Passport Unlimited is a nationally renowned, locally owned and widely respected company that connects corporations and individuals with restaurants and retailers in creative, rewarding relationships. In fact, relationships have become the substance, mission and value proposition of Passport Unlimited and its owners and employees. Since this growing company will be featured in our next Just Business Roundtable (JBR), we spent some time with one of the presenting hosts, Steve Esau, learning some of the ingredients of his success.
Steve leads Passport Unlimited’s sales teams, overseeing all sales growth and strategy, including corporate membership programs and merchant programs. He is also responsible for continuing the growth of Passport Unlimited’s already impressive list of corporate clients and oversees the continued development of Passport’s merchant network of over 2,500 local, regional and national merchants. In addition, he leads Passport Unlimited’s Client branded programs, which have become the business development tool of choice for many top Real Estate agents and Loan Officers.
Steve grew up in the Bay Area, but left home at 18 years of age to attend San Diego State where he lettered four years as a catcher for the Aztecs. At one point his batting average was just ahead of teammate Tony Gwynn (though, admittedly, it was only two or three games into the season) and he bat over .300 his senior year. San Diego held the honor of having the worst graduation rate of any D1 sports program in the U.S. at the time, but Steve earned his B.A. in only five years! After a short stint in the Cleveland Indians minor league system, Steve turned his focus to other things.
Another catcher on the team was a wild man named Roger Blier. Finding they had a lot in common, Steve eventually invited Roger to a church service that changed his life. Steve had just been revitalizing his faith through travel in Latin America with a Christian baseball team and the mentoring of a pitching coach, so Steve and Roger now enjoyed another – and deeper – layer to their growing relationship.
Steve had made an incredible living while at San Diego State selling neighborhood gas station coupons door to door. After graduating, he started a successful residential construction company. When Roger and his partner, Richard Mueller, needed horsepower for their new business idea – the first dining program targeted at business professionals — it was no surprise Steve was asked to join the effort.
Steve and Roger have enjoyed a valued, trusting and contagious relationship, and the rapport they share has become the hallmark of their still-expanding 29-year-old company. In fact, a perusal of the “About Us” page on Passport Unlimited’s website discovers the word “relationship” repeated by literally every one of the key employees quoted there. Steve defines building relationships as “Striving for wins…doing something that matters to the other person.”
Steve, Roger and their entire organization are Relationship Evangelists, striving to prove the value of others every day. To get an exclusive inside look at Passport Unlimited, as presented by Roger Blier and Steve, consider attending the Just Business Roundtable on November 6th.