was born in Newport Beach, California, in 1961. Educated locally until high school, Mike then attended the Dunn School in Los Olivos, California, graduating Valedictorian and Student Body President. In 1983, Mike earned an engineering degree from Stanford University.
While in college, Mike raised venture capital and started his first company, which made computer games for the first generation of personal computers. After a dramatic rise, the company unfortunately stalled and was closed due to a number of market and internal problems. A natural salesman, Mike then supported himself by selling popsicles and computer printers at the Orange County Marketplace, while considering his next move.
In December 1984, Mike began selling "Boone Boards" at the O.C. Marketplace, the "dry-erase" and "white board" he engineered and adapted for the consumer market. Mike cleared his grandparent's garage and began manufacturing. He made each board by hand, using borrowed hairdryers and table saws in their production, packaging them in zip-lock bags. They were such a hit, as few people had ever seen such a magical thing, Mike decided to build a company around the concept.
In 1991, after years of persistent efforts, Boone International, Mike's 8 employee company, was awarded a purchase order from Kmart. Soon thereafter, other retailing giants including Walmart, Target, Office Depot, Staples, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Costco, followed suit. In 1999, Mike sold his company to Fortune Brands, a Fortune 300 company. By that time, Boone was the leading white board and bulletin board manufacturer in North America, selling 30,000 units a day in 22,000 stores.
After the sale, Mike volunteered with several distinguished non-profit organizations and travelled the world, collecting art, antiques and experiences. He quickly discovered, however, that the most interesting people were the ones still working! Bored of leisure and idle consumption, Mike pored over his "idea" journals, and launched two new companies.
Enjoy Lighting was founded by Mike and two Cal Tech graduates in 2003, based on his love of candle-light and his resentment of how wind, water, melting and fire danger interfered with its enjoyment. From one extremely realistic, electric flame prototype, the product line grew to hundreds of items sold in dozens of retailers, including Target, Kmart and Brookstone. Mike recently sold the company to its management team.