Steadfast founder and CEO Karl Zimmerman passed away in Chicago on March 5th. He was 36 years old.
Growing up in Wisconsin, Zimmerman found himself most drawn to technology among his many interests. He founded Steadfast when he was 14-years-old after purchasing a reseller account with Christmas money to start a shared webhosting business. According to his obituary, what started as a hobby quickly grew to Zimmerman answering client calls between classes at the Winnebago Lutheran Academy and hiring his first full-time employee in his sophomore year of college before dropping out to focus on the business.
Over that 20 year period, Steadfast evolved into a multi-million dollar business based in Chicago, offering cloud based services for over a decade along with colocation and VPS services. Offering itself as a comprehensive IT company, Steadfast called itself such for being a company “that does not waver on prompt service, reliable and superior infrastructure for thousands of clients and partners.”
Besides Steadfast, Zimmerman worked with the tech community in Chicago, spearheading efforts for STEM initiatives and programs in Illinois schools as part of the Chicago Engineers Foundation, which he served as a board member. He was also a member of the i2 Coalition and often acted as an advocate in Washington, DC for a free and open internet. Finally, he acted as a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago, heading up the JOB1 program to help Chicago high school students train for jobs and place them in summer internships. He was a known advocate for economic growth in the Chicago area along with LGBTQ+ rights.
Outside of all of that, Zimmerman said his favorite things were “a good whiskey or cheeseburger with friends, conversing with passionate people, and relaxing after a particularly productive day.”
Funeral services for Zimmerman will be taking place at the Zacherl Funeral Home in his hometown of Fond du Lac, WI on March 13th. His family has asked in lieu of flowers for donations to the Rotary Club of Chicago or the Winnebago Lutheran Academy.