Believe it or not, there are some striking similarities between being a policy advocate and a special agent. In both roles, success relies on a few key traits: persistence, attention to detail, teamwork, and a desire to make a difference. Does the connection seem unlikely? Look no further than dedicated NSBA advocate and former Department of Defense (DoD) Special Agent Michael Koslow.
Michael began his career in public service as a criminal investigator with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), where he specialized in counterintelligence, federal procurement and fraud cases. After rising through the Air Force’s ranks for 16 years, Michael transitioned to the Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), living out a movie-worthy career of sting operations, FBI details and foreign defense cooperation deals. Notably, he led numerous high-profile investigations into Medicare and Medicaid fraud, as well as cases related to the False Claims and Foreign Corrupt Practices Acts.
Michael also remained committed to his military service throughout his time with the DoD. Upon leaving the Air Force, Koslow grew his leadership profile with the California National Guard. In 2009, he became California’s State Command Chief and represented over 93,000 Guardsmen nationwide on the Army National Guard’s Field Advisory Council. Through his duties with the DoD and the National Guard, Michael grew accustomed to the “mission-first” mindset and adding value to teams without seeking the spotlight.
After 31 years of government service, and a concurrent 33 years in the military, Michael took his incisive mind and collaborative spirit to the private sector. He founded Aenigma Investigation Agency (AIA) in 2019, where he and his team provide investigative services for criminal, civil, and administrative cases. His work has yielded impressive results, including a 900% increase of Medicare-Medicaid savings for a national healthcare provider.
Upon reaching the private sector, Michael was astounded by the exchange of information, ideas and mentorship around him. According to Koslow, the small-business community he entered offered a “cascading effect” of knowledge, networking and business development opportunities.
These experiences, along with a lifelong call to service, motivated Michael to pursue policy advocacy outside of his business. Following his acceptance to NSBA’s Leadership Council, Koslow quickly took to helping organize and mobilize his fellow Californian members around key issues like SBIR reauthorization and streamlining federal procurement practices. Koslow considers his collaborative efforts with fellow members a “tremendous privilege” and values NSBA’s ability to cultivate common goals and interests amongst small-business owners from all walks of life.
On the policy side, Koslow has taken advantage of the Leadership Council’s public affairs training, calling the programming a “significant conduit” for connecting with and educating legislators on key small-business priorities. With these tools, Koslow maintains constant contact with his member of Congress and other lawmakers from the California delegation, advising them on small-business issues.
When asked what advice he’d like to share with fellow NSBA members, Koslow stressed the importance of mentorship and collaboration, stating, “nobody accomplishes anything on their own.” Seeing how NSBA’s priorities transcend the differences between each member’s small business, Michael believes that sharing, listening, and showing up to learn are the keys to success on the Leadership Council.
“If you can walk away with even one new piece of information, your time will be worth it,” he added.
To learn more about Michael Koslow and AIA, please visit www.aenigmainvestigations.com.