A true Corridorian, Steve West was born and raised in Iowa City and continues to support the communities in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas. He and his wife, Victoria, have three children: Ryan, Megan, and Andy. Throughout Steve’s personal and professional life, he has been the leader of the band in many ways.
His father, Pearl West, founded West Music in 1942, as a small music repair shop. In the 1950’s, Pearl developed and built the Westwind flute, later called the P.L. West Flute. West Music’s inventory expanded to include not only band instruments and pianos, but guitars, drums, percussion and amplifiers. In 1978, West Music was awarded the exclusive importation rights of Miyazawa Flutes from Japan to the United States. A new division of West Music was established to distribute this professional flute on a national level.
Steve grew up in the family business working many positions but officially joined the company in 1969 as a Sales Manager, after graduating from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing. In 1980, Pearl stepped down as CEO, retaining his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Steve was named CEO of West Music. In this same year, Steve’s passion for elementary music education led to the formation of the Music Education Catalog Department. The Music Education catalog began as a 12-page black and white booklet and has since evolved into the current, full-color, 160 plus page catalog that is sent to schools, universities, and churches through out the United States and abroad. Steve’s desire to stay current and ahead in the business world resulted in West Music expanding into its current six locations throughout Iowa and Illinois. This desire also took the local, family-run company, and allowed it to expand into a dynamic international business which now sets the standard in the music industry.
Steve has worked diligently to fulfill West Music’s mission to enrich people’s lives through the participation of music. His passion for life and his work is infectious and can be seen in his employees, customers and community. Steve is a current board member of The Kirkwood Foundation (President), Cedar Rapids Symphony/Orchestra Iowa, and MidWest One Financial Group, Fundraising Chairman for the newly opened Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, Co-founder and member of the Music Achievement Council, President of the Iowa City Community Band, advisory committee member for the New Horizons Band and member of the Iowa City Noon Rotary and Sunrise Optimist Clubs.
On June 1, 2008, Steve stepped down as President of West Music on the same day as his son, Ryan West, joined the company as Senior Vice President. Steve was named Chairman of the Board and continues to remain very involved in the day to day business operations.