Chapter Volunteer Profile
By Patrick Raleigh, Merrill Corporation, IASA Land O' Lakes Chapter Past President

Featured Volunteer: Mike Fogal, Manager - Investment Accounting, Controller & Treasury, Securian Financial Group, President, IASA Land O' Lakes Chapter

eInterpreter: What was the first IASA Chapter event you attended and what inspired you to go?
Fogal: I was actually a technical speaker at a chapter training event back when I was in public accounting. I was very impressed with the organization and had a positive experience. I also met a lot of good people which resulted in me coming back to future events. 

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eInterpreter: What is the biggest benefit of having access to insurance education locally to you and your company?
Fogal: I am a licensed CPA so low cost, easy access to CPE credits is a great benefit!  Being able to discuss current accounting matters with peers, regulators and vendors at meetings is also a huge plus for our company to make sure we are on top of all regulations and requirements.  The social events and the National Conference are also a lot of fun!

eInterpreter: If money was no object...what would you love to do for a living?
Fogal: Volunteer work or beer tasting...not necessarily at the same time.

eInterpreter: Do you have any hobbies that could affect your personal insurance premiums? 
Fogal: Back in my 20's, I probably would have had a solid list for this. Nowadays, I do spend a fair amount of time outdoors (golfing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, etc.) but nothing overly dangerous that would affect my insurance premiums.

eInterpreter: Do you volunteer for any other organization other than the IASA? If so, which organization and why?
Fogal: I am on the Board of Directors of a local non-profit in St. Paul and act as the primary audit liaison and associate treasurer. I am also involved in the United Way and Habitat for Humanity. I like to stay involved in the community and use my skill set to help out that organization.

eInterpreter: Besides family and friends, what 3 things could you NOT live without?
a. Passport - My wife and I try to go on at least one big trip per year
b. Cell Phone - Probably not the healthiest habit, but I like to stay connected
c. Pizza - No explanation needed

How did you first get started in the insurance industry?
Fogal: I used to be an auditor for Ernst & Young and started out auditing insurance companies. I found it to be very interesting business and now work in-house at an insurance company. 

eInterpreter: What would you say to a colleague, or even a peer at another company, who has never attended an IASA Chapter event about getting involved?
I would point out that building peer relationships is key to improving your own company's procedures. The IASA chapter events are a great way to network as well as keep up to date on current guidance, so I would strongly recommend attending.

eInterpreter: What is your current job and what aspect of your position do you find most rewarding?
I currently run the investment accounting department at Securian Financial Group (formerly Minnesota Mutual). I find it rewarding to work with our local team, asset managers, auditors, and regulators in order to generate and distribute accurate financial information in a timely manner which helps guide business decisions. 

eInterpreter: So after a tough your release a good workout, a certain food, or something over ice?
Fogal: After a tough day, I will generally take my dog for a long walk. He is a golden retriever named Paul. Then, I will grill out and have a cold one...or two. In the winter time, in Minnesota, I get the fireplace going and have a relaxing dinner at home with my wife. 

Pictured: Mike, His Wife, & Golden Retriever (Paul)