Meet Mike: A Real West Virginia Heritage
A Holler in Barbour County
I wasn’t born rich or with a famous last name. My family stems from Philippi and, to this day, much of my family lives in the region. My earliest memories as a young boy are of sitting on the front porch at my grandma’s and grandpa’s house along Route 257 between Nutter Fort and Philippi in Barbour County. I spent a lot of time there- at that little white house with a tin roof in that holler in Barbour County. I can still remember my grandpa Bud picking me up in his pick-up, always with a cold Mountain Dew or Cherokee Red soda pop ready for an eager young boy to enjoy. I sometimes think everything I needed to know for success in my life was learned on that front porch and in that holler in Barbour County. Coal mining, hunting, faith in America and God, self-reliance, respect for family- these were the foundations of my family.
Morgantown & Monongalia County
I was blessed with a great family and amazing parents who valued hard work and education. I have one sister and she lives in Morgantown today. My dad and granddads were coal miners. In fact, my dad was a coal miner for more than 50 years. When I was a young boy, my family moved to Morgantown for my dad to work at King Knob Coal. Coal mining runs in the blood of my family. While my dad was working coal, my mom went to vocational school to get a licensed practical nursing degree. To this day, my mom and dad are my American heroes. They taught me to work hard, fight for every opportunity, and today, I can tell you that I’ve lived the American Dream. I graduated from Morgantown High as the President of my class. I’ve never been afraid of hard work or too proud to take any job. I’ve done every job known to man: newspaper boy, burger flipper, pizza maker, waiter, bartender, ventilation duct installer, horse stall worker & “manure engineer”, entrepreneur, accountant (PricewaterhouseCoopers), and accomplished lawyer.
Fairmont & Marion County
I am one of the most blessed guys I know. I married “up” to Katrina Pileggi, from Fairmont, WV, and we have been married for nearly 30 years. A Fairmont West Polar Bear, Katrina is a steady, stable hand, a remarkable dedicated mom, and a true partner. I can’t tell you the amount of time I’ve spent in Fairmont from the Poky Dot to Yann’s, to Muriales. I can tell you the best pepperoni rolls in West Virginia- the original Country Club Bakery pepperoni rolls!
You can take the boy of West Virginia but you can’t take the West Virginia out of the boy
After graduating from West Virginia University with accounting and political science degrees, I took a position as a financial statement account with the global firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in its Pittsburgh office. It was an incredible experience representing clients from around the world including a client based in Guinea, Africa.
After a few years practicing as an accountant, I went to law school in Boston and practiced law in Boston for several years. But no matter where we were, West Virginia was in our souls. After that fateful day on 9/11, we decided it was time to return home to raise our family and try to make a difference.
Kanawha County & Southern West Virginia
For more than twenty years, we've lived in the greater Charleston area. Katrina and I raised our family in Kanawha County. We have two remarkable, achieving daughters (Bella & Audrey) who are both in college. I've been Chairman of the WV Republican Party, a partner at two major law firms, the Co-Chair of the 2016 Trump for President campaign in West Virginia, and a member of the Trump Administration as the United States Attorney as nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the United States Senate.
My daughters attended public schools in the greater Charleston area. My wife has worked every day since the day we returned to West Virginia. We are a working class family.
As United States Attorney based in Charleston, I was the chief federal law enforcement officer for all of southern West Virginia. I led the largest drug raids in the history of West Virginia. I worked closely with the FBI, DEA, and all federal agencies. I took on corruption and fraud. We had major enforcement actions throughout the District including in Parkersburg, Huntington, Beckley, Charleston and Williamson and many others. I spent countless time working with local officials and law enforcement to ensure public safety. Heck, I even prosecuted two member of the State Supreme Court.
From graduating college to attending a top national law school (and paying every dime myself), from being born a Democrat to later leading a Republican Revolution in the state, to serving as the Co-Chair of the 2016 Trump for President campaign in WV, to later serving as President Trump's pick as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, I've dedicated my life to making a difference and fighting for "everyday" people.
I've lived a real "West Virginia story." My story is the story of West Virginia.