INDUCTEE: Western Michigan Dealmaker Hall of Fame
Friends and family saw Stephen Waterbury heading toward a career in law before he ever did.
A desire to serve others and help them succeed was the driving factor that led him to law school and to go on to a lengthy, accomplished legal career.
After graduating with an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University, he applied and earned acceptance to Harvard Law School.
A Lansing native, he later joined Warner in Grand Rapids, where he’s practiced business law for nearly 39 years. During his career, he has handled the legal work for hundreds of mergers and acquisitions domestically and globally, and served as a mentor to the firm’s young associate attorneys at the dawn of their careers.
“Others assumed I would go into law earlier than I assumed I would go into law,” Waterbury said discussing his career during an interview at the law offices of Warner overlooking downtown Grand Rapids.
“I ended up viewing it as a way of serving people — I wanted whatever I did to have that be a central component,” he said. “At its highest and best, the legal profession is a service profession focused on helping people succeed.”
Waterbury’s career accomplishments as an M&A adviser, mentor and community builder earned him recognition as the first-ever winner of the Western Michigan Dealmaker Hall of Fame Award.