Steve Cameron, a Chicago native, knew he wanted to move to California the first time he visited the Golden State on a business trip.
Cameron, 58, established himself in Southern California, becoming a successful real estate developer. He is the president and CEO of Foremost Communities, a land investment and development enterprise based in Newport Beach.
Cameron is also president of Legatus’ San Juan Capistrano Chapter, which has developed a distinct missionary approach to seeking out and welcoming prospective members. For his leadership of the Chapter, Cameron was recently named the 2018 Legatus President of the Year. He spoke with Legatus magazine.
How does it feel to be named the 2018 Legatus President of the Year?
I think it’s really more a recognition of the great job by our board, and by Ty Soto, the West Region director for Legatus, and our chapter administrator, Breanna Molinaro. I’m just fortunate to be the captain of a really great team of people who have pulled together to revitalize our Chapter.
How has the San Juan Capistrano Chapter been revitalized?
We’ve gone from having six to eight people attending Mass to now having about 30 to 40. We have real vitality in the Chapter and now we’ve seen a lot of growth. We did a few things last year to shake things up a bit. We used to have our meetings in different places like rec centers and hotels. Since we’re the San Juan Capistrano Chapter and we have this beautiful mission basilica that was built in the 1700s, we were able to work with the mission staff to be able to say the rosary and celebrate Mass there.
We also changed up the music. We went back to traditional music that we grew up singing and we all recognize. We brought in a really good professional tenor cantor. The whole beauty of the Mass is just elevated through the music.
How do you approach your role as a Legatus Chapter president?
I really view our chapter as a missionary, evangelical outreach to South Orange County. We try to be a very inclusive organization. With that outlook, you stop looking at how much cash you have on the balance sheet. You figure God is going to direct people to us, and our job is to accept them and help them become part of this because we have a lot to offer.
How long have you been a member of Legatus?
For about five years, and I’ve really enjoyed it. My faith has grown and I’ve met a lot of really good people, and many interesting speakers, which has piqued my interest to explore a variety of topics that I otherwise would not have.
Are you a cradle Catholic or convert?
I grew up in an evangelical Christian family. My wife Suzanne is a cradle Catholic. We were married in the Catholic Church and I agreed to raise our children Catholic. After being married for 10 years and going to Mass every Sunday with Suzanne, I started going to an RCIA class. It wasn’t easy for me. I think I went to four RCIA classes and on my fifth one, I made the decision to convert.
How does the Catholic faith affect the way you conduct your business?
It brings a real sense of perspective to what matters. While business is important, and I need to do a good job to provide for my family, it’s not the most important thing and it’s not the only thing.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I have five children, two in college, two in high school and an eighth-grader, so I’m not big into hobbies right now. I’m also chairman of the board of JSerra Catholic High School, and I’m on board of Father [Robert] Spitzer’s Magis Center. Between work, my family, JSerra, and the Magis Center, that about takes up all the time I have.