An Alumnus Covered in Mud

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Karl J. Strube
2006 B.A. in Accounting
Controller with the National Raisin Company

Karl Strube loves challenges—all kinds of challenges.

Covered in mud from the top of his head to his running shoes, no one would guess this man is the Controller for one of the largest packers of dried fruit and nuts in North America and a Fresno Pacific alumnus. When he’s not spending his free time training for and running half marathons and participating in Tough Mudder races, Karl is responsible for making sure the numbers add up at National Raisin Company in Fowler, CA.

Born and raised in Orange County, Karl originally wanted to be a math teacher. His high school Latin teacher, Fresno Pacific credential graduate Laura Thomas Machado, became a mentor to him and told him that FPU was the place to go to if he wanted to get hired as a teacher.

After visiting campus and sitting in on some classes, Karl knew his teacher was right. He said, “I fell in love with the campus and the school.”

But during his second year he discovered through his job in the Academic Support Center that what he really loved to do was to help another person, one-on-one. He decided that teaching in a classroom was not for him, so he started seeking counsel on his next steps.

One person he went to for guidance was Dean Gray, an accounting professor at the time. “I showed him my plan. I mean I literally showed him my plan. He (Gray) says he still remembers me coming to him with a giant dry erase board that I carried all the way across campus,” Karl said. Together they mapped out the courses he would take and, with summer school and unit overloads, Karl graduated in four years with 180 units and a degree in accounting. He was hired at the Big Four accounting firm Deloitte and Touche before graduation.

KarlStrube

Karl moved to National Raisin Company three years ago, where he runs the accounting department, coordinates the annual audit and supervises a staff of eight. Joking that his nickname at the company is “the Professor,” he coaches the family ownership on using the numbers to make better operating decisions, and teaches his staff how to use Excel to be able to do their jobs better and faster.

His desire to help others one-on-one, which he discovered as an FPU tutor, is still his passion—from explaining things at work to mentoring kids in his church.

Helping others….and crawling through the mud! “I love running and adventure racing like Tough Mudders. They are really fun and they challenge me,” Karl said. And not being one to shy away from a challenge, he represents all the best about FPU.

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 By Katie Jerkovich

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