Mike received a BA in political science from Emory University and an MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Mike served as senior portfolio manager at SAC Capital Management and as Executive Vice President at Jefferies Asset Management, where he managed an investment team that analyzed investment opportunities, managed risk and worked to implement financial and operational improvements at portfolio companies.
PUBLIC SERVICE: EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
In 2007, Mike left the private sector to focus his energy full time on public service, his true passion. Mike has served as an Emergency Medical Technician since high school, and joined New Canaan’s all-volunteer Emergency Medical Services in 2000. After rising to the position of Chief of the Department, Mike worked to improve response times and enhance critical life-saving protocols to provide the very best in pre-hospital emergency medical care.
In 2011, Mike was tapped by New Canaan First Selectman Jeb Walker to serve as the town’s Emergency Management Director, assuming responsibility for coordinating the emergency responses of the Town’s public safety agencies. During his tenure, Mike led the Office of Emergency Management during a series of unprecedented storms, including Superstorm Sandy and tropical storm Irene. It was his steadfast leadership through these natural disasters that earned Mike the “2013 Man of the Year” award from The New Canaan Advertiser. Mike continues to serve New Canaan as its non-paid Emergency Management Director.
Mike has also served on the New Canaan Public Schools Crisis Advisory Board since 2012. In this capacity, he plays an integral role in ensuring school safety and security. Additionally, Mike serves on the Connecticut West Incident Management Team, a state-wide team that stands ready to be deployed to support local incident commanders during the most critical of large scale incidents.
FISCAL LEADERSHIP IN STAMFORD
In 2012, Mike was appointed by Republican Mayor Michael Pavia to serve as Director of Administration for the City of Stamford. A year later, the newly-elected Mayor, Democrat David Martin, asked Mike to continue serving in his current position.
As Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, Mike is responsible for ensuring the financial and operational health of Stamford, one of Connecticut’s largest cities. Among his many accomplishments, Mike was the lead architect of the City’s successful divestiture of the Smith House, a 128-bed skilled nursing facility owned and operated by the City for more than 50 years. Privatizing the facility ensured a long-term home for its 90 vulnerable senior residents on Medicaid, protected vital jobs for more than 150 employees and saved the taxpayers over $5 million per year.
With over 85 percent of the City’s budget directly related to employee costs, labor negotiations are a critical path to setting sustainable long-term fiscal health. When he arrived in Stamford, Mike inherited expired labor contracts that contained excessive and largely unfunded employee benefits. Mike led the effort to negotiate some of the City’s most complex labor agreements. In each negotiation, Mike’s objective was to emerge with a contract that was fair to both taxpayers and employees. In keeping with his commitment, both the short-term and long-term components of the employee benefits within the labor contracts were fully funded. Mike was able to deliver real savings to taxpayers and promises that could be kept to employees.
As Chairman of the Stamford Water Pollution Control Authority, Mike led the Board’s dramatic turnaround of the City’s wastewater treatment plant. When he first arrived, Mike found significant operational, financial, and environmental challenges. Because of the structural changes Mike made in both the leadership and physical plant, Stamford’s wastewater treatment plant now serves as a model of success for the state.
Mike inherited a fiscal mess in Stamford. Prior administrations had irresponsibly mismanaged most financial matters. The “kick-the-can” mentality had all but guaranteed that the leadership’s abject failures would fall squarely on our children. Not surprisingly, much of Stamford’s challenges are identical to those that we face as a state. Mike has demonstrated that he has the skills necessary to fix Connecticut’s financial problems.
Mike’s private sector expertise and his successful track record in Stamford proves it can be done, and he’s just the leader to do it.