Meet our Members

This feature spotlights members of ISCPA, their career path, and some fun and favorite things about them. These siblings all followed a path to CPA careers and are with one firm.

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Don Seibel

Don SeibelWhy should today’s college student pursue a career in accounting? Being a CPA and getting public accounting experience is a gateway to many successful career paths, whether it is in public accounting or some other industry. Being a public accountant is a great way to learn how businesses operate and how company cultures differ.

How has being a member of ISCPA helped you? I have made many friends and developed business relationships through my involvement in ISCPA committees and from being on the board of directors. My time on the ISCPA board was very rewarding as the staff do an amazing job advocating for the profession, providing continuing education and promoting the brand.

What message do you have for high school and college students about a career as a CPA? It can lead to an unbelievable amount of career options and opportunities. Work hard and dream big!

Favorite thing about my job: At FBL I am surrounded by amazing, talented professionals that support each other and promote a culture based on the company’s core values of passion, accountability, integrity, leadership, teamwork and service. We are all working together to fulfill our purpose of “Protecting Livelihoods and Futures.” Having a great team and culture makes it easy to get up in the morning and go to work.

Have you had any mentors who influenced you along the way? I have had many mentors over my career including partners at EW/EY, and various CEOs and fellow management team members at FBL. I am not a big reader of leadership books. Rather, I have learned a lot by watching how others form strategies, lead and develop staff and react to situations. I have adopted what I like and what works well. I avoid practices that don’t work well.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Whenever I get together and reminisce with my college buddies. It is a good thing we did not have social media and smartphones with cameras back in those days.

What is something important to you or that you are passionate about outside of work? I am a believer in giving back to the community and helping those that are disadvantaged. I am blessed to have been on the board of Variety–The Children’s Charity for six years. That organization does a wonderful job helping children and families in need. My current involvement with Habitat for Humanity is very rewarding as that organization assists those in need by building homes, communities and hope through its homeownership, home repair and education programs.

What is your most memorable facepalm moment? I was giving a presentation to a large group of individual investors and analysts in Minneapolis. The event was being taped and bright lights were shining on me, making it hard to see. At the end of the presentation, I opened it up for questions from the audience. After a couple of questions, a person in the back of the room raised their hand. I pointed to the individual and said, “Yes sir, what is your question?” The person asking the question was a female.

Who would you swap places with for a day and why? Each one of my kids–to better understand them.

When I have free time: I like to read a good book, play sports or board/card games with my family.

I am passionate about: Continuous learning, service to others and positive daily habits.

See past Member Spotlight features:

Job: Chief financial officer, FBL Financial Group, Inc., West Des Moines

Hometown: Spencer

Alma mater: Iowa State University

Professional/community activities: ISCPA, AICPA, board chair of Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, Audit Committee chair for Iowa State University Alumni Association, member of Legatus and St. Francis of Assisi Knights of Columbus

First job: Walking beans, mowing lawns, delivering the Spencer Daily Reporter newspaper and a warehouse worker for a beer distributor (got the warehouse job because the person I replaced sampled product).

When I have free time: Spend time with family and friends, exercise, golf, and watch ISU athletic events.

I never leave home without: Right now, a mask

Favorite quote: “When in doubt, do what would make your mother proud.” I am not sure of the original source, I picked it up from a partner at EY.

Favorite food: Cheesecake

What is your biggest achievement to date? Marrying my wife Helen 31 years ago and raising two daughters with values to succeed in life.

Don and his wife Helen live in West Des Moines and have two adult daughters, Molly and Emily.