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Hi I'm Mike

I grew up in Washington, DC and Denver. I work on global vaccine and health access for women and children. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am married to my best friend, Debbie, and we have 4 wonderful children - 2 in college and 2 still at home. Our family loves the world around us! My work and church service have allowed me to live in places like Peru, Spain, and Brazil - and to speak Spanish and Portuguese as I work and travel throughout Latin America. And because my wife has family in Zimbabwe, we have had the good fortune to visit the beautiful people on the African continent multiple times. Recently, we had the chance to pick our oldest son up at the conclusion of his 2-year mission to Portugal. It was a truly uplifting experience to see that beautiful place and meet the wonderful, humble people there, many of whom are immigrants from Portuguese-speaking African countries, who our son had served and taught the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. And it was deeply gratifying to see his deep love for the people he served and his sadness at leaving them to return to his studies. I work on global vaccine access and health policy issues for a company that makes vaccines. And I partner with the World Health Organization's Pan American region and groups like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop collaborative solutions to global health challenges. It gives me great personal satisfaction each day to be a part of making sure that women and children can receive vaccines to prevent and ultimately eliminate diseases that are so common and devastating in most of the developing world.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ and a member of His church because I choose to be. I feel His love for me on a daily basis in small and simple ways and in deep and profound ways as well. I choose to be a committed member of the Church of Jesus Christ because I love Him and want to show Him my devotion and willingness to try to be like Him in all that I do and say. Whether you call me a Mormon, a Latter-Day Saint, or a Christian, they are one in the same. But the most important thing you should know about me is that these names and titles simply mean that I am striving daily to be a humble and obedient follower of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Being a committed follower of Christ is at the core of who I am and is what gives me the greatest joy and happiness in my life. I choose to follow His teachings and commandments and actively participate in His church, because I have a strong conviction, or testimony, that has been etched on my heart through the confirming power of the Holy Ghost (or Comforter), through countless experiences throughout my 40+ years of life. If you know and watch Mormons closely, you will observe through their examples that they practice what Christ preached. He said, "By their fruits, ye shall know them" and "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit." If you have paid close attention, you will have noticed that Mormons are good people who quietly, unassumingly "bring forth good fruit" and do the works of their Master, Jesus Christ. I am a Mormon, a Latter-Day Saint, and a disciple of Christ because His church and His teachings are true and are the only path to eternal happiness and joy in this and the next life. By following Him, being baptized just as He was and by His authority, and serving my fellow man as He did, I know that I can live with Him - God the Son, and His Father - Our Father in Heaven, and their faithful and obedient children, including my loved ones, in the life to come. That's why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by trying to interact with others as Christ would. In my work, my community, my church congregation, my marriage, and my home, I try to be like Him. I try to meet the needs of others through service to them and try to be encouraging of the success and progress of all those I come in contact with. I try to teach through example, practicing what I preach. A guiding principle for me in my daily life is based on the North Carolina state motto: "To be, rather than to seem." I try my very best to be a "real" follower of Jesus Christ. A few weeks ago, unbeknownst to the local community, members of our church congregation took a break from busy Saturday activities such as kids' soccer games and working in our own yards to show up at a nearby elementary school that was in serious need of repair and landscaping work. We pruned overgrown trees, bushes, and shrubs, removed dead plants, painted cross-walks and playground equipment, shoveled dirt in a community garden area, and just generally gave that school some much-needed TLC. It wasn't written up in the paper or mentioned in a local news broadcast. Most community members will never know that we volunteered our time and efforts to do that. But we know. And the Lord knows. And it felt wonderful. As Mormons, we do things like that constantly. It is part of our "DNA" as members of Christ's church. We follow Him and do what we "saw" Him do in the scriptures. Prior to moving back to the US from Brazil a year ago, a group of fathers and sons from our church were called on to help a family in need in our community. The family's home was made of particle board - yes particle board - in a favela/slum of a major city. We showed up, tore it down, and rebuilt it with strong, sturdy bricks. We donated our time and money, if not our talents :), as many of us had no construction background. But we did it. "Pure religion and undefiled...is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction."