Steve Melchiorre is the CEO of Stratosphere Networks. A serial entrepreneur, Steve founded his first company while he was in high school, and his second company, which he established in college, grew to have more than 200 repeat clients. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.
In 2002, he started working for a company that sold Avaya telecommunications solutions. As a top performer, Steve became part of the company’s president’s club and won a trip to Las Vegas. Through his telecom work, he met Kevin Rubin (the current president and chief operating officer of Converged Communication Systems and Stratosphere Networks), and they founded Converged Communication Systems – Stratosphere’s sister brand and precursor – in 2003. In its first year, CCS brought in $116,000 in revenue, and since then the company has seen its revenue increase by an average of 30 percent year over year, reaching over $10 million in 2021.
In 2010, Steve and Kevin launched Stratosphere Networks, a multifaceted IT managed service provider. They built a state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC) in Evanston that used the latest technologies, diagnostic tools, and monitoring solutions to provide proactive support until 2021, when they received a unique proposal from Ascend Technologies which involved Ascend acquiring Stratosphere’s managed IT and security services divisions. Stratosphere’s leadership decided to pursue this rare opportunity since it only involved select departments and allowed IT and security staff to continue their career growth with another Chicago-based business. In December 2021, Steve and Kevin led the multi-million-dollar asset sale. Because Ascend didn’t acquire the entire company, Stratosphere kept its brand and telephony and trusted advisor divisions.
Stratosphere had offered client-side technology services since its launch in 2010. Following the acquisition, Stratosphere narrowed its focus and dedicated additional resources to that department. Today, the Stratosphere team helps businesses bypass the traditional sales process and quickly identify leading Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), customer experience (CX), digital transformation, business process outsourcing (BPO), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), data center, managed IT and cybersecurity solutions. Leveraging advanced tools and in-depth knowledge of the technology landscape, our team identifies products and services that position our clients for lasting success. Our team also offers white-glove implementation and project management services, saving our clients time and ensuring the best possible results for their new solutions. With a proven process, we drive end-user adoption with training services, maximize feature functionality with supplier negotiations, and assure lasting high-level performance with ongoing management services.
Stratosphere has earned recognition as one of Crain's Best Places to Work in Chicago numerous times. The company is also dedicated to giving back to the community. Steve serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Lawrence Hall, a social services organization that provides high-quality care for abused and neglected young people and their families in the Chicago metropolitan area. Additionally, Stratosphere Networks supports the International Justice Mission and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital with monthly donations. Stratosphere also has a corporate policy that encourages staff members to give back by providing them with two additional paid days off for the purpose of participating in volunteer work.
Commitment to Leadership
Global Leadership Summit 2015-Present
Lake Forest Graduate School of Management Workshops: Self-Awareness & Managing Self 2017
Elevate Performance Solutions Workshops: Communication and Coaching; Delegating with Accountability 2018
Cloud Advisory Board 2017-Present
Multiple members of the Stratosphere leadership team have completed this exclusive program for advancing professionals.