Mike is an executive director of a small non-profit (Spanish Peaks Community Foundation) and a movie theater operator (Fox Theatre) who was born in Japan. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he comes from a military family. He’s lived in Germany, Chicago, Dallas, Austin and now calls Colorado home. Mike was born with Spina Bifida, a condition where there’s an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. For most of Mike’s life he’s been in and out of surgeries and dealing with all sorts of illness that comes along with it. At one point, he was taking as many as ten pills a day to combat his sickness.

It was around ten years ago that Mike gave marijuana a chance as there are many medical benefits that would offset the pills he had to take. Almost immediately after experimenting with pot, he was able to forgo his pill medication. It inspired Mike to look into it full time. He then made the decision to relocate to Colorado and start his own grow farm. “Cannabis is the best solution I've found for my medical needs. Growing my own, my way, all natural... is the path I'm on.”

What do you wake up thinking about?

What I need to accomplish for the day. How can I make magic happen? How's my body feeling. Is it going to be windy today?

What's your morning ritual?

My three dogs usually wake me up right before or during the sunrise. I head downstairs and let them out while I get their food ready. I go back upstairs and check my email then I hit the shower to think through my morning. Oh and put fire to a bowl or jay, depending on my pain level.

How does social media play into your daily life?

I use Facebook for work. I generally make one post a day depending on an the events I'm featuring or movie I'm highlighting. Outside of work, I don't have any social media apps on my phone. All sounds on my phone are turned off except for calendar reminders and my ringer. Social media is not how I connect with the world around me. I use it mainly as a research tool. I watch the trends and decide what's going to work best for my projects.

Are we more connected or disconnected than before?

Man I've been connected since ... 14.4k modems. My first time online was a mixture of Juno and AOL. I was using Microsoft Netmeeting to meet-up with girls (probably pedophiles) from around the country. My point is the internet can be a powerful tool but today it's brain drain. Today it's a measure of our insecurities. I do my best to stay connected and grounded in the real world, not that cloud life.

What is most important to you in life?

Doin' what makes me happy every day. Helping others. Being a bridge in my community. Staying positive.