This week Discover Mukilteo Talks with Farmer’s Agent Mike Dixon, a US Virgin Islander who has spent the last 15 years volunteering and serving the greater Mukilteo community. While Mike is not serving on multiple boards and spending time with his family, the classically trained musician enjoys music, kayaking, and dancing.
DM: How long have you lived in Mukilteo?
MD: 15 years; after several corporate relocations, I moved here in September 2007 and have lived here ever since.
DM: You have owned a Farmer’s Insurance Agency in Old Town Mukilteo for almost three years. How did you get started in the insurance business, and why did you pick Mukilteo?
MD: I moved here in 2007 to run the Sensor business for Eaton Corporation. After several years in the corporate sector, I was laid off from my last role in early 2020 due to the pandemic. I have an MBA and the nature of insurance as an advisory business that I could own appealed to me as my early career was as an investment banker and financial advisor. I love the fiduciary role of being a trusted advisor. Plus, after 20 years as an employee, I relished the opportunity to try to build an enterprise on my own. Farmers has the reputation of being the “Ritz Carlton” of insurance. I thought that strong brand and reputation for service would resonate well in Mukilteo, and it has.
DM: You are very active in the Mukilteo Community. Can you tell us about the boards you serve on as well as your volunteer positions? Why did you choose these organizations?
MD: I enjoy service and have been elected 3x as a water/sewer commissioner (twice for Alderwood WWD and now currently with Mukilteo WWD). I love the complexity of the issues and working to ensure we have sound planning for critical infrastructure needs. When I read horror stories around the nation, I sleep soundly knowing that I helped to ensure our infrastructure is well administered and maintained with 75-year plans in place.
I was appointed to the Mukilteo Diversity Equity and Inclusion Commission earlier this year. I’m African American and hope that through this work, I can help build an even more cohesive community here in Mukilteo.
I was appointed to the YMCA Mukilteo branch board in 2020. I’ve been a member since 2007 and love the function the Y provides of being a healthy outlet and social hub for our town.
I joined the Lighthouse Festival Association this year and was recently elected to its board in the spring. I love the festival tradition as it reminds me of the annual carnival celebrations in my native US Virgin Islands.
DM: Is there an achievement or contribution you are most proud of, and why?
MD: I am most proud to have a good reputation and a broad network of friends. The true measure of character, I believe, is how people describe you over a lifetime. I still have time left on that, but thus far, I’m pleased with the results.
DM: Do you have any hobbies or interests?
MD: I love kayaking, Latin dance, and enjoying live music, preferably with my children and my significant other, Alise McCormick.
DM: What is your favorite place in Mukilteo to visit and why?
MD: The beach park, hands down. I’m a native islander and adore the sight, sound and smell of ocean water. I can’t wait for the new waterfront development and hope it truly amazes us all.
DM: Do you have a favorite book, website, or podcast, and why?
MD: I read a fair amount and enjoy podcasts and audiobooks. I’m a lifelong learner and enjoy personal growth and reflection.
DM: If you could have dinner with someone (alive or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?
MD: Ben Franklin, our quintessential renaissance man. I admire his lifetime of achievement and constant personal growth.
DM: What do you think surprises people about you?
MD: I am a classically trained musician, so I love the arts and enjoy musical theater, classical music, and jazz. (Editor’s Note: Mike mainly plays the saxophone. He studied classical music and played both alto and straight soprano sax as a child, played in the handbell choir, and did solfège. He also played steel pan and has very rudimentary skills on the piano. He spent a summer at Interlochen, a center for the arts located in Michigan.)
DM: Do you have any children? If so, what are their names?
MD: I have five children – three adults (Tarik 29, Akil 28 and Khari 26) and two teenagers (Nehemiah 15 and Naomi 13). I’m a single parent and Nehemiah and Naomi live with me. I also have a daughter-in-law, Monique, who is married to Tarik.
DM: What kind of pets do you have, if any? What are their names?
MD: We have two toy fox terriers, a mother/daughter pair – Maxine (Maxi) and Myra.
DM: Is there anything else you would like to share with me?
MD: I love to sing, but wish I was better.
DM: Is there any question I should have asked you but did not ask?
MD: No – I felt like this was an episode of Fresh Air and you were Terry Gross grilling me. Great questions!