Steve Riordan is a Character with Character

...because interesting people are more fun to work with


My mom was an opera singer and music major and my dad was trained as an industrial engineer. As a result, I have the left brain and right brain DNA mix; trying to find an outlet for both my creative side and my analytical side has guided my career so far through retail (at Pier 1 Imports and what is now Macy’s) and consulting (Deloitte, AT Kearney and a start-up) and eventually to Kalypso! While I am known to my network for my retail and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry expertise, I am known to those closest to me professionally for my innovative thinking, i.e. “I see dead people” (Sixth Sense) - I seem to see things and make associations that many people don’t see. My wife, four daughters, son, dog, horse, bearded dragon and beta fish all currently call Southlake (Dallas), Texas home.

When and where were you happiest?

Professionally – in the board room with a consulting team with a very senior executive client sponsor, debriefing after a great project final presentation meeting that made him/her look very good and improved the company.  Personally – on the beach in Anguilla at sunset with my family, kicking back with a dark rum drink, talking about nothing important.

What are your travel must-haves?

I hate to be cold, so sweater and warm socks are a must - even in summer to deal with conference rooms with the A/C cranked up. Travel secret – I often wear Nike dry fit gym socks under my dress socks. I am a grazer, so I usually have food bars stashed in my brief case and roller bag.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Professionally – I don’t know because it hasn’t happened yet – stay tuned, it should be at Kalypso!  Personally – marrying way out of my league. 

Who is your favorite historical figure? Why?

John Adams – founding father, first vice president and second president. He was a key leader in the ultimate project team for the ultimate project: designing and implementing a completely new form of government. He had strong character and principles, and was willing to stand up for unpopular, yet correct positions. He was a strong family man with a strong partnership with his wife, yet made significant sacrifices to serve his country during the many times he was away from them. He was flawed, yet self-aware of this fact and found ways to overcome his shortcomings in order to be effective.

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

It would either have to be the salmon with beets and leeks, side of brussell sprouts with bacon and the butterscotch pudding at the Lark Creek Inn or the bangers and mash with a pint of pale ale at the Marin Brewing Company, both in Marin County, California. They both represent great food and great memories as our family grew up.


Steve is a partner. Hiring Characters with Character is one of Kalypso's core values - click here to learn more about our values and firm culture. 

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About the Authors

Steve Riordan

Steve Riordan

Steve has dedicated his entire 30-year career to serving retailers and their suppliers, first as a retail executive and more recently as a partner and practice leader for several prominent consulting firms.
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Reagan Pugh

Reagan Pugh

Reagan likes to watch, read and tell stories. He often wishes he was Batman - you know, grappling hooks.
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