Steve Dix has been around a bit. He was born in London, England; emigrated to the United States with his family when he was 7; grew up in Houston; started college at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; bounced between the University of Houston and the University of Texas at Austin to finish his undergraduate studies; went to law school at the University of Texas at Austin; rejoined the Navy in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (nothing like the TV show) where he spent time in Newport, Rhode Island and Long Beach, California; moved back to Houston when he finished his active duty in the Navy; and finally ended up in Marietta, Georgia, where he has managed to stay put for the last 30 years.
In the midst of all that turmoil, Steve met and married his beloved Debby, and they were gloriously in love with each other for 44 years until he lost her in 2015. In 1980 Steve and Debby became the proud parents of Josh, now on the faculty at the University of Georgia: Monica, currently the Director of Programmatic Advertising at Rodale Publishing in New York, came along in 1983. As Steve’s journey has continued over the last two years, he has met the new light in his life, and he and Bonnie are engaged to be married in the very near future.
When Steve and Debby moved to Marietta in 1987 they immediately became members of Congregation Etz Chaim. Debby became active in the Sisterhood, but Steve stayed far, far away from active participation in anything that he thought smacked of synagogue politics. When Steve’s mother passed away in 2004 and he was attending services every day to say Kaddish, it was Larry Travis z’’l, a staunch supporter of the Men’s Club, who taught Steve how to lay tefillin – something he had never learned to do as a young man growing up in a Reform shul. And yet Steve remained blissfully (and intentionally) unaware of the goings on at the Etz Chaim Men’s Club… until, one day, in order to get certain unnamed friends off his back, he agreed to attend the Anshei Darom Regional Retreat. The rest, as they say, is history.
Having attended that Retreat and seeing what Men’s Club was about, it didn’t take long for Steve to end up on the Men’s Club Board of Trustees, later becoming Recording Secretary, then Co-President, then Club President. During his administration, Steve led the way in establishing a relationship with the Catholic Church of St. Ann, a relationship has resulted in the development of community programs that have yielded two Torch Awards for the Club. Still, to this point, his involvement was very much Club-centric.
It was not until he attended his first International Convention in 2011 that the whole FJMC experience really took hold. It was there, in Costa Mesa, that he met men from outside the Region, learned about programs he had been unaware of – even as President of the Club – and truly understood the real mission of Involving Jewish Men in Jewish Life. It was there and then that the proverbial Kool-Aid was consumed. Shortly after that Convention, as the Anshei Darom Regional Board was entering a time of turmoil, Steve was asked to take the role of Executive Vice President. Then it was off to LDI where he learned even more about the great things FJMC does and how it gets them done. In 2013 Steve stepped up to become Regional President, holding that position until earlier this year. In 2015 he was honored to join the FJMC International Board as a Presidential appointee, working most closely with Allan Kahan with the Club Services portfolio. Now, as we enter the new 2017-19 administration, Steve has been tapped to step up to the role of Treasurer.
It has been an amazing ride, and Steve is looking forward to many more great adventures as part of this truly amazing organization.