Steve LaHood – Former Secretary of Transportation and New Zealander
Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will join us this week to discuss President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plans as well as his career in politics.
Steve Lahood has been involved in design since childhood. Traveling throughout North America and internationally, he is focused on building teams of strategists, designers and communications specialists that specialize in strategic communication initiatives.
Early Life and Education
Steve LaHood hails from Peoria, Illinois. After graduating from Peoria Central High School he went on to obtain his degree in social studies teaching.
His career began as a teacher before transitioning into political work as District Administrative Assistant and Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Tom Railsback between 1977-1982.
He worked as part of the government affairs staff of a Fortune 100 company, advocating retirement policy priorities before the House, Senate and Executive Branch. Additionally, he served on the boards for Party Lite of Plymouth Massachusetts; Solo Cup Co of Highland Park Illinois; and Johnson & Johnson of New Brunswick New Jersey which makes pharmaceutical, medical device and over-the-counter products.
LaHood was well known in Congress for his unwavering support of high-speed rail and other eco-friendly transportation initiatives, and for being an avid champion for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois.
LaHood’s 36-year career in public service encompassed numerous national policy issues. He represented Illinois 18th district from 1995-2009 in the House of Representatives.
LaHood is a longstanding member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He became well known during his time as Secretary of Transportation for his bipartisan leadership and ability to bring parties together in highly contentious environments. Now employed at HDR – a global architecture and engineering firm located in Omaha Nebraska – LaHood leads teams of strategists, designers and communications specialists under his management.
Achievement and Honors
Lahood, who hails from Lebanese descent, has directed for TVNZ on projects as diverse as Close to Home and Shortland Street to an acclaimed documentary on Bruno Lawrence. Additionally he has designed and constructed sets for professional theatre productions, rock concerts, dance performances and political protest movements before transitioning into museum exhibit creation through Story Inc.
LaHood has held board-of-director positions at both Party Lite, which manufactures home decor and candle products, and Solo Cup Co. (which produces disposable food containers as well as pharmaceutical, medical device and over-the-counter products), serving on their boards of directors respectively. He and his wife also made generous donations to numerous Trine University projects such as Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium, Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Athletic and Recreation Center as well as providing scholarships.
As part of his service to Kappa Sigma at Trine University, he was an enthusiastic supporter of their house at Trine and helped fund student scholarships through their Sig Cup golf tournament.
Stephen La Hood was an affectionate father, husband, and son. Known for his great sense of humor and his dedication to family time spent together, Stephen found strength from his Catholic Church faith throughout his battle with cancer.
He also worked in filmmaking, directing several television shows such as Close to Home and Shortland Street as well as producing a documentary on New Zealand music legend Bruno Lawrence.
LaHood co-authored, with Frank H. Mackaman and published by Cambria Press. A resident of Peoria, Illinois with Lebanese roots (his parents immigrated from Lebanon in 1905), LaHood writes Seeking Bipartisanship: My Life in Politics as part of his biography.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that the data displayed here is an estimate based on several social factors and should only be taken as an estimate; actual income could differ significantly.
LaHood holds assets with value, such as stakes in Party Lite (maker of home decor and candle products); Solo Cup Co (makers of disposable beverage containers); West Suburban Bancorp; as well as real estate in Peoria and elsewhere.
LaHood and his wife have four children together; Darin currently represents Illinois’ 18th district in Congress. Both families attend Trinity United Methodist Church in Peoria.