Episode 231: The People You Meet and The Books You Read w/ Steve Gatena

steve gatena is the founder and ceo of pray.com

Have you heard the expression, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read?” As a serial media entrepreneur, Steve Gatena has found this to be true. Join us as this week’s guest, Founder & CEO of Pray.com, shares about a breaking point in his career, the podcast that changed his life, and how this inspired him to create a digital destination for faith-based content.

Bio: Steve Gatena is the founder and CEO of Pray.com, the world’s #1 app for daily prayer and faith-based audio content. As a social impact company, Pray.com is driven by a mission to grow faith and cultivate community. Pray.com is the only religious app in history to become a Top 5 grossing Lifestyle app in the Apple app store.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Gatena was an NCAA Champion. In college, he played football for the University of Southern California, where he won a Rose Bowl Championship in 2009, and for UC Davis, where he won a Great West Conference Championship in 2005. Gatena started his first company, REP Interactive, at the age of 22. REP Interactive went on to become the fastest-growing video agency in the United States and one of the best workplaces in America according to Inc Magazine. Gatena has won more than 100 awards for his work in video & broadcast media for brands like Coldwell Banker, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Marriott Hotels.

Continuing his success, Gatena launched VideoFort, Hollywood’s largest aerial stock footage manufacturer in 2012. VideoFort supplies companies like Getty, Adobe, and Shutter stock with world-class aerial footage that has been featured in blockbuster movies, including “Transformers,” award-winning TV shows such as Discovery “Planet Earth,” and a variety of major television commercials.

In 2014, Gatena was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” at the United Nations EMPACT showcase, a program sponsored by Dell and Intel. Just one year later, he sold his first two businesses and became the CEO of Helinet, a global leader in aerial surveillance systems and aerial video production.

After the tragic passing of his mentor and business partner, Alan Purwin, Gatena left Helinet to start Pray.com as the digital destination for faith. Pray.com’s website and mobile app was designed to be the easiest way to incorporate prayer into your daily life. The company became a quick success, becoming the No. 1 app for daily prayer & faith-based audio content just two years after launch. Since 2017, Pray.com has been named as one of the Best Places to Work by the Los Angeles Business Journal, one of the fastest growing mental health apps by SensorTower, and one of the top companies for employee recognition by TinyPulse.

In his most recent accomplishments, Gatena was honored with CSQ Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Visionary Award and in 2020, the President of the United States appointed him to serve as a non-partisan advisor to the White House on cybersecurity matters.

Steve’s Something Extra: “Prayer. I believe that you should pray.”

Guest Links:


– Lisa Nichols, Host
– Scott Crosby, Executive Producer
– Jenny Heal, Podcast Coordinator
– Joe Szynkowski, Marketing Support
– Kendall Brewer, Director of Leadership Programs