Mr. Steven J. Olsen

Class of 1977
Career Pathway: Human Services

Steven Olsen - GHSSteven J. Olsen was nominated by Jim Tobin. Steven J. Olsen

Steve graduated from Grayling High School in 1977 as class salutatorian. While attending GHS, he played varsity baseball, basketball, football and golf. 

He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Hope College in Holland in 1981 with a major in business administration. While a student at Hope, he played golf and baseball and participated in an honors spring semester in Washington, D.C., where he clerked with the lobbying office of a paper company and the executive personnel office of the White House during the Iran hostage crisis. 

Following undergraduate school, Steve attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he earned a Juris Doctor and master of business administration degrees in 1985. He also was admitted to the Georgia Bar Association the same year. 

Mr. Olsen has lived in Atlanta since 1981. He was a partner of a mid-sized firm until he joined the international commercial real estate services firm, Cushman & Wakefield, as regional counsel in 1992. He then co-founded Withrow, McQuade & Olsen, LLP, a boutique law firm with expertise in the practice areas of commercial real estate and healthcare. He has focused his practice on commercial real estate, leasing and finance.  

For 25 years, he has counseled clients in the acquisition, development, operation, leasing and disposition of real estate throughout the Southeast. However, he said that "helping a couple adopt a Native American baby in my first year of practice may have been my most complicated, satisfying and fruitful ‘transaction.’"  

He and his wife Mary Jo have been married for 24 years and have four children. Steve says his only boast in life is that, "By God’s grace alone, I was rescued by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."