Desiring to live a life of contribution and significance, Stephen N. Avery has spent his life giving back to his community alongside his professional accomplishments of being a playwright and writer. Since 2009, he has excelled as a founding sponsor of the National Museum of American Jewish History, having also held the same position for the Flight 93 National Memorial since 2006 and for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial since 2005. Composing his life of significance in the public arena, he has also maintained affiliation with the President’s Council of the World Jewish Congress and the scholarship committee of the American Indian Education Fund, both since 2005. Likewise, he is an active member of AmeriCares, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the International Rescue Committee and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He was a founding member of the National Campaign for Tolerance in 2002, a position he still holds today, and is a member of the founder’s circle for the Vada Sheid Community Development Center at Arkansas State University.
Previous philanthropic endeavors to Mr. Avery’s credit have also included membership positions with the Statue of Liberty Museum on Ellis Island, the Senatorial Election Platform Committee as a Republican delegate, the Friends of Sesame Workshop, the Beil Hashoah Museum of Tolerance, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Notably, he was an honorary co-chairman of the President’s Dinner for George W. Bush in 2004 and 2005.
In addition to his humanitarian work, Mr. Avery has been a prolific author, reporter and playwright. From 1970 to 1973, he was a freelance reporter for The Sentinel-Record and New Era in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He has also authored such works as “Burning Bridges” in 1999, “Insidious” in 1992, “Because” in 1991 and “Hungry: Three Plays” in 1991. Furthermore, he participated as a production partner of the documentaries “Ever Again” through Moriah Films in 2005 and “Viva la Causa” through the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2008. Mr. Avery has always found it rewarding to have a positive outlet for self-expression.
A proud military veteran, Mr. Avery was a member of the United States Navy from 1973 to 1977, where he participated in the rescue and first-stage relocation of Vietnamese refugees while serving aboard the USS Denver in 1975. He attributes his profound success to dedication, perseverance, luck and the support of his wife, Kathleen. He advises others to follow their passions, find their own voices and to not allow anything to deter them from their ultimate goals and ambitions.
Mr. Avery has been the recipient of the distinguished Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. In light of his outstanding body of work, he was inducted into Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West and Who’s Who in the World.