After graduating from Williams College in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in religion, Mike lived and worked in Osaka, Japan as a teacher, copywriter, and bartender at his neighborhood pub. Upon returning to the United States, he began a 20-year career in the hospitality business, including owning and operating his own restaurant, The Broad Street Grill, in Falls Church, Virginia. Mike joined DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) in 2004. Drawing on his experiences in the restaurant business, Mike has spent significant time expanding the Kitchen’s revenue-generating social enterprise initiatives.
Under his leadership, DC Central Kitchen’s Fresh Start Catering has expanded from traditional catering opportunities to include contracts to provide locally-sourced, scratched-cooked meals to schools across Washington, DC. DC Central Kitchen’s Nutrition Lab facility, funded and launched under Mike’s leadership, has allowed DCCK to take on more contracts, rapidly increase investments in purchasing from local farms, and improve production efficiency. Due to its many social service programs, the Kitchen now employs over 130 people, approximately 40 percent who are graduates of the Kitchen’s nationally recognized Culinary Job Training Program. Social enterprise now accounts for nearly 65 percent of DCCK’s total operating budget.
Mike is a chair emeritus of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and a Board member for The Common Market in Philadelphia. He was an advisory board for the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School and currently sits on the advisory boards of DC Greens, Real Food for Kids and Catalyst Kitchens and is a member of the Leadership Council of DC Hunger Solutions. The Kitchen has received numerous accolades under Mike’s leadership, including the Mayor’s Environmental Excellence Award; the Washington Business Journal’s Green Business Award for Innovation; and the DC Chamber of Commerce 2012 Community Impact Award. Mike is a recipient of the 2010 Gelman, Rosenberg + Freedman EXCEL Award for excellence in chief executive leadership and the Bicentennial Medal from his alma mater, Williams College, the highest honor the college bestows on its alumni.