Leadership Torrance is a program, founded in 1983, that focuses on developing effective leaders from across the South Bay. Sponsored by the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Torrance provides opportunities for emerging leaders to take an active role towards building a stronger community. The mission of the Leadership Torrance program is to develop effective leaders by encouraging community connections through partnerships with City officials and local businesses.
Leadership Torrance Class of 2003
Dan Vogelzang, LUTCF®, CEPA®
President and Owner
M Advisory Group
- Where were you in your career right before joining Leadership Torrance? I had joined Cal-Surance Benefit Plans (dba M Advisory Group) in 1995, who has been a TACC member since 1967. When I went through Leadership Torrance in 2003 I had just become a Vice President of the Company in 2002. I had been fairly integrated into the Torrance and South Bay community through my then mentor and soon to be partner, Don Mehlig, and as well, I was a TACC Board Member from 2000-2003. Then, in 2003, I become an Executive Board member through 2006. My career was on a successful track but not where I wanted it at that stage in my life, with 2 children aged 5 and 3. As a result I embraced LT and was exposed to a completely different and new world of corporate and community leaders, that spring boarded my career.
- Where are you in your career and life now? Not coincidentally, within 3 years of going through LT 2003, I became President and a minority shareholder of M Advisory Group in 2005-2006, and as of January 2015 I bought out our founder and now own the firm 100%. Business has been excellent and I have a blessed life and family with kids nearly through college (USC and SMU). Since I went through LT 2003 I have served on four more non-profit boards in our community and have always been in an Executive leadership role on each board.
- What insight or benefit of Leadership Torrance do you value most? The emphasis is on leadership, connectivity and community involvement; Leadership Torrance provides access to community movers and shakers and anyone can take it as far as they want or are willing to. Those that have gone through the LT program in the past 20+ years (maybe 400-450 people +/-) are part of a small but powerful circle of ‘doers and possibility thinkers’. I believe that as an LT grad you are part of a special group of people that makes things happen and that can provide a network for personal and business growth.
- Anything else you would like to share? LT provides a glidepath for other volunteerism and access to ‘giving back’ and service opportunities; as I shared earlier, LT and TACC was my first touch at community volunteerism and it created an avenue, a pathway, to nearly 20 years of my serving on other non-profit boards here in the South Bay, sometimes simultaneously… including 9 years on the Exec Board at Little Company of Mary, 12 years on the Exec Board of YMCA, 8 years as an Exec board member and now President of a housing board at USC, as well, I was an Exec Board member on my son’s Little League Board. In addition, I volunteered at my church (Sunday School) from 1996-2010. So again there is a limitless amount of opportunity to serve and LT is the catalyst for anyone from which to launch.