Steven Bristow ’96 is vice president of government affairs for Kalkomey Enterprises, LLC—a leading provider of recreational safety education. Steven manages a portfolio of 20 to 25 active states, encompassing, implementing, and coordinating legislative campaigns within multiple state legislatures and Canadian provinces.
How did you get started in a career in your current sector / industry?
Interned for former U.S. Representative Charlie Stenholm then attended graduate school at Baylor University.
Briefly walk us through your career journey to this point.
After graduate school, I worked for U.S. Representative Chet Edwards. I completed an administrative residency at Parkland Health & Hospital System. I was the budget director for the Surgical & Trauma Services division for two years prior and then moved back into government relations for 8 years.
After leaving Parkland, I moved to Methodist Health System as the VP for Government and Community Relations. I left Methodist and went to FleishmanHillard for a year before moving to DaVita RX where I handled government relations for all 50 states. The pharmacy closed in 2018 which is how I landed at Kalkomey.
What do you most enjoy about your sector / industry / job?
I love government relations because no two days are ever the same. I start the day with a to-do list and and my got done list at the end of it may or may not resemble it. I love the challenge.
How is your current career the same, or different, than what you thought it would be when you began college?
I thought I wanted to run political campaigns but I Iike having a the security of a permanent position as opposed to a journeyman always looking for the next race.
What words of advice do you have for McMurry students or fellow alumni interested in a career in your sector or industry?
You never know when or where your next opportunity may come from – don’t be afraid to explore – especially outside of your comfort zone. After lobbying in healthcare for almost 20 years, I completely switched industries. It was one of the best decisions. The basic skills don’t change but I’ve had to learn about a different set of issues and it’s been refreshing. If I had stayed in healthcare, I was definitely heading for burnout.