Mike McCarthy smiles warmly as he recounts the friendships he’s made and the countless adventures he’s had during his 25 years at HARMAN. Having grown up in nearby Simi Valley, Mike began working at Infinity in Canoga Park while still in college. Rethinking his original goal of being a police officer, he followed his mother’s footsteps to HARMAN, where she worked in Human Relations for 35 years, before retiring 10 years ago. An admired member of the employee community, Mike is known for his commitment to teamwork, dedication to family, monumental charitable efforts and relentless love of baseball.
“I was fairly young when I started in the marketing department at Infinity, but I was into my car and having a loud sound system, so it was a good fit,” said Mike. “When Infinity and the HARMAN Consumer Group relocated to New York, I moved to JBL Professional and lucked into having the same position I had at Infinity.”
As a Tradeshow Specialist, Mike is now on the events and installation team for HARMAN Professional Solutions. The division had a presence at more than 100 events last year, including NAMM, Prolight + Sound and InfoComm. “I personally work on 10–15 events a year,” said Mike. “I may not go to all of them, but I help coordinate all of the details. It’s a huge process, but kind of cool to see it all come together. I like managing a lot of projects at once. The heavy workload can be stressful, but I really enjoy it.”
In addition to working at HARMAN, Mike spends a lot of time advocating and fundraising for Cystic Fibrosis. His daughter Katie was born with the disease 20 years ago and, as part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Mike has led Team Katie Bug and HARMAN volunteers as they’ve raised more than $175,000 in the past 17 years. “It’s our family’s passion; it’s what we live for,” he said. “We want to find a cure.”
“When Katie was first diagnosed, life expectancy was 23–27 years; 10 years down the road, she got another 10 years. Now, at 20, her life expectancy is in the mid-40s. So we keep fighting, keep fundraising and 90 percent of it goes directly toward the cause. Out of the funds we’ve raised, about $150,000 has come from HARMAN, HARMAN employees and other people with a connection to the company. The support has been incredible.”
“Katie is doing well, though. She got married, graduated from college and respiratory therapy school, so things are good. She gets sick once or twice a year, but we’re sort of accustomed to it,” he said.
The McCarthy family, however, thrives on the good times, going dirt bike riding and camping together whenever possible. “We have an RV, head out to the middle of nowhere and have a lot of fun getting away from the city,” said Mike. “I also really love baseball. My son plays in high school, and we go to as many Dodger games as possible.”
As a member of the HARMAN volunteer committee, Mike helps organize activities that engage employees in charitable activities. “In addition to the annual Great Strides walk for Cystic Fibrosis, we’re involved with everything from beach cleanups and food drives to the Relay For Life cancer walk and our sponsorship of Haven Hills, in which we fulfill Christmas wish lists for children in need. It’s all about giving back to the community and nice to see so many employees step up and participate,” said Mike. “It really makes a difference.”
Thanks very much to Mike for sharing his story and his generosity of spirit in the HARMAN community and beyond.
If you would like to learn more about Team Katie Bug, please contact Mike McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org.