Meet RestoringVision’s Partner Relations Associate: Steve Hancock

Steve Hancock is RestoringVision’s Partner Relations Associate for its Community Outreach Program. After growing up in Kansas, Steve attended Columbia University in New York and received a Masters Degree in Economics, along with an MBA. He began his career at Citibank, and for 25 years had assignments in the US and internationally, eventually becoming the Chief Marketing Officer for Citibank US. During his time there, he relocated to Florida with his wife and two sons and eventually left Citi to become the Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for Celebrity Cruises/Royal Caribbean (Miami). After “retiring,” Steve became an advisor to several for-profit and nonprofit organizations, as well as taught Macro Economics at Nova Southeastern University. In 2014, Steve joined RestoringVision, and his wife, Joan Hancock, joined two years later.

What do you enjoy most about your work at RestoringVision?

The opportunity to interact with our partners.  They are amazing people, with wonderful experiences and stories on how they provide vision outreach to those in need.

Why is this work important to you personally?

People do not realize how much of a need there is and what a huge difference eyeglasses can make in the lives of those in need both in terms of being more productive as well as being a fully functional member of their family and community.  It is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to make a big difference in someone’s life.

Who inspires you most and why?

Our partners inspire me. Before working at RestoringVision, I did not realize how they “walk the walk” in helping people most in need – they give of themselves with little recognition. It is so uncommon these days to see such selflessness.

What are you most looking forward to this year in your role at RestoringVision?

The COVID-19 pandemic was particularly difficult for our partners as most depended on air travel to reach their non-US destinations.  Air travel was basically shut down and their ability to help people in-country was severely limited.  Today, we are seeing things open up as well as a strong rebound/pent-up demand from our partners.  This is great news for the people we want to serve.

What do you do in your free time when you’re not solving the global vision crisis?

My wife and I do a lot of unique travel e.g. Kamchatka in Eastern Siberia, South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic near Antarctica, Lapland in the European Arctic, etc.  In addition, I often combine personal travel with providing glasses e.g. Haiti (remote villages in Southwest Haiti) Uganda (Batwa or “Pygmies”), Mongolia (Herders/nomads), etc.  It is a great way to get a deeper understanding of some beautiful parts of the world while making a difference.

In addition, I am also a competitive “senior” track sprinter (50M and 100M). This does take up quite a bit of time (training)!