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Michael co-founded Digital Systems International in 1979, and from its inception through 1995, he served as Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. Under his direction, the company grew to be an industry leader in telecommunications, and in 1990, he led the Company to its IPO. That same year, Forbes magazine recognized the Company as one of the 200 best small companies in America, and Upside magazine, a high-technology trade publication, listed Digital Systems on its list of the top 20 technology companies. In 1991, Business Week positioned the company at number nine on its list of the year's best 100 corporations. Digital Systems changed its name to Mosaix in 1995 and was recently acquired by Lucent Technologies in 2000.
In 1990, Michael received Washington State's "High Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Award" for his significant contributions to technology-based business and outstanding entrepreneurial achievement with measurable bottom-line results. Criteria included risk, innovation, growth, competition, profitability, employment and community involvement. Judges for the award included former recipients such as Bill Gates of Microsoft.
In his retirement, Michael founded Southern Chile Expeditions, which owns fly-fishing and sport adventure lodges with locations in the Chilean and Argentine Patagonia and is Chairman of the Board and CEO. Yan Kee Way and El Patagon Lodges are noted for providing world class angling and Eco-tourism opportunities and the lodges have quickly gained wide recognition for their exceptional dining, amenities and hospitality services.
Michael received a BA in General Studies and an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Washington, where he is a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Business Administration, the Ad Hoc Advisory Panel for the Program in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Between his undergraduate and graduate years, he served in the Peace Corps, where he became fluent in Spanish and built two new towns in Peru. Michael was recognized personally by President Lyndon Johnson and Sergeant Shriver, then head of the Peace Corps for his achievement. The project has become a classic case study that the Peace Corps still uses today.