Posted by: brucestein | March 28, 2012

Board of Advisors Emeritus

During my presentation at our annual Company Meeting, I honored three individuals. Without them, TASC would not be the nationally recognized benefits administrator it is today. Frank Bastian, Ron Myren, and Don Rashke truly set the foundation for our organization, our mission, and our success. As they moved from the active board to the emeritus status, I recognized and thanked them for their contributions to TASC.

Frank Bastian

When Don Rashke was selling insurance in north-central Wisconsin, he thought that some of his farming Clients might benefit from estate planning. So he sought out an expert in the field, and the first name that came to his mind, was his cousin Frank Bastian. With a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Frank was practicing law in Milwaukee. In addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Frank is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Throughout the years, Frank has offered Don the legal and financial expertise he needed to help customers and to grow TASC. Frank assisted with the complex structuring of our early acquisitions. He was instrumental in developing the inner workings of AgriPlan, the flagship product of this company. I can’t stress too much just how important Frank’s efforts have been to ensuring the legality of and acceptance of AgriPlan and BizPlan, and ultimately, to the creation of TASC. Frank and his law firm successfully defended these Plans from various challenges throughout the years.

Frank crafted the national sales agreement with an exclusive sales and marketing firm for AgriPlan and BizPlan. This ironclad agreement stood up to the test of arbitration when that relationship was later dissolved.

Frank has served on more than 20 corporate and private foundation boards. We have been fortunate indeed that TASC was one of those. It has been an honor to have him serve as a member of TASC’s Board of Advisors for more than 20 years.

Ron Myren

In the 1980s TASC was struggling with the challenges of technology. After a couple of misguided attempts, Don reached out to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Who answered the phone? Ron Myren. With a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, Ron was a Senior Information Processing Consultant with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. He was an early developer of educational software, with a number of programs distributed nationally.

We first engaged Ron to help develop TASC’s Flex Plan software program and platform. Later, when we were building our first local area network, Ron rolled up his sleeves and went to work. This included getting down on his hands and knees to pull the wires, setting up all of the computers, installing the network cards, and then configuring it so it all worked.

Next Ron went to work on the preplanning and development phases of TASC’s FlexSystem software. He was the original developer of our FlexSystem software administration system, now known as MyTASC. Today, nearly 10,000 customers each day access MyTASC to manage their TASC accounts!

Ron was integral in producing and supporting FlexSystem. The software package he developed was sold to more than 500 users across the nation. This system provided financial professionals and HR departments with all of the tools, forms, and functions needed to manage their own Section 125 Plans. On the TASC Board of Advisors for more than 20 years, Ron’s talents and expertise have helped ensure our proactive approach to technology and operations management.

Don Rashke

Qualities of a successful leader include perseverance, endurance, vision, compassion, and courage. Few individuals can personify all these characteristics on a daily basis, but in my opinion one person comes incredibly close—and that person is Don Rashke.

Don began his career as a printer with the Milwaukee Journal daily newspaper. As his family grew, he decided the city was not where he wanted to raise a family. In 1965, without any farming experience, he bought a farm in north central Wisconsin. Talk about courage! For ten years, he demonstrated endurance by raising six kids and a herd of prize winning Holstein cows.

In 1975 Don changed directions again, became an insurance agent, and started his own agency, The Insurance Center. He served his farming neighbors with compassion and empathy, knowing first-hand of their challenges, challenges like affording healthcare for their families. His philosophy: that these small businesses deserve the same benefits that large companies enjoy. From this insight grew AgriPlan and BizPlan, and eventually TASC.

Don demonstrated courage and perseverance while developing AgriPlan. He kept at it when many in the industry told him it couldn’t be done. He sought out relationships with experts in the field to support his cause and formed alliances with others to spread the word. Through his effort, hundreds of thousands have benefited from the tax savings that AgriPlan and BizPlan deliver.

Don retired from the day-to-day business in 1996. He has continued to guide the company and was Chairman of the Board for 16 years, working with management to define goals, to implement strategies, and to encourage growth.

Earlier this year we celebrated Don’s 80th birthday. For all of my 47 years he has been a father and a leader like no other. For most of my adult life he has led me professionally and personally. I learned about passion and drive by watching him work. He continues to teach me how to see the big picture, and continues to exemplify what integrity, compassion, and flexibility are all about.

I want to personally thank Don, Frank and Ron for their many years of service on our Board of Advisors. TASC wouldn’t be the same without the wisdom and guidance of these great men.


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