Mike Frerichs was born and raised in the small farming community of Gifford, Illinois (pop. 975). The son of a Teamster truck driver and a university secretary and AFSCME member, Mike graduated from Yale University and spent two years in Taiwan, where he taught English to young students and learned to speak Chinese. After college, Mike returned home to run a technology start-up and serve as a volunteer fireman. In 2000, Mike was elected to the Champaign County Board and became the Champaign County Auditor in 2002.
In 2007, Mike was sworn in as the State Senator 52nd District, which includes parts of Champaign and Vermilion Counties. In the Legislature, Mike spearheaded efforts to provided financial assistance to farmers and pushed for expanded use of alternative fuels. Mike also fought to reduce disparities in education funding across Illinois.
In 2015, Mike was sworn in as Treasurer of Illinois. As the state’s Chief Investment Officer, Mike does more than make wise investments and protect taxpayer dollars, he provides tools to help people invest in themselves. During his tenure, he has returned more money back to Illinoisans than any other Treasurer in history through the I-Cash program and he has expanded access to higher education by improving the 529 College Savings Program to the top-rated program in the country. Mike has expanded tools like the Secure Choice program that helps seniors retire with dignity. And tools like the ABLE program that will help families plan for loved ones with disabilities. Mike believes through these tools and smart investing; the Treasurer’s office can help families achieve the American Dream.
Mike resides in Champaign with his daughter Ella. He was re-elected as State Treasurer in 2018 with broad statewide support.