivery of services.
Prior to serving at SBA, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The ServiceMaster Company, Senior Vice President and Treasurer of First Data Corporation, and an investment banker at Lehman Brothers. In those roles, he amassed substantial experience in capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, financial strategy and operational reengineering.
Mr. Preston graduated with Highest Distinction from Northwestern University, and received an MBA from the University of Chicago. He serves on the board of Wheaton College Board of Trustees and the Board of Visitors at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.
Preston and his wife, Molly, have five children and currently reside in Illinois.