2020 Olafson Ethics Symposium
Olafson Ethics Symposium Speaker Biographies
As Securian Financial’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, Chris is responsible for leading all aspects of the company, including strategy development and our insurance, investment and retirement businesses.
Chris’ collaborative leadership style and broad management experience have contributed to Securian Financial’s consistently strong financial results. Securian Financial is the eighth largest insurance company based on total life insurance business in force.
With over 30 years in corporate leadership positions, Chris has proven experience in distribution development, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and financial management.
Chris joined Securian Financial in 2004 when Securian acquired Allied Solutions, one of the largest independent distribution organizations serving the financial institution market. At that time, he became a member of our senior management team, progressively moving into positions of greater responsibility before being named president in 2012.
He has served as chief executive officer since 2015 and was named chairman in 2017.
- Bachelor’s degree in finance, Indiana University
Chris serves on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He is also co-chair of the St. Paul Downtown Alliance and is a member of the executive committee of the Minnesota Business Partnership.
Dr. Sean Valentine
Sean Valentine (D.B.A., Louisiana Tech University) is Professor of Management, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, and the Robert Page Endowed Professor of Leadership and Ethics in the School of Entrepreneurship and Management, Nistler College of Business and Public Administration at the University of North Dakota.
His research and teaching interests include human resource management, business ethics, and organizational behavior. In particular, his research explores how organizational ethics, including ethical culture, corporate social responsibility, and ethics codes/training, can be used to manage ethical decision making, workplace bullying, and dark personality traits and behavior.
His research has appeared in Financial Times Top 50 journals such as Human Resource Management, Human Relations, Journal of Business Ethics, and Contemporary Accounting Research, as well as other top business journals such as Journal of Business Research, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, and Behavioral Research in Accounting. He also coauthors a human resource management textbook that is in its 16th edition, as well as a healthcare human resource management book that is entering its 4th edition.
Finally, he presents his research at national and regional conferences affiliated with the Academy of Management, and he recently received the Best Paper Award from the Midwest Academy of Management for one of his studies that explores the impact of corporate ethical values and corporate social responsibility on moral attentiveness, moral disengagement, and perceived workplace bullying.
Bob Olafson is a native of Gardar, North Dakota and graduated from Edinburg High School in 1967. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the UND College of Arts and Sciences in 1971 with a major in mathematics, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the College of Business and Public Administration in 1972.
Bob spent his entire career at Securian Financial in Saint Paul, Minnesota, working in the group life insurance business. He became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in 1977 and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries in 1978. During his career, he provided leadership for a broad range of functions including financial, sales, marketing, customer service, medical underwriting and claims administration. He was Senior Vice President of Group Insurance at the time of his retirement in 2012.
Bob has remained involved with UND over the years, including service as a member of the CoBPA Advisory Council from 2008 to 2016. He has supported the annual Olafson Ethics Symposium since its inception in 2005 and has established the Robert M. Olafson Endowment within the UND Foundation to continue this support. He also has provided support to the Nonprofit Leadership Program of the CoBPA.
Bob is currently a member of the boards of directors of Penumbra Theatre Company and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Past community service includes board membership with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities and the Twin Cities Salvation Army.