Meet Mike

Meet Mike

Photo of Mike sitting on the beach smiling. December 27, 1952 - October 7, 2009

Dr. Michael McAllister (Mike) was the co-founder and Executive Director of Networks for Training and Development. He left us suddenly at 56 years of age with still much to teach us.

Mike strongly believed that life was to be lived fully and dreams and passions followed. He encouraged this with everyone he met, regardless of their life situation. Mike was a staunch advocate for all who needed assistance to speak and follow their dreams, to participate more fully in life, to gain employment and develop careers, and to become full members of their community. Mike was driven by his belief that everyone has the abilities and the right to participate equally in society and, ultimately, to make decisions for oneself. This philosophy was at the core of his being. He was a thinker and a dreamer who was passionate in all he did and always wanting to push “the bar” to expand opportunities for all people. He was an honorable and compassionate man.

Mike was passionately involved in the delivery, evaluation, and planning of vocational and employment services for individuals with developmental disabilities with a firm belief that work and careers were real options for everyone. He completed his Doctoral studies at the University of Oregon, where he examined the impact of supported employment on rehabilitation organizations and developed his continuing interest in human service organizational change and development. He was extensively involved in systems planning, in-service training, and technical assistance with projects in Philadelphia, across Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, and Canada including the innovative development of community integrated employment programs through the use of person centered planning. Mike was an adjunct Assistant Professor at Lehigh University, Department of Education and Human Services for many years where he taught a number of courses in the area of severe disabilities, encouraging students to find and build their passion while also stretching the dreams of others. Mike was also active in his home community helping to create a neighborhood non-profit organization to save the community pool, as well as create various recreation activities, revitalize the town, and build community spirit. Mike was also a talented musician, a voracious reader, a competitive tennis player, practiced yoga, rode motorcycles, enjoyed good food and wine, was an avid supporter of ocean conservation, and loved to be near or in the ocean whether it be beach walking, swimming, scuba diving, surfing, or just watching the waves.

Mike left us in October 2009 after a tragic surfing accident --- he died doing what he loved, and left a legacy of impassioned imperatives.... everyone belongs, we all have purpose, with integrity we can achieve the “impossible”, and our oceans sustain us.

To find out more about the Got Mike! Fund and learn how you can get involved in any of our events, please email us.