Mr. Mihaylo was born in Los Angeles, California.  Industrious and determined even as a young boy, he landed his first job as a paper boy for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner—his penchant for selling taking root.  During three years of service in the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division, Mr. Mihaylo trained with the Southeast Signal School, the Army radio and radar technician’s School.  Upon his discharge in 1964, he moved to Tempe, Arizona, and began working for Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of AT&T, as a field services engineer, Mr. Mihaylo worked throughout the Western United States at various locations.  Returning to California in 1966, Mr. Mihaylo attended Orange Coast College and California State University – Fullerton, completing a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance in just 30 months.


Attended Big Bear High School in Big Bear Lake, CA.  Graduated in 1961

Graduated from California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA.  Graduated in 1969 with a BA in Business Administration in Accounting & Finance.

Completed Honorary PhD, Doctor of Humane Letters, from California State University Fullerton in 2005

Work History

United States Army – 101st Airborne Division – Fort Campbell, KY

  • Radio and Radar technician – Assigned to the 327th Infantry Group.
  • Responsible for maintaining and repairing electronic equipment.
  • Served in California, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia.

AT&T – Western Electric Division, Phoenix, AZ

  • Field Service Engineer – Responsible for identifying Central Office problems and recommending solutions to the Design Engineering Group in Illinois.
  • Worked throughout the western United States, including the Strategic Air Defense Command site at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs, CO.

Inter-Tel, Incorporated – Phoenix, AZ

  • Founder, Chairman, President & CEO
  • Founded Inter-Tel on July 15, 1969
  • Grew from a single employee in one location to nearly 2,000 employees in over 70 locations worldwide with nearly $500 million in annual sales.
  • Successfully competed against such industry giants as AT&T, Nortel Networks, Nippon Electric, Seimens and Cisco Systems in the international business telephone systems and software market for over 38 years.
  • Grew to be the largest and most profitable stand-alone supplier to the mid-sized business telephone systems and software market in the United States with approximately 20% market share.
  • Successfully raised approximately $100 million in four public stock offerings during 1981, 1982, 1995, and 1997.
  • Returned approximately $100 million to shareholders in the form of stock dividends from 1998 to 2007.
  • Returned approximately $200 million to shareholders in the form of stock repurchases (20+ million shares) from 1986 through 2005.
  • Successfully sold Inter-Tel for $750 million in 2007, ultimately returning over $1 billion to shareholders.

Other Interests

  1. Pilot – Airline Transport Pilot Rating with over 10,000 hours of flight time and over 35 years of flying experience
    1. Type rated in most Lear Jet model aircraft.
    2. Type rated in several Cessna Citation aircraft.
  2. Member – Young Presidents Organization (YPO)
  3. Member – World Presidents Organization (WPO)
  4. Other activities include enjoy Skiing, Boating, Running, and Aerobic Exercising
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Copyright © 2010 Steve Mihaylo