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#​IAm Steve Mar

Blogs Steve Mar, CFSA, CISA Jun 24, 2021

Within a week, while walking on Waikiki Beach, I received a phone call to meet with two University of Hawaii (UH) professors in the Shidler School of Business. They wanted to speak to me about teaching an IT audit course at UH during the winter.

See what happens when you attend IIA chapter meetings?

Now I "practice retiring in Hawaii" by teaching part-time in the winter, then going back to Seattle to teach part-time in the summer. All because of an IIA event I attended.

I spent most of my professional career in internal and external audit with some time in information security. Initially, I joined The IIA because of the internal audit group membership at Bank of America, where I began my professional career. I worked and grew from a new internal auditor to leading IT audit and information security teams in several organizations. After several years at Bank of America, I worked for many years at KPMG, Deloitte, Microsoft, RGP, and Nordstrom.

Throughout my career, I remained active with The IIA because I realized the many benefits and opportunities membership provided me. The IIA enabled me to develop my career and come into contact with many amazing and brilliant global internal audit leaders.

Over the years, I got to know wonderful individuals who worked directly for The IIA and visited them at The Institute's global headquarters whenever I had an opportunity. I served on several international committees such as the Research & Education Advisors and Advanced Technology. I also have edited and occasionally written articles for Internal Auditor magazine's ITAudit department. One September, I visited the Internal Auditor staff in person.

I have attended many IIA International and General Audit Management conferences, where I learned from other professionals from around the world. These internal auditors were from Australia, Brazil, China, Columbia, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and the U.K. I got to meet with many of the international committee members who volunteer their time and give back to the profession. Closer to home, I continue to serve on the IIA–Seattle Chapter Board.

Those IIA ties set me on the course toward "practicing retiring," but not before I took on one last job. I first met Dominique Vincenti when she was chief advocacy officer at The IIA and I was on an IIA committee. When she became chief audit executive at Nordstrom, she recruited me to the company in 2010. While still working at Nordstrom, Dominique offered me the opportunity to teach IT auditing at Seattle University.

I taught my first class in the 2015 summer quarter. I enjoyed the experience, but I realized I needed to improve so I could become a better instructor. After I retired from Nordstrom in 2016, I taught other courses in information systems and audit data analytics at Seattle University, all on a part-time basis.

When winter arrives in Seattle, I am off to Hawaii, where the warm weather, as well as the more relaxing culture and business climate, allow me to practice retiring in Hawaii, while having fun. As with The IIA, Hawaii brings back great memories.

For example, I first traveled to Honolulu many years ago while working at KPMG and Deloitte. One year, my wife, Betty, signed me up to run in the Honolulu Marathon. I thought she was crazy. After I finished the first race, I ran in 13 straight Honolulu Marathons. I never won the race, but I had fun trying.

Now, on the days I am not teaching at UH, I go swimming, jogging, boogie boarding, hiking, feed the homeless in Ala Moana Park through a local church, and go out dining with my wife for enjoyment.

My retirement practice continues to evolve. Donny Shimamoto, who I met through The IIA, discovered that I traveled to Honolulu each winter about two years ago. Donny asked me to join his company, IntrapriseTechKnowlegies, to perform IT audits part-time while in Hawaii.

So, you see joining The IIA can help you plan and "practice retiring in Hawaii." As we say in Hawaii: Mahalo no ka ho'olohe 'ana.

Steve Mar, CFSA, CISA

Steve Mar is a part-time professor in the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University and in the Shidler School of Business at the University of Hawaii.​