Loss of any person in life is never easy. It goes without saying that the loss of a coworker, especially from a tight-knit work family, has a profound impact on a community. On May 3, 2017, our VanderHouwen work family experienced this profound impact when we learned our fellow colleague and dear friend, Mike Mitchell, suddenly passed away at his home. We asked ourselves, “How can you be at work one day, and gone the next?” It doesn’t make sense, and we are deeply saddened to lose our comrade.
Mike joined VanderHouwen in 2009 as a Senior Recruiter. He had a great reputation in the Portland area, and we were excited to have him join our firm. I had known Mike for a few years prior to becoming a VanderHouwen employee and was sure that he would be a valuable addition to the team.
Over the years while working at VanderHouwen, our team came to know him well – his love of golf and cars, his animated story-telling ability, his deep appreciation for family, his willingness to share recruiting wisdom and mentor coworkers, and his genuine passion for helping tech professionals find amazing jobs. Oh, and we can’t forget his Italian cooking, especially on potluck days!
Mike demonstrated how easy it was to connect with people. Whether he’d just met you or knew you for many years, he was able to quickly establish meaningful relationships with people. Conversation came naturally to him and he could always get people talking about a variety of topics with his engaging personality. Those qualities not only made him a successful recruiter, but also a good friend. He was the type of guy that enjoyed life to the fullest, and would give the shirt off his back to anyone who needed it.
We’ll all celebrate our memories of jokes, happy hours, pranks, nerf gun wars, hallway football, Vegas trips, and most of all, his giddy laugh during an especially funny moment.
No matter who you are—a colleague, a client, or a friend— at VanderHouwen, we’re a family, and we always have each other’s backs. Sometimes we take for granted that there will be a tomorrow, but I hope you remember what is important in life and treat each other like it’s your last day.
We loved you Mike, and you will be greatly missed!