AArrow wouldn't be what it is today without some people, especially the founders that started it all. We're going all the way to the nations capital, Washington, D.C. to recognize one of our most influential members of our team. Mike Patterson, you are June's Sign Spinner of the Month!
Mike Patterson, originally from Washington, D.C. and Maryland, has been spinning signs for 18 years and making sign spinning happen for just as long. Some of his favorite tricks are the "Scorpion Tail" and the "Improved Upon One-Night-Stand." Mike is the co-founder of AArrow on the East Coast and is currently the premier franchisee, overseeing markets in Denver, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.
"Mike is like a brother to me, one of my favorite people in the world. To have been able to work with such a great friend for so long is an honor." - Max Durovic, Founder & CEO
Mike started sign spinning in 2002, after meeting Max Durovic, CEO & Founder of AArrow, their freshmen year at Georgetown University. When Max sold his first client on the East Coast he asked Mike P. for a ride from the airport to the first shift. Confused as to why Max had a surfboard case, Mike learned about the new business venture during a 30 minute car ride. Little did Mike know, he was actually about to spin his first shift. So Mike was tricked into spinning a 5 hour shift with no warning and no training, and that was how AArrow Sign Spinners started on the East Coast!
At the time, Mike was a broke college student so he needed a part time job anyway. As a former high school athlete, this was a perfect fit for him to embrace the sports side of AArrow. Getting paid to do something active is any young persons dream job.
"Mike Patterson is the leader, mentor, and friend that every business needs" - Joe Ambert, VP of Sales
On the business side, Mike saw the potential in AArrow to bring about change and to make a positive impact in the community. He was a dual major in Theology and Political Science, with a strong passion for social justice. Mike was going to make a difference.
In D.C., the wealth gap is colossal, as it is in many places across the country, but there was also a monumental experience and opportunity deficit separating the upper class from the working class. With sign spinning, he could help bridge the gap and provide good paying part-time work, opportunities, and work experience for the people. Mike's core philosophy is 100% people-centric, and that if you take care of the people, that the rest comes with it in time. His team is entirely made of sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters; it's a pretty powerful sense of community in D.C.
"His Passion is an example to us all" - Mike Kenny, COO & Co-Founder
"I do it 100% for my people, I've watched so many spinners grow up into adults after working at AArrow. It's a good feeling to be able to help people. I've helped provide management positions and opportunities to travel and grow for hundreds of spinners. " He goes on and on about it, says it all the time! Little known fact about Mike, in high school he was peer counselor and peer mentor, he has a passion for helping people.
D.C. is also one of the most influential cities in the country. Mike saw that guerrilla marketing could be particular powerful in reaching people. Mike has spun for countless causes, progressive candidates, non-profits, and charities to reach thousands of people every day. Currently his team is actively involved with the Black Lives Matter movement across DC.
The Black Lives Matters movement is especially powerful for Mike, but so many of the sign spinners nationwide. Countless spinners have had negative experience with law enforcement solely because of how they look, what they are wearing, or where they are from. Patterson, who can also share similar stories of him and his friends, has had enough and it was time to do something. "Why are we out here to do this? We are doing this to create positive social change, control the narrative. In D.C. its one of the few places we can control the narrative, this is bigger than the Superbowl to me."
Since 2009, Mike has become the premiere franchisee of AArrow Sign Spinners. Originally starting with the DMV area, Mike has helped AArrow expand to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, and Denver. He employs hundreds of sign spinners every year, and takes pride in providing management positions and housing for his team. He has been incredibly influential in the sport side, as some of the local spinners from his area have gone on to win the World Sign Spinning Championshps. He's done a lot of great things with AArrow, but his favorite was going with Max and Mike Kenny to film the NBA All-Star commercial featuring viral sign spinning sensation, Rico El-lis.
When Mike isn't spinning, he can be found running the streets of Washington D.C. or doing hot yoga with his wife (a lot of hot yoga). Together, they have an amazing 4 year old son who gets into just as much trouble as his father. He's an avid fan of breakfast sandwiches and loves him a deep dish pizza with green pepper and onion. When asked what are the most important qualities in a leader, he answered, "Integrity, perseverance, open mind, and receptiveness."