Invest in Yourself: Richard Bosler, MSF '05

Written by Richard Bosler

After over 30 plus years working first as an Internal Auditor and then State & Local Corporate Income/Franchise Tax Manager for Kmart Corporation, it was at age 52 when I never thought I would go back to school pursuing a Master's in Finance at Walsh College.  I certainly had some reservations about it, like how I would fit in. 

While Kmart was on the fringe of bankruptcy during the 1990's and 2000's, it was during the early 90's when I asked myself, What If This Company Goes Bankrupt.  I had the foresight and energy to start pursuing multiple passions to invest in yourself and “Licensed Up”.

While working in State & Local tax with the focus of minimizing state tax liabilities, I obtained my Realtor’s License which I carry to this day saving tens of thousands selling prior residences.  Next was obtaining advisory securities licenses as well as life and health.  It was during the early 1990’s when I pursed and obtained my Certified Financial Planning Certificate from Oakland University’s Continuing Education Program.  Since working in taxes most of my life, an Enrolled Agents License to Practice before the Internal Revenue Service was obtained.

All of the above was achieved while working with the Federal & State Tax Team implementing state & local tax minimization strategies and obtaining jobs tax credits, investment tax credits as well as other incentives which saved the company hundreds of millions of dollars added to the bottom line. 

It was in early 2000’s, when Kmart filed for bankruptcy and responding to bankruptcy claims filed by taxing jurisdictions gave me the “Kick in the Pants” to apply in the Fall of 2002 and begin the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) Program at Walsh College while completing my career at Kmart in 2005.  The company transferred its corporate operations to Illinois. 

 During my course work, I remember having to obtain approval from the Great Mark Solomon, Chair of the Tax Program (who developed the first graduate degree program at Walsh), in order to take Tax Research as part of my MSF requirement.  He approved and it helped me write many successful state tax jurisdiction protest and position letters as well as prepare for audit conference hearings.  It also benefitted my next employer, DENSO International America, Inc. where I was hired after Kmart to work as their State & Local Tax Manager noting that my career in corporate tax was not over.

DENSO was big on hiring intern students in accounting and tax where I mentored 3 trainees during my career before retiring and concentrating on my own accounting, tax and financial planning practice at RJB Financial Services, LLC.

Going through the Walsh MSF program not only gave me added confidence but was the turning point during the bankruptcy of a business with the added benefit of reinventing myself into many career options with the “Power to Succeed” and be an asset to multiple employers. 

I worked with Walsh Alumni graduates at Kmart Corporation as well as DENSO.  It certainly was evident that a degree from Walsh College especially in the Detroit Metropolitan area gives one an instant connection and recognition above everyone else applying for a job. 

Some of my professors like John Moore, Mike Rinkus and Gregory Todd are still professors at Walsh today which shows continuity at the teaching level.

In summary, and as we have seen over the past decades from the Gas Crisis in the 1970’s, to the Financial Crisis in 2008, and now COVID-19 during 2020, the need to invest, license up and reinvent yourself along the way following multiple passions will never leave you asking; What Do I Do Next?

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