It grieves me to my very soul to have to report the death of Michael “Mike” Gaughan, chairman and co-founder of MGA Communications, one of the primo PR firms in Denver. He died Tuesday from complications from surgery. He was 77.
Mike, who has been with his life and business partner Jeff Julin forever, was a beloved friend of mine. Mike, Jeff and a guest and I would go to dinner quarterly at Barolo Grill, and have such a great time eating numerous courses and drinking vodka.
He had had some health scares, but always roared back. This time he lost the battle. I am so sad.
From his official obituary:
Mike has worked in the public relations and marketing field since the late 1970s. He has more than 40 years of experience developing public and community engagement programs based on a mutual-gains approach.
Mike will tell you his career really began when he was hired at the age of 15 as a marquee boy for the Dundee Theatre in Omaha. From that humble beginning, Mike rose in the ranks of the theater chain until he was promoted and became responsible for all advertising and marketing for the circuit. In the mid-’80s Mike founded his own public relations firm which has morphed into MGA Communications.
Mike is a recognized leader in program design with a talent for melding communications tools into unique programs for an extensive list of clients.
Since 1985, Mike has served as MGA’s team leader directing Shell Oil’s outreach program at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal while providing assistance to the U.S. Army and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The site is now a premier, urban national wildlife refuge attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. In 2010, the international public relations publication The Holmes Report called the outreach program at RMA one of the top five of the decade.
Mike also led MGA’s community engagement program for the Regional Transportation District’s West Line, 12.1 miles running from Denver’s Union Station to Golden in Jefferson County. MGA’s successful program engaged citizens and elected officials from a broad number of differing government jurisdictions, business districts and ethnic neighborhoods.
What a lovely man, and I am so lucky to have had him in my life. Rest in peace, my friend.