San Diego, California , United States
May 04, 2008 10:55am
Caucasian - Married - Straight -
|Info||Steve Francis was born in 1954 in Phoenix, Arizona. From his early childhood, Steve learned the importance of self-reliance, personal responsibility and self-sacrifice. Steve’s father and grandfather worked in the cotton industry, and Steve’s strong work ethic was instilled at an early age as he and his four brothers were expected to do their share to help out the family by working in the family business. Throughout his high school years and later at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV), Steve carried his strong work ethic with him, working as a dishwasher, bus boy, stock room worker, motel desk clerk and short order cook. After graduating from UNLV with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1978, Steve worked in the entertainment and sports management department at Caesars Palace Hotel. At this time, Steve was also serving as a board member for the UNLV Alumni Association, where he became very interested in public service as he worked to promote alumni support and funding for Nevada’s largest state university. Steve decided to further pursue his interest in public service by running for the Nevada State Assembly in 1982. |
At the age of 28, Steve was one of the youngest assemblymen ever elected to the Nevada State Assembly, representing the UNLV area and mostly working class neighborhoods. Due to his proven leadership and strong ability to grasp public policy ideas, his colleagues elected him Majority Leader in 1985, a position he held until 1987. Steve’s tenure in the Nevada legislature was marked by his tireless efforts to seek reform. He authored and passed legislation that successfully outlawed the sale and use of armor-piercing “cop-killer” bullets in the state and which was widely praised by members of law enforcement. Steve made news headlines by introducing legislation to reform the state’s mental health system, establishing the Nevada State Commission on mental health that still exists today to protect Nevada’s most vulnerable residents. Steve also authored and passed legislation to strengthen tenants’ rights to protect renters from unfair landlord practices. During his tenure in office, Steve was recognized by state leaders for his ability to build consensus and broad political support in expanding local opportunities with high-tech education for the region.
As Steve’s work in the state legislature provided only a part-time paycheck, Steve struggled to make ends meet. Applying his management skills from the private sector, Steve and his wife Gayle, a registered nurse, founded AMN Healthcare - a nurse staffing business. When Steve and Gayle started AMN, they were the company’s only two employees. Together, they faced the tough decisions and sacrifices required of business entrepreneurs. As the business grew, they met the challenges of making payroll for the company’s employees. They shared a common vision and belief that that they could make a difference and help healthcare facilities with their staffing needs by providing temporary healthcare professionals.
In 1987 after completing his legislative service in Nevada, Steve and Gayle decided to relocate their small business and settle in San Diego, a city that they both appreciated and enjoyed. The San Diego lifestyle and family-friendly environment were important to them as they contemplated starting a family. Steve and Gayle also believed that San Diego would be a good place for AMN Healthcare. As AMN grew in its early years, Steve and Gayle oversaw the company’s development. From 1990 to 2005, Steve served as AMN’s Chief Executive Officer and now serves as the Chairman of the Board of AMN Healthcare. During the 22 years of AMN’s history, the company transitioned from a private enterprise to a public company with over 2,000 corporate employees as of the end of 2006, with an average of over 7,000 nurse and allied healthcare professionals providing staffing services to over 2,000 healthcare facility clients. Today, AMN prospers as the nation’s largest healthcare staffing firm and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. More than twenty years later and after raising their two children in San Diego, it’s clear they made the right decision for their family and business.
As an active member of the San Diego community, Steve has worked with numerous non-profit and charitable organizations. He is a long-serving board member and current Chairman of Father Joe’s Villages, which provides transitional housing for low-income families, rehabilitative services for the homeless, and residential and educational services for homeless teens. Steve is also Vice-Chairman for the San Diego YMCA, and has served in various leadership roles with the American Red Cross, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.
In 2006, Steve founded the San Diego Institute for Policy Research, a non-partisan organization that formulates high quality economic and policy research, fostering innovative solutions to improve San Diego’s quality of life and the effectiveness of local government.
In 2007, Steve was honored as a Father of the Year by the American Diabetes Association/San Diego Father’s Day Council, as Patriot of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America San Diego-Imperial Council and as Corporate Director of the Year by the Corporate Directors Forum. In 2008, Steve was honored as a Mentor by METRO - United Methodist Urban Ministry.