Association of Graduates
Michael Torreano Class of 1970

Mike graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1970, and served in Wing and Headquarters staff positions until 1977, when he returned to the Academy as an English instructor.

Upon separation in 1979, he joined the Air Force Reserve, and served in command positions with the 302 AW, Peterson AFB, CO. After promotion to Colonel, his final assignment was IMA to the Wing Commander, Kirtland AFB, NM. He retired in 1996.

He’s been a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual since 1979, serving as Managing Director in Colorado Springs for 15 years. He’s received his company’s prestigious Community Service Award, and has served on several local nonprofit boards as President.

He’s currently one of the principals for the SEA Memorial Pavilion on the Heritage Trail, and for the past two years has served on the AOG Board’s Finance and Investment Committee.

Candidacy Statement

I’ve enjoyed being closely involved with the AOG for many years. From heading a class reunion, to being a life member and now a principal in the SEA Memorial Pavilion on the Heritage Trail, I’ve maintained close ties to the AOG.

For the past two years, I’ve also served as an appointed member of the Board’s Finance and Investment Committee. This has given me invaluable insight into the workings of the AOG, from both a financial and a priorities standpoint.

I would welcome the opportunity to partner even more closely with the AOG as a Board member in helping successfully accomplish the goals outlined in the strategic plan.


Why did you decide to run for the AOG Board of Directors?

The AOG is our principal alumni organization, and it serves the graduates of one of the finest institutions in the world. It would be an honor to be even more closely involved in helping to shape the future direction of the AOG as a member of the Board. Board membership represents a great opportunity to benefit the graduate community and give back to the Academy.

I would welcome ideas or suggestions from graduates about how the AOG can partner with us even more effectively.


What skills, knowledge, & experience do you have that has prepared you to serve on the AOG Board?

One of the principal skills I would bring to service on the Board is a collaborative attitude toward other members and the AOG in carrying out the Board’s responsibilities.

As for knowledge, my current position on the Board Finance and Investment Committee has allowed me to become very familiar with the Carver governance model, which outlines the strategic responsibilities of the Board and the operational responsibilities of the AOG.

From an experience standpoint, through my Board service I’ve developed a good grasp of AOG financials and how the Board works. I’ve also served on several other nonprofit boards over the years as both a member and president.


What involvement with the AOG or the Academy have you had that has prepared you to serve on the AOG Board of Directors?

I’ve maintained close ties to the AOG for many years. I’ve been involved in all of my class reunions since graduation, recently as chairman. I’m a life member of the AOG, and over the past 8 years I’ve been fortunate to work closely with the AOG as a principal on the SEA Memorial Pavilion, the centerpiece of the AOG’s Heritage Trail. Most recently, I am serving on the Board’s Finance and Investment Committee.

I believe my years of involvement with the AOG will allow me to be an effective Board member, always with an eye on serving the AOG’s client, the graduate community, better.


How would you suggest the AOG improve its relevance to the Graduate Community as a whole and to individual Graduates?

I’ve been impressed with the AOG’s improved outreach efforts to graduates over the past few years. The Board needs to support the AOG’s initiative to increase the number of chapters nationwide and the participation in them. With new technology evolving rapidly, we should put even more resources into harnessing social media to increase direct communication between the AOG and grads.

One of the primary benefits of AOG membership is the opportunity to network with other graduates. The AOG has well-established ways of helping grads connect from a career/jobs standpoint, but there’s still more to be done there, and we can do more to bring graduate companies and services together too.

The only reason the AOG exists is to benefit the graduate community, so the more the AOG can refine its communications and services to us, the better.


Under the recently adopted Carver governance model, the primary role of the Board is to provide the strategic direction for the organization, while leaving operational administration to the CEO. How do you define strategic direction? What experience have you had in strategic thinking and policy making?

Strategic goals outline where an organization wants to be in the future and what they want to look like when they get there. Strategic direction is the roadmap for how to get there, and it’s the Board’s responsibility to provide the AOG with that oversight.

The AOG has a well-developed 5-year strategic plan which clearly lays out the organization’s goals across all of its operations. The Board needs to be a strong partner with the AOG in working to achieve the strategic plan’s objectives. As conditions change, and they always do, the Board and AOG must be nimble enough to adapt to new environments.

I have extensive experience with strategic thinking and policymaking as a result of running a large financial services office for 15 years for Northwestern Mutual in Colorado Springs. Also, as a result of my service on the Board’s Finance and Investment Committee, I am very familiar with the Carver governance Model, which guides the operation of the Board.


How much of your time can you devote to meetings, preparation for Board of Directors meetings, emails/correspondence, committee work, and interacting with members?

I do have the time and interest to devote to the vital business of the AOG. As a member of the Finance and Investment Committee, I’m familiar with what’s required to be a productive Board member.

Over the past 8 years, I’ve been able to devote considerable time and effort to the SEA Memorial Pavilion project and will be able to put in the time and travel that Board membership requires and deserves. I’d appreciate your vote.


Personal Statement

Election Update Message (2/19/2013)

One thing that has struck me during this 'campaign' for the Board has been the high level of interest in the AOG that I've seen among the grads I've met with and talked with recently. That can't be anything but good for the future of the AOG. We want our alumni organization to be strong, to be cohesive, and we are moving again in that direction after a time of great contention. But there is still work to be done. The graduate community needs and deserves a higher profile AOG, an AOG that's leading, not reacting. I'd like to be part of helping the AOG reach that next level, and that's why I'm running for the Board. I'd appreciate your support.

Mike Torreano

Election Update Message (2/6/2013)

One of the areas I would encourage the AOG to focus on more is better connections with grads outside of the Colorado Springs/Denver area. Most grads are not located in Colorado, and the AOG should develop new ways of reaching out to grads across the US. Yes, the AOG is working to develop more local chapters, and that effort is going well, but there's still more to be done here. Increased/improved use of social media can help create even closer connections and the AOG can and should do more in this area. This is just one of the initiatives I would pursue as a member of the Board and I'd appreciate your support.

Mike Torreano

Election Update Message (1/26/2013)

I came across this article recently and it reminded me how proud I am to be a graduate of the Academy. Time is a great teacher of perspective. We, as AOG members, have an important role to play in helping the Academy maintain this excellence. If I'm elected to the AOG Board, I'd welcome the opportunity to be part of supporting this great institution we care so much about.

AFA ranked No. 1 undergrad by National Science Foundation by Amy Gillentine
Published: November 30,2012
Time posted: 11:27 am

The Air Force Academy has done it again.

The school has been named the No. 1 undergraduate research and development school by the National Science Foundation.

The new list ranks all schools - graduate and undergraduate - and overall, the AFA comes in at 168 overall, moving up from 175th place last year.

The Air Force Academy has no graduate students, and its 4,000 undergrads can only research issues part-time while they are engaged in studies, sports and military training.

For context, the Naval Post Graduate School was 147th on the list, while the Colorado School of Mines was 201. The United States Military Academy ranked 300 and the U.S. Naval Academy ranked 317th.

Mike Torreano

Election Update Message (1/17/2013)

The AOG is a multi-million dollar operation and needs Board members who have in-depth financial management expertise. As for my qualifications, I have run a large Financial Services office for 15 years and been in the financial services industry for over 30 years. For the last two years I have served on the Board Finance and Investment Committee. The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to make sure the money that we send the AOG is well-spent, and I take that responsibility very seriously. The AOG needs to focus its financial resources on growing the services it provides to its clients-the graduate community. The AOG is well past the time when it was a Mom and Pop operation.

Election Update Message (1/9/2013)

Right now, the AOG is fine-tuning some of its fiduciary procedures. As a member of the Finance and Investment committee, I have been privvy to these ongoing discussions and have gained important insight into the AOG's financial workings. Financial management is one of the most important oversight responsibilites the Board has and I look forward to putting my knowledge to work as a member of your Board.


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