A Publication of WTVP

Michael Stein is president and CEO of Darkstrand, Inc., a company which is bringing a new generation of advanced networking capabilities to the marketplace.

Within a few years, and in the face of major obstacles and setbacks, Stein has built a Peoria-based corporation with a global presence. He has rallied the enthusiastic support of a growing network of team members, financiers, business luminaries, universities, research laboratories and states.

Stein formerly served as vice president of BOS Systemhaus, a high-end engineering consulting firm located in Switzerland that provides large-scale technology solutions for companies like Caterpillar, BMW, Motorola and John Deere. He later joined DIGITALKITCHEN, an Emmy award-winning motion graphics production company. At both companies, he recognized a major technology barrier that impeded product design and engineering—the commercial networks used to communicate and move information lacked speed, power and functionality.

Stein discovered that a new generation of networking technology was available and operable, but the lag time between research and commercialization meant it would not reach the marketplace for years. Determined to change that dynamic, Stein launched Darkstrand. Within five months, he had secured funding and purchased half of the capacity of the most powerful network in the country—the National LambdaRail, which supports project work for NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy, among other pre-eminent institutions. The network also facilitates global initiatives such as those which focus on deconstruction of the universe, space travel, human genome mapping, oil and gas exploration, nuclear medicine and national security.

Through his perseverance and leadership, Stein has made this network available for commercial use by all major production industries and states. His company has earned the ongoing support of many in the Peoria business community.

Prior to forming Darkstrand, Stein served on the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Economic Development and was a founding board member of the Illinois Production Alliance. He was also honored with Screen magazine’s Person of the Year Award.

Stein has mentored young men in leadership and community service and remains actively involved in numerous charitable causes through his 20-year commitment to the Sigma Chi fraternity. He has supported a variety of Peoria-area civic and legislative initiatives which target economic development and job creation and has been active in causes such as the Cleo Wallace Center, Children’s Hospital of Illinois, Easter Seals and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. iBi