Steve Streit is the founder of Patti’s Way, a 501(c)(3) charity set up to honor his mother Patti’s generosity and kindness.
Growing up in Miami, Steve watched his mother engage in “random acts of kindness” on a daily basis, almost as if it were a reflex. Helping people in need, treating them with respect, and recognizing their inherent need for kindness were so important to Patti that it became her way of life. She instilled these values in each of her four children, who started Patti’s Way to honor her after she passed and to continue her good work.
Today, Patti’s Way gives grants and assistance to children and their single parents and guardians, helping them through tough times and empowering them to keep moving forward. The grants are affectionately and appropriately called “Random Acts of Kindness,” bringing hope and relief to those who need it most.
Steve has had a long career in financial services and banking, and is best known as the inventor of the prepaid debit card industry. Before that, Steve had a successful broadcasting career, helping to establish music radio formats that are still in use today. Steve has also been an executive producer on two documentaries, one of which was nominated for an Emmy.
His finance and banking career is what allows Steve, and Patti’s Way as a whole, to do the work that they do. He founded Next Estate, now called Green Dot Corporation, in 1999, working out of his bedroom for the first two years. By the time he retired from Green Dot two decades later, the company would have more than 1,000 workers in offices and operation centers in the US and China provide more than 50 million customers across the globe with banking services.
Steve’s leadership of Green Dot helped it thrive through seismic shifts in technology and major economic downturns. His drive to innovate and serve customers helped the company continue to grow through the internet revolution and the 2008 financial crisis, overseeing the company’s evolution from a prepaid debit card company into a multi-faceted banking and fintech corporation.
In 2016, Steve had an ambitious idea for something called BaaS — Banking-as-a-Service. By the end of 2019, this service was being used by companies such as Apple, Uber, Intuit, and many more to deliver unique banking products to their customers.
He was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, both regionally and nationally, by Ernst & Young; he was also named one of the “10 Most Innovative CEOs in Banking” by Bank Innovation. Numerous other awards for leadership and innovation have marked his time at Green Dot.
Current Work and Charitable Endeavors
Today, Steve Streit runs SWS Venture Capital, a firm that helps early and late stage companies succeed by empowering them with the funding and support they need to take things to the next level.
Over the past few years, SWS and select partner investments have included companies such as Shipt, Landing, ScratchPay, and more. SWS Venture Capital is concentrated on funding new and innovative companies across all industries, from fintech to health-tech and more.
Through his work with Patti’s Way, Steve has been honored with several awards from humanitarian organizations, including the LAPD Police Activities League. The real honor, however, is being able to serve families in need.
Some of the organizations and charities that Patti’s Way has partnered with include the Foothill Family Foundation in Pasadena, Bresee Youth Center in Los Angeles, the Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Naples, Florida, and the Hollenbeck PAL in Los Angeles.
Steve Streit lives in Naples, Florida, just an afternoon drive from his childhood home, where he first learned to do things, Patti’s Way.