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Being Bill DeSteph: A Day in the Life of Virginia Beach Councilman DeSteph

We know him as councilman DeSteph a strong voice in Virginia Beach city council. But this political heavy-hitter is one to say no to anything that interferes with a scheduled Daddy-daughter dinner. This may sound cliché, but to Bill DeSteph, family does come first. As DeSteph mentioned throughout my interview with him, “Accept that everything cannot get done today. On the 7th day even God rested. You just have to let go and you have to be okay with it.” But even with that attitude it was inspiring to learn about his typical day, even if it left me feeling that I don’t do nearly enough to maximize mine.
5:30 a.m.-6 a.m. The “nice little thing [alarm]” on DeSteph’s iPhone goes off. From there he takes a look at his text messages from the night before and a quick scan through email.

6:30 a.m. DeSteph has to get a workout in while watching FOX News or [during the Olympics], the women’s Olympic soccer game, Canada versus USA. Depending on the day he may do 20 minutes of aerobics and cross fit, which he’ll download. He’s really into cross fit lately as the weather has been to hot and humid to cater to his 1—3 hour bike rides. What DeSteph enjoys most about cross fit is his ability to work out more body parts. He tends to overdo it sometimes which leaves him sore forcing him to take it easy and hit the elliptical for abs. The morning workout for DeSteph is essential otherwise he feels a little “on edge” during the day.

8 a.m. Breakfast. If DeSteph does a high-strength workout he’ll do eggs for breakfast for the extra protein. If he does straight aerobics you’ll find him with a smoothie. DeSteph loves his Ninja blender for smoothies which he makes fresh with probiotic yogurt or a bowl of Cheerios—his favorite is the peanut butter kind. During this time he’ll begin responding to emails, “If I can get through 3 or 4 emails, that’s 3 or 4 less that I’ll have to respond to later.” During this time, he’ll skim through the Virginian-Pilot. He’s an absolute multi-tasker, “People say I can’t keep my attention straight on anything so I’ll do ten different things at once so I don’t get bored. I joke around that it’s OCD but it should be CDO in alphabetical order.”
9 a.m. DeSteph arrives at the office or he’s at a meeting with one of his constituents around the city. His two assistants, Jess and Stephen, really keep him on top of things. A lot of their duties are much more “business related” where they spend a lot of time banks, tracking spread sheets, or doing various audits on accounts. They also make sure that DeSteph’s bills to be paid are in day order and in order of importance stacked on his desk.

He’s known to be a numbers guy because of his degree in finance and background in computer science and electrical engineering. DeSteph has always enjoyed mathematics, “Not just numbers, but numbers on things like what’s the return on investment? And how does it all balance out. Asking the right questions and being able to pull it altogether quickly…whether a project is worth doing or not.”
Between 11:30 a.m. —1 p.m. De Steph breaks for lunch which is more often than not, Mexican food. “I love the salsas. The tomatoes, the salad stuff, as well as the meat. You can get a chicken chimichanga not fried. No siesta, but there are days where I could really use one.”

1 p.m. DeSteph has a dance lesson. Today is salsa, bachata and merengue. “I’m not that good. I’ve been taking lessons for a while. And I enjoy it. It’s one of those things that has been on the bucket list.” When asked if he’d ever compete, he said never, “I have two left feet.”
Between 3 p.m.—5 p.m. DeSteph tries to be home even if it’s just for an hour to catch up on things such as calls with constituents.

6 p.m. Most evenings are when DeSteph is pulled in all sorts of directions to attend events all over the city. For instance August 7th was the 29th Annual National Night Out, an evening dedicated to crime and drug awareness. DeSteph is a reserve deputy sheriff. There were 20 different events just for that, DeSteph attended two of them. The same night, Delegate Ron Villenueva had a fundraiser which DeSteph sponsored and attended.

9 p.m. On this particular evening, DeSteph met with friends at Gordon Biersch for some French fries and cod fish sticks, which he regretted and promised to work off in the morning.
10 p.m. DeSteph finally arrived home and worked on some more spreadsheets for another hour and a half.

11:30 p.m.—1 a.m. Bedtime.

About the Author

Kimberley Haugh

Kimberley’s journalism career has brought her from Toronto, Canada to beautiful Hampton Roads, and she says that the weather is far better. Her curiosity and love of people has given her the momentum to freelance for a number of publications in the region interviewing some fascinating people and covering a number of lifestyle topics. When she’s not writing she spends her time in the kitchen with her husband reinventing classic recipes or traveling seeking the a new adventure

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Comments (6)

  1. Robert K. Dean Friday - 24 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    Mr. DeSteph is extremely modest; his days go well beyond what was reported in this piece. And the writer should have spent a week with this man to see and hear for herself the number of requests he gets as an At-Large councilman. And surprisingly so, the turnaround time taking care of citizens who have problems is remarkable. [Edited by Moderator]
  2. HRSocial Friday - 24 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    Thank you for your comments. It was not our intention for this article to be political (that is why it is in the Playground section of our website), therefore above comment was edited to remove political statement.
  3. Eddie Lee Tuesday - 28 / 08 / 2012 Reply
    THIS IS BILL D' !!! I could add a few more things he throws into his daily mix sometimes ! Even with a schedule like the one listed above, Bill would still stop & chat with you if ya needed him ~ great man, great friend ~
  4. June B. Robbins Thursday - 07 / 11 / 2013 Reply
    Congratulations on your well deserved victory..........you can see an overwhelming number of Virginia Beach citizens believe in you, and trust you to do the right thing.......keep up the good work in Richmond!!
  5. Patricia Gaylor Sunday - 01 / 06 / 2014 Reply
    I just wanted to add something to the compliments about Mr. DeSteph.Im just a resident of Virginia Beach.Ive been trying to get help with a legal matter for about 4 or 5 yrs now I've been unable to get any advice on the matter because everywhere I've called for help (court house) I've been told they can't give me any legal advice and I should get an attorney. I can not afford an attorney because I'm unable to get employment do to my legal matter.someone told me to call my councilman for assistance, so I called Mr.DeSteph and I couldn't believe it he gave me his email address and told me to email him my situation and he would try to help me. Thank You Mr.DeSteph he really is a Blessing.
    • HRSocial Thursday - 05 / 06 / 2014 Reply
      Thank you for posting on Hampton Roads Social about your experience with Mr. DeSteph. I'm sure he'll be pleased to see it. We don't know if he visits this site ;-) Hope your situation is resolved.

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