Before that, Mike had worked at Arthur Andersen, KPMG and PWC, as well as in industry. From an educational background in international business and finance he acquired a deep understanding of taxation issues and in particular that of VAT. This made him a valuable commodity as a VAT expert in the US, the home of the global Tax engine, and this was just the start. Despite a lack of formal training in IT, he picked up impressive awareness of ERP, project management, and software implementation life cycles, but then Mike always was as smart as a whip.
However, even this was not the most remarkable thing about Mike. Mike built up and maintained a network of contacts that bestrode the Tax Technology and related industries. In 2005 he co-founded Taxaccord, an international consultancy that grew to become the largest of its kind dedicated to this space. He had a unique way of explaining technology to wary Tax managers – he sold a lot of work. It helped that he considered every single person in his extensive network a friend. His constant feedback to the vendors influenced the improvement of the products over time.
Some in the industry may not be aware of Mike’s contribution elsewhere. He loved the sea, consumer electronics and to party; diverse interests that reflected in his wide list of activities. He put together the Wi-Fi-based point of sale systems used at one of the restaurant bars he co-owned. As a member of Distrikt it is hard to disprove that at Burning Man in the Nevada desert they ran the biggest free bar in the world, failing in a week to give away the stock despite 65,000 revellers. He was an experienced scuba diver, loved Turkey (the country), and at different times owned a boat and a submarine. He was concerned for the ocean environment and children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions (Make-a-Wish).
Mike was a self-made man and in mid-career. However, given that Mike was one of the most gregarious people I ever met, he often plowed a lone furrow. His status as a giant masked a person that many of us did not know or discounted, and in the end he was alone. Mike, you will be sorely missed. Tax Technology will not be the same. Go well my friend.