Michael (“Mike on the Pike”) Garcia – Arlington native, small business owner and former actor — has been on the CPRO board of directors since 2014. He also started service on the Arlington Chamber of Commerce board in 2014, and in 2016 was named to the A-SPAN board of directors.
Mike’s participation in Arlington’s civic community is reflected in the State Farm® Agency he has run on Columbia Pike since 1987. Here he serves all his customers — who run the gamut from native Arlingtonians to new arrivals in the County — with the same cheerful, competent demeanor he carries everywhere he goes.
He knows Columbia Pike well, having grown up in South Arlington, on Edison Street just off Route 50, attending Thomas More Elementary School and Bishop O’Connell High School. He has fond memories of palling around with friends at Pike landmarks – eating at The Broiler and playing miniature golf at an indoor course that is now the Columbia Pike Artists Studios, above the Arlington Theatre, which is now the Cinema & Drafthouse – still with its signature “Arlington” sign – neon-lit for all to see at the corner of the Pike and Walter Reed Drive.
Mike chuckles recalling a 1973 promotion run by the theatre for a Woody Allen film, ‘Sleeper” — free admission for movie-goers wearing pajamas to the matinee. Wearing pajamas in broad daylight, Mike and a friend walked all the way from 8th Street and Glebe Road to get their free movie. That episode may have foreshadowed Mike’s life-long love of the world of theater.
Most people probably don’t know that Mike has also been a professional actor. He attended the Catholic University of America, where he received a Bachelor Fine Arts in Drama. In the 1970’s, he performed on the D.C. dinner theatre circuit, including the Burn Brae Dinner Theatre, Capitol Dinner Theatre, and Melody Fare Dinner Theatre. A highlight of his theatre career was performing in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, first at Catholic University’s Hartke Theatre, then at Olney Theatre, and finally a six-month long, pre-Broadway run at Ford’s Theatre.
In his post-theater life, Mike channeled his energy into being a State Farm® Agent, earning many citations, sales and service awards. He is a Retirement Income Certified Professional™, recently earned from the American College, Long Term Care Professional™, and State Farm® Crystal Excellence Qualifier.
His wife, Valerie is the Principal of Blessed Sacrament School in Alexandria. They have two children, Adam and Stefanie. In his spare time – when he’s not attending Board meetings for the Chamber, A-SPAN or CPRO — Michael enjoys golfing and is a fan of DC Sports Teams. We appreciate his being a member of the CPRO team!