By Kasy Long
May 1, 2023
1978 Accounting Alumnus
Mike Alley grew up in a bank. With both of his parents as bankers, Alley knew the value of a dollar at a young age.
The 1978 accounting alumnus has always maintained a business-focused mindset. If there was a class on financial markets and accounting principles, he was the first to register. This interest expanded to other areas of finance and leadership during his undergraduate education at Indiana State.
“Indiana State was the best environment for me to have a formal education [in accounting] but also an education on life and how to grow as an individual. The distinctive academic programs, quality faculty, and worldly experiences outside the classroom made a lasting impression,” says Alley, who also met his wife, Amy, ‘78, during his undergraduate years. While he was studying accounting, Amy was earning her elementary education degree.
Following his graduation, Alley became a busy professional at commercial banking and accounting firms. Throughout his career, he has held numerous job titles, including Vice President at Bank of America in Austin, Texas; President and Chief Executive Officer [CEO] at Fifth Third Bank in Indianapolis; Commissioner for the Indiana Department of Revenue, appointed by former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels; and other positions.
For the past 20 years, Alley has been the chairman of Patriot Investments, LLC, a personal holding company for real estate and other business ventures, including early-stage capital investments. Alley consults start-up companies on their investments, business plans, technology methods, and business strategies to grow in Indiana and across the nation.
Patriot Investments has consulted software, technology, and medical groups, including Auto Vault; BioStorage Technologies, Inc.; HealthMatch; House Investments; Humanizing Technologies, Inc.; Leaf Software Solutions; Prosolia, Inc., and Results Unlimited, Inc., among others. The majority of these companies are based in Indiana.
On a daily basis, Alley can be found in meetings with board members, in which he provides guidance on financial planning, real estate investing, and customer interaction.
“I love interacting with people and being a leader. At the same time, I step back and let teams figure out what they need to do to succeed with their business plans. I give them the freedom to exercise their skills. It’s exciting to watch teams thrive,” Alley says.
With his years of financial and leadership experience, Alley wants to open doors for young accounting and finance graduates who are entering the profession. This includes current students at Indiana State.
Alley, along with his wife, has demonstrated devotion to their alma mater over the years. He served as the former chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, and he was chair of the ‘March On!’ campaign, Indiana State’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Today, he is actively engaged as a cabinet member of the University’s current Be So BOLD fundraising campaign.
The Alleys have also donated a $250,000 gift to the University to fund the Linda Eldred Student Leadership Center and to establish the Mike and Amy Alley Student Professional Development Fellows Program in the Scott College of Business. Both programs support leadership development, inclusion, personal and professional growth, and community service for current students.
As a member of the Indiana State University Foundation Board of Directors and other committees, Alley enjoys every opportunity to return to Indiana State’s campus in Terre Haute to meet with students and community members.
“I’m impressed with the hard work I see. Indiana State’s students are talented and they’re working hard to accomplish their goals,” says Alley, who is particularly proud of the work in the University’s President’s Scholarship program and the Networks Scholarship program in the Scott College of Business.
Similar to how he consults clients at Patriot Investments, Alley is available to advise current Sycamores whenever he visits campus. “Be focused on what you want to do with your career. Focus on what you want to be and work hard at it. Make the most of your talent and ability, and this will benefit your entire team,” he advises.
For Alley, his leadership has benefitted successful teams and business groups. Reflecting on his career, Alley remembers where his leadership skills were first developed: Indiana State.
“Indiana State gave me the education to pursue my interests, but also to be a lifelong learner,” he says. “Indiana State will always be my alma mater.”
Alley invested in his career and now he’s investing in the future of young professionals. Because he will always be a Sycamore—and because real leaders wear BLUE!