Michael Blake

Michael Blake ’83, ‘85 is a double Lewis alumni who has advanced far in his career and lives in paradise, (as in Paradise Valley, Arizona), but in many ways has remained close to the lessons he learned while an accounting and MBA student at Lewis many years ago. Michael recalls that he chose Lewis because of the small class sizes and appreciates the fact that his teachers brought practical, everyday instruction that immediately helped him in his career. As a night commuter student, with a family and full time job at ATT, he was still excited to commute to class at night because he knew he was getting valuable career preparation that was a great foundation for his business life.

Just a month after earning his MBA at Lewis, Michael became President of Games by James, a retail chain of stores selling puzzles and board games, at age 29.  Four years later, he helped sell the company and retired for a year to train and compete as a tri-athlete. He then brought that competitive spirit to the financial services industry when he joined AXA/Equitable and was promoted to Agency Manager in Albuquerque, NM and later became Branch Manager of the New Southwest Branch (New Mexico-Arizona-Nevada).  

In 2002, he co-founded Olympus Financial Advisors in order to satisfy an un-suppressible entrepreneurial spirit and to give independent advice in the areas of investment management, life and disability insurance and financial planning.  As President and CEO, he has successfully navigated the firm through the current uncertainty in the financial industry with services focus on customized financial plans, and he remains calm and optimistic about the future.  

Michael received the prestigious Summit of Inner Circle Award in 2009 for the eighth consecutive year from UNIFI companies for exceptional sales and qualified for both their National and International Conferences.  In the December, 2006 issue of Spirit magazine, then again in the January, 2008 issue of Forbes; Michael was listed as one of the “Most Dependable Wealth Managers of the Southwest.” Named one of Phoenix’s Top Independent Investment Advisors by the Phoenix Business Journal, he was elected to the Board of Directors for First State Bancorporation, a publicly held corporation. 

Michael has earned Chartered Leadership Fellow designation and is a Registered Representative, a Registered Principal, and a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and has completed the Board of Directors Education & Certification Program through UCLA. His advice to today’s young business majors:

1. Be Disciplined.  After all these years, Michael still plans his week and gets prepared for what he needs to accomplish every Sunday night.

2. Get engaged and participate. Don’t just listen, be interactive and give your education a 110% effort.

That spirit of participation extends to Michael’s community involvement as well, giving back through his service on numerous boards of directors and charity organizations including the United Way of Central New Mexico, the General Agency Managers Association (GAMA), the New Mexico Business Economic Forum, the University of New Mexico Lobo Club, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Desert Southwest Chapter. Michael and his wife, Janice, are members of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of United Way, and the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Society, and he was recently appointed as the chairperson for the Tocqueville Legacy Circle for the United Way of Central New Mexico.  As a volunteer for the Paradise Valley Police Department he assists the PVPD in crime deterrence and police patrols throughout area neighborhoods. Michael enjoys playing golf and spending time with his wife, Janice and their three daughters.

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