Raised in the NW, Michael attended the University of Washington and Western Washington University. After he procured an MA in Literature (with a focus on film), Michael taught at Utah State University, Santa Fe Community College and at the College of Santa Fe in their Moving Image Arts program. He continued teaching film and writing at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA. He has been the Program Director for the last 20 years at Pickford Film Center, where he founded and continues to program Doctober Film Festival, an annual celebration of the best docs of the year with 50+ films appearing annually throughout the month of October. In 2014, Michael and his wife, Susan Tive, launched City Lights Cinemas, a hybrid commercial-arthouse-performing arts 4-plex in the small coastal community of Florence, Oregon, witnessing all over again the power of community cinema to make the world a better place.