Thursday, October 6, 2011

Alumni Board Spotlight - Rick Klahsen, '86

Major/Minors: Accounting

Family Information: Married to Jane (33 years), who was also a Wartburg student but not a Wartburg grad. My graduation and employment got in the way of that, and she finished her degree at Concordia-St. Paul. We have two adult sons, both of whom are married and live in the Minneapolis area, and we've been blessed with six grandchildren. Three boys and three girls, ranging in age from 9 months (a Christmas 2010 girl) to a 10 year old grandson.

Work Information: I am a CPA and have been in public accounting since my graduation from Wartburg. I started my career with Arthur Andersen in the Twin Cities. I am now with McGladrey, the fifth largest accounting/tax/consulting firm in the US, where I am a managing director in the firm's tax practice. Currently based in Orlando, I am the tax practice leader for McGladrey's Southeast Market Circle, which includes six southeastern states.

What do you enjoy doing? I am a sports fan and cheer for the Knights, Hawkeyes, Cyclones, Panthers and Bulldogs (in that order). I enjoy reading, and read mostly American history (pre-Revolutionary War to the Civil War eras), Christian and business leadership titles. We enjoy traveling, although we seldom take long extended vacations. Instead, we enjoys trips of 3-4 days, often extended weekends, and have traveled to 44 of the 50 states. And last, but definitely not least, we spend a great deal of time with our kids and grandkids, although that time has diminished with our relocation to Orlando from Minneapolis approximately one year ago.

What do you think makes Wartburg stand out from other schools? Wartburg stands out for a number of reasons. As a native Iowan, I appreciate Wartburg's continued focus on Iowa and Midwestern students, with a generous addition of students from across the country and the globe. I appreciate the smaller size of Wartburg, which allows a level of interaction and familiarity that isn't possible at larger colleges and universities. And the quality of education, in a Christian environment, is especially important.

What is currently your favorite thing about Wartburg? Although somewhat repetitive of my response to the question immediately above, my favorite thing about Wartburg is that it offers an exceptional, high-quality education in a Christian environment and a comfortable, close-knit setting.

What does "Being Orange" mean to you? Being Orange to me is being proud of the education I received from Wartburg and the opportunities it has provided me, and making a commitment to continue to support the College as best I can.

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