Mike Fritzler (HS'88)
Mike Fritzler (HS'88)
Drive, determination and passion are three qualities that have guided and directed Mike Fritzler (HS’88) professionally for over twenty-five years, enabling him to enjoy a rich and rewarding career as a local business owner and community leader.
For the past twenty-six years, Mike has been President and CEO of Fact Computers in Regina, a computer sales and service company, catering to the small and medium-sized business market. After leaving university with a strong grounding in business and computer science, he worked in the security area for a few years at CIBC. But, with only lateral positions available, he took his moxie and knowledge and started Fact Computers. And he’s never looked back.
“I happened to be at the right place at the right time and had enough talent to translate people’s needs and wants into a service they found valuable,” says Mike, who now focuses mainly on sales, but ran all aspects of the business in the early days. But even in those challenging and tough times when his company was still in its infancy, he knew he had made the right decision.
“I could do a little bit of everything, which was great,” says Mike. “The customers had needs and I was able to provide them with solutions. I love being able to fix people’s problems.”
Mike originally opened a retail store on south Albert Street in 1993. In 2009, with the help of his family, he was able to buy a property and move his business closer to Regina’s downtown. He has since expanded into a larger store, also near Regina’s downtown, and in 2012 he opened a second store in Saskatoon. Mike currently employs thirty-two staff between the two locations.
Throughout the many years that Mike was building his business, he was also involved with Luther College High School. He was a board member for seven years, sitting on various committees. Mike was also the first chair of the Building and Facilities Renewal Committee, with the primary focus to complete the High School campus renewal and expansion. The $18 million project included: building the new gymnasium, three classrooms, the student commons, an outdoor team building; as well as upgrades and repairs to the classroom wing and building a new stage in the old gym now called the Merlis Belsher Heritage Centre. The next phase of the project will see upgrades to the University campus and residence.
Although Mike’s role largely involved governance and strategy, he admits he became very involved in the operational side of the building and renewal project. “My mantra was, if we’re gonna build it, we’re gonna build it once and we’re gonna build it right.” He adds that every aspect of the project, right down to the placement of bricks, involved great forethought. “It had to feel like it all fit together and have a feeling like this is your home,” says Mike, stressing his passion for the school drove him to ensure every detail was perfect.
With the successful renewal project winding down, Mike took on an even larger role at Luther, becoming Chair of the Board of Regents in 2015. This volunteer board is involved in all aspects of the College’s strategic operation, developing and managing governance models and policies and assessing its risks to ensure the best possible education is available to the students of both the High School and University campuses.
With honesty and thankfulness, Mike says he owes much of his success in life to the experience he had at Luther College High School. “They gave me everything. I wouldn’t be anywhere today without what they gave me.”
At times Mike struggled academically in high school, but he says Luther instilled in him that he didn’t need to be the best. The teachers taught him that drive and passion would take him far. As Mike will attest to, “I really took this to heart. Passion and determination can overcome anything.”
Mike has a difficult time singling out one favourite teacher, believing they were all genuine and had their own flavour and character, which he appreciated. But, he says Barb Wright taught him math in a way “I could never have imagined.”
Chuckling, he recalls vividly a year-long prank he and a few buddies pulled on Consumer Education teacher Russ Green: the pranksters continually hid Russ’s chalk in a brown bag on top of the classroom filing cabinet. At the end of the year, Mike grabbed the chalk-filled bag and set it on Russ’s desk. The response: a simple shake of Russ’s head -- and raucous laughter from the students.
One of Mike’s fondest memories was his selection as Chair of the Concessions committee at LIT. He didn’t have much profile at the school but he put his name forward and Phys. Ed. teacher Gerry Harris selected him for this leadership role. This experience was a pivotal moment for Mike. It cemented in him the understanding that the teachers were willing to take a risk and put their trust in their students. This experience planted the seed in Mike to open his own small business.
When Mike completes his tenure as Chair of the Board of Regents, he looks forward to joining other civic or provincial boards because he firmly believes in giving back to his community.
Name: Mike Fritzler
Year of Graduation: 1988
Education: Business Administration and Computer Science, University of Regina 1988-1991
Career History: President and CEO, FACT Computers; 26 years
Personal Notes: He is definitely a cat person, with five purebred Himalayans.