A football player, lacrosse champion and standout wrestler, Mike Serio graduated in 1986 ending a stellar Curley career. He graduated at the top of his class with the highest four-year average. Johns Hopkins University and Towson State were his next academic challenges, where he earned a degree in mass communications and TV production. While in college, Mike had the opportunity to develop his TV skills as a Jumbo-Tron camera operator at Memorial Stadium during the Orioles’ 1988 season.
But mostly he supported himself bartending at the beach during the summers, then at Della Rose’s in Overlea. There he worked with several Curley alumni including Joe ’73 and Tony ’88 Della Rose, Luke Tiernan ’88 and Matt Pfeiler ’87. It was at Della Rose’s that he met his wife of 23 years, Sheri. “She was a waitress and I was a bartender,” he remembers. “I kissed all the waitresses; she was the only one who kissed back.” They married in 1994. John Burke ’86 was the best man and Paul Bell ’84 was a groomsman. Both are still Mike’s friends today.
Professionally, Mike was employed for ten years as technical director and cameraman for WMAR-TV, working on “Rodricks for Breakfast” and the weekend news shows. That experience has morphed into his freelance activity as a TV cameraman with WMAR, as well as CBS, FOX, ESPN, CSN, MASN and just about any network covering sports. With all the pro and college teams in the Maryland-DC area, Mike acknowledges that “this is a great market for freelance TV engineers.” As one might imagine, being a cameraman can have its interesting moments. “I once had Michael Jordan run me over under the basket at a Wizards game,” he recounts. “No one came to my side to check on me. Everyone was worried about MJ. And one time Karl Malone fell on me while I was shooting. That hurt.”
Mike also worked in TV Production, and currently marketing, for Erickson Living. Oak Crest in Parkville is one of 19 Erickson retirement communities. “My mom has been a resident at Oak Crest for twelve years,” he explains. “The ‘peace of mind’ lifestyle at Erickson communities is great for both the people who live there and for their families. I enjoy this work because the product is special and I’ve witnessed it in my own family.” His children and niece, as well as his mom have appeared in TV commercials for Erickson. “It’s marketing and advertising, and the product is something that people really benefit from,” adds Mike, “and the people who ‘buy” live there. So what we say in marketing has to be inspirational and accurate, because the residents will surely tell us if it’s not!”
Speaking of children, when he married Sheri, Mike became an instant dad to Sheri’s two small children, Amanda and Matt. Sheri and Mike added two more to the mix, Morgan and Jake. Jake is a member of the Curley Class of 2019. Now Mike gets to have a second Curley experience, this time as a father. “Jake introduced me to Holy Hour - one of the best hours of my month. And boy did Curley, and Friar Matt and Fr. Donald help us all when we suddenly lost my sister Ann Marie to melanoma 2 years ago,” Mike says gratefully.
When reflecting on his student experience of Curley, Mike, the son of a Calvert Hall grad, has this to say. “We didn’t have the saying back in the 80’s of ‘Where Brotherhood Begins’ but that mantra really captures what Curley is all about. Curley turned out to be the best decision for me. My dad loved the school and made friends that were his brothers too. My Curley Family helped when he passed.
“At Curley, I learned how to both work hard and play hard. I had the opportunity to be on some pretty good teams. Our football team in ‘85 beat Calvert Hall at their place. I learned not to quit: I thought wresting “was a guy jumping off the top rope giving another guy a big elbow.” But when I tried out, I was too afraid of our head coach Tom DiCarlo to quit. I eventually placed second in the MSA. Curley taught me to try new things. My friends from football who had played lacrosse convinced me to go out for the team. I ended up loving being part of coach Steve Marshall and John Tucker’s B-Conference lacrosse championship.
“I definitely learned teamwork at Curley. Not just on the field but also in the classroom. Especially when Father Jude Michael was on a rampage about where to put your name and date on your homework. Sometimes just reminding your buddy to do the little things can keep them out of the flames. Our Curley faculty was approachable and also recognized when to push us. I try to use that in my leadership style today. And I think the SDR experience at Curley refined my comedic skills. There was a lot of joking going on all the time, and I’ve taken that attitude to all facets of my careers over the years… and I think it’s paid off.”
For fun, Mike and Sheri enjoy their Harley Davidson Road King Classic. They have great friends they ride with regularly. They especially love renting a motorcycle in Colorado and exploring the Rocky Mountains.
You can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org .