Howard was born and raised in Decorah, Iowa. After high school graduation he completed his executive accounting degree at Gates Business College in Waterloo and then completed his BA degree at Luther College in Decorah. Upon graduation he became an accountant with Price Waterhouse in Chicago, IL.
Howard was drafted into the Army and did one tour of duty with the 25th infantry division in Vietnam. Upon return, he rejoined Price Waterhouse.
In 1971 he married Sharon Sundet and in the fall of 1972 they moved to Algona, Iowa, to start his insurance career with his father-in-law Harold Sundet. The agency was a family business where Howard and Sharon worked closely with Harold and Bertha Sundet. In 1975 his brother-in-law Bruce Sundet also joined that agency and this began a life-long partnership.
Howard became actively involved in the community and in the insurance industry. During his time, he took several leadership positions within the Big I as district director and other local organizations such as:
Kiwanis – national risk manager for Iowa Nebraska District
VFW – commander of local post and 10th District
Masonic Lodge #205 – active member
Kossuth Shrine Club – past president
Algona Chamber of Commerce – past president; Heritage Award winner 2018
Boy Scouts of America – board member
Kossuth County Youth 4H Organization – 20-year member
Kossuth County Agriculture and Motor Sport Museum – board member
First Lutheran Church – president of congregation many years
As a mentor to many, Howard focuses on the importance of relationships: “#1 The customer is our boss-never forget that!, #2 The company is our partner…they work with us; and #3 We are a team.” Howard and Sharon raised their 4 children, Kristin, Karl, Keara and Katie in Algona, Iowa, and now have seven grandchildren.
Howard semi-retired in 2018 but continues to come to the office regularly to assist with customers as needed.