Mike grew up in the town of Woodridge, IL. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he moved to Barcelona with his good friend Mark Gaudet to teach English. There, Mike had the chance to meet many amazing people, see many amazing places, and do many amazing things. After two years of the good life in Spain he decided to join the Peace Corps, and in the summer of 2002 he did just that. In Honduras, he met many more amazing people, including Aaron Banas, Dave Burke, Sam Castle, Jeremy Padbury, and Lee Dula (to name just a few), as well as entire villages full of wonderful Hondurans. Mike worked as an Agricultural Extentionist, and spent the bulk of his time with Daniel, Carlos, and Raul working in the fields, trying out organic agriculture techniques (manure tea works great), and playing soccer with the youth team he coached and adult team of which he was a member. He also spent a lot of time with his dog, Lou.
After returning to Chicago from Honduras, Mike worked for KaBoom! (a national non-profit helping communities build playgrounds across the country), EcoGardens (installing greenroofs), and New Ground Builders (installing playgrounds). In 2008 he moved to Tucson, AZ to pursue a degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona, which he completed in May, 2011. Mike currently owns a landscape design / build company in Chicago, IL (MZA Design, LLC).