In September of 1989, Stephen D. Corey founded Corey Electrical Engineering, Inc. During the first nine months, Steve, like many young entrepreneurs, started his fledgling business in the basement of his home. In the first year, Steve started with a single employee, but that was not to last. By the summer of 1990, Steve had opened an office in Aurora, Colorado, and hired Anne Stilson-Cope, the current President and CEO of Corey Electrical Engineering.
The firm grew quickly and forged its place in a competitive market place. More team members joined the firm and clients started calling on Corey’s design and engineering expertise. Steve, a graduate from Colorado State University and licensed professional engineer, and his early team had soon developed a reputation for providing outstanding consulting engineering services that spanned a variety of project types and covered a diverse group of clients. Steve Corey also held an innate drive for design excellence and fostered those core sentiments in the people around him.
Key company projects in the early days included the electrical designs for US West and AT&T telecommunications and switching facilities throughout rural Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Front Range.
In 1997, Steve was diagnosed with Cancer, but that hardly slowed the business; the company had grown at a rapid pace of 25% per year. In spite of his illness, Steve remained passionate about life and his work up until his last days. He died in November of 1999. Those who knew Steve, they knew him as an outgoing, adventurous, funny, strong, and a great mentor for those who yearned to learn the ropes of the business.
Steve’s passion for the business lives on in Corey Electrical Engineering. When other companies struggled and downsized during the economic downturn of 2000-2003, the firm remained strong. Today, the company continues its pursuit for excellence and strives for a bright future in the years that lay ahead.
Stephen Corey – A Man Passionate About Life
Not only did Steve Corey love what he did as an engineer, but he had a lighthearted wild streak in him and he yearned for adventure. Smitten by life at the foot of the Rockies, Steve quickly fell in love with Colorado’s winter wonderland and adventure skiing. While he had become an outstanding skier in his own right, Steve found another thrill for adventure-extreme diving.
In the 1990s, Steve became a certified dive instructor and discovered nitrox-cave diving. His extreme diving and cave diving adventures led him to meet Bill Phillips in Acumal, Mexico. Shortly thereafter, Steve became a research activist for the Grupo de Exploracion Ox Bel Ha, in Quintana Roo, Mexico. This group of scientists from all over the world had gathered to explore, geological survey, and document the world’s largest water-filled cave system. A key contributor, Steve, led many of the project’s early underwater cave expeditions in 1998. Many of the underearth, underwater, perilous, uncharted and maze-like caverns were barely large enough for a diver with his multiple Nitrox tanks and bulky sonar equipment to navigate through. At one point during an underwater survey, Steve had to remove his life-needed mixed-air tanks in order to swim through a coffin-like crevasse, so he could continue on and explore the other side. After a couple of years and numerous dives, many of the mysterious underwater caverns were surveyed, both above and below ground, by Steve Corey and the Grupo de Exploracion Ox Bel Ha team. After his death, several cavern regions were named in Steve’s memory-Corey Camp at one of the Cenote entry points and Corey’s Caverns a key segment of the cave system.
The following excerpt was written by Bill Phillips in celebration of the December 2001 expedition by Grupo de Exploracion Ox Bel Ha.
“To our first patron, fellow cave diver, and friend, Steven Douglas Corey. When our ability to continue our self-supported efforts were exhausted, Steve, believing and sharing in our vision, stepped in. Without his involvement, most all of what we have accomplished would never have taken place. “Corey” is no longer with us to take part in our efforts. On November 9th, 1999 he lost a two-year battle with cancer. Our motivation to succeed and pursue our goals now has even greater meaning. On Tuesday April 25th, 2000, Steve found his final resting place, Sistema Ox Bel Ha. His ashes were set free in the cave at Cenote Esmeralda, the heart of the cave system where the very first exploration dive was conducted. All our continued achievements are a small testament to the vision that he inspired. Thank you, Corey.”