The Early Years
I was born at Great Lakes Naval Training Station in North Chicago, Illinois. I am the oldest of six kids (five younger sisters). My dad was a career military man and we grew up on Air Force bases. He retired in the Chicago suburbs when I was in high school and I graduated from Mundelein High School, north of Chicago.
I earned a BS degree from the University of Illinois in Radio and TV with a minor in journalism. I moved to Los Angeles right out of school to explore the film and TV industry, became a film editor and returned to the Midwest after a few years to work in local TV. I was a TV news reporter and PM Magazine co-host in several markets in Illinois and Iowa.
My company, the Hamilton County Media Group now publishes the Hamilton County Business Magazine, a bi-monthly magazine of local business news and features that is distributed to members of the four Hamilton County Chambers of Commerce. You can read it on our website here. We also publish the annual Hamilton County Community Guide that is distributed to local hotels, visitors centers, libraries, REALTORS, and dozens of other locations where people seek out information about the county. Here is a link to that magazine in web form. One of the advantages of owning your own business is having the freedom to run for public office.
I am grateful to the Hamilton County business community for supporting our publications and helping make them successful. Being my own boss gives me this chance to run for mayor.
Marriage & Family
I met my wife Joni while working in Davenport, Iowa and we decided to move to New England together, where we married and started a family in New Hampshire. The day my oldest son was born I switched media and professions, from TV news to newspaper ad sales, and worked my way into newspaper management. Joni and I have five kids and two cats. (From left, above) Alex has PhD in violin performance and conducts college and community orchestras in Minnesota. Mike Jr. graduated from Ball State a few years ago with a degree in Actuarial Science and works for a Carmel insurance company. Ethan earned an actuarial science degree from Bellarmine University in Louisville several years ago and works at Allison Transmission in Speedway. Joni is a REALTOR with FC Tucker. Brenna owns an accounting business in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Aaron graduated from Purdue last December with an Electrical Engineering degree and works at Ingersoll Rand in Nashville, TN. My dad died a few years ago. My mom now lives in Colorado.
My Road To Noblesville
Once our kids were born we wanted to be closer to our families so we moved back to the Midwest. I managed the ad departments of newspapers in Winona, Minnesota, then St. Cloud, Minnesota. I earned an MBA taking night classes at St. Cloud State University. In 2005, we moved to Noblesville to publish the Noblesville Daily Times. That newspaper closed when the recession hit in in 2008 but one of our strategies while I was there was to launch magazines to diversify the revenue stream. While the newspaper was sold to a new owner, I took over two of those magazines and have built them into a small media company over the past ten years.
What Makes Me Tick
Here are some causes and non-profits I’ve been associated with since I’ve lived in Noblesville.
These reflect some of my passions.
I’m a past president (and current treasurer) of the Noblesville Preservation Alliance. I’ve been a member of NPA for about as long as we’ve lived here. I think it’s important that we protect our heritage, maintain our neighborhoods, and I think the old architecture is beautiful.
I am an active member of Save the Nickel Plate, a grassroots organization that formed in response to the city’s plans to tear out the railroad tracks. I believe the Nickel Plate Railroad is an irreplaceable part of our heritage and huge economic development opportunity that we are squandering. I am adamantly opposed to the city’s position on this issue. Here’s more on that issue.
I serve on the Southwest Quad Action Team, a grassroots group that formed to improve and advocate for Noblesville’s Southwest Quad, the city’s most neglected district. Currently the most threatening issue is the city’s planned Pleasant St. bypass, which will destroy a dozen homes in the district and bisect it with a major thoroughfare. Read more here.
I served on the board of Promising Futures for several years (one year as President). The teen years are tough and I feel strongly that kids need a safe place to go when their families fail them. Promising Futures (currently a division The Childrens Bureau) fills that need.
I’m a current member of the Noblesville Midday Rotary Club, having previously served as President and Secretary. Rotary gives us regular folks an opportunity to make an impact far away from our hometowns and ties us to the world in a unique way. I support Rotary’s values and its motto: Service Above Self.
I have served on the board of Noblesville Main Street for the past few years. Main Street encourages and promotes the downtown business district and small business in general. I believe the key to a strong city is a thriving downtown and I’m happy to lend a hand.
I serve on the board of HAND, the Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development. They build affordable housing for the elderly and low income residents. They do quality work, respect our heritage and are all about building neighborhoods and communities. I support that.
I serve on the committee of the Legacy Fund that reviews grant applications, discusses the merits of each application, and recommends to the board of directors who to fund. It’s a great way to stay in touch with our county’s needs and I consider it a privilege to belong to that board.
I am a member of all four Hamilton County Chambers of Commerce. Our magazine’s mission statement states:
The Hamilton County Business Magazine celebrates and promotes industry, commerce and entrepreneurship in Hamilton County, Indiana. I am an enthusiastic supporter of local business and do my best to keep our local economy strong.
I’m also passionate about the performing arts. I serve on the Noblesville Cultural Arts committee, which works to develop our recently designated Cultural Arts District downtown. Although I usually find myself in the audience rather than performing, I’ve been an amateur musician most of my life, sang in barbershop choruses and played guitar. I’m always happier when I’m singing or listening to music.
I am the founder of Noblestories, a storyteller series designed to connect Noblesville residents with their backstory. One problem with a fast-growing city is that new residents have no conception of how we got where we are. This series is meant to help remedy that.
I was privileged this year to be named one of United Way’s 100 heroes. I appreciate the recognition and am honored to be a part of such an accomplished group of people.
Building A Better Noblesville
– One House At A Time –
We live in a 150 year old house at the corner of 10th and Mulberry in Noblesville. We have restored two other old houses and are currently in the middle of restoring this one. It’s been ten years and I figure we have another 4 years or so before its done. I do most of the work myself because I enjoy it. I work a desk job and spend a lot of time in front of a computer. Occasionally I need to do some manual labor to keep myself balanced. Wielding tools and using motor skills to build things has its own unique rewards. I admire the craftsmanship that went into these old houses and I’m proud to help restore them to their former glory. Joni and the kids have kind of gotten used to having a pile of tools around the house. When I’m not working on the house I’m usually riding my bike. I’ve had a Fuji 18 speed for some 30 years now and it’s still going strong.