Stephen was born in Savannah, Georgia, and grew up in Aiken, South Carolina, for most of his life. He developed an affinity for Georgia Tech because his uncle is an alumni. Stephen Zelnak is now a multi-millionaire retired CEO who serves on multiple advisory boards at both Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. He is a current member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Campaign Steering Committee. He also previously served on the College of Management Dean's Advisory Board and the Alumni Association Board of Trustees. His previous commitment established the Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean's Chair in the College of Management. [url=http://buzzpedia.lmc.gatech.edu/wiki/index.php/Zelnak_Center#cite_note-8][/url] He also sponsors a professorship in NC State's College of Management, he is on the advisory board and also on the board of visitors. He attends many of the football and basketball games home and away, always rooting for Georgia Tech.
- Named NC State Poole College of Management 2010 Person of the Year
- 2008 Inductee of the Georgia Tech College of Management Hall of Fame