Mike Fogarty '90; Paying it Back
By Julia Meehan '20
Mike Fogarty '90 grew up in Melrose, Mass., a Northshore community of Boston, and attended St John's Prep, an all-boys Catholic high school located in Danvers, Mass. Growing up as one of four boys, spanning only eight years, a strong competitive spirit was instilled in him at a young age as the brothers challenged each other often. In high school, he competed in three varsity sports; football, indoor track & field (winter), and outdoor track & field (spring).
When it came time to make a college decision, Mike felt the most comfortable at Wesleyan. He liked the coaching staff, and a couple of former St John's students were at Wesleyan (Matt Coan '89, Norm Beaulieu '89 and Dave Glatz '87). Their positive school spirit convinced him to head to Middletown. He immediately felt a part of the campus and the team in comparison to the other schools he visited.
Here at Wesleyan, Mike played football and was on the track team in the winter and spring, participating in throwing events. He was coached by Bill Macdermott as a freshman but during his sophomore year, the team underwent a coaching change as Kevin Spencer took over the helm.
During his junior season, Mike took a break from football to recover from an injury. He returned his senior year and was able to earn a starting role on the offensive line, despite his hiatus. A highlight during his senior campaign was lining up across from Ted Rogers, a Williams College standout who went on to play one season in the NFL. These were key building years for Wesleyan football as the team posted a winning season right after he left. Mike also served as one of the captains of the track teams his senior year.
However, Mike's greatest memories weren't about the records. He loves looking back and remembering the team spirit and comradery he felt during his time on the team. "There's something about having the field in the middle of the campus," Mike said in a recent interview. "It's just a great place to play the game." Some of his best friends are still the people who he played football with at Wesleyan. "Even if we don't see each other for years at a time, there is still an immediate connection and sense of bonding between us."
During his time on campus, Mike also found time to manage the East College cafeteria, which is now Summerfields in the Butterfields Dorm. He worked many breakfast and lunch shifts on top of dedicating much of his time as a three-sport athlete. Additionally, Mike pledged the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) and subsequently served as an officer nearly every semester. He led the fraternity as President his senior year and describes DKE as being a great group of guys with similar interests.
After graduating in 1990, he returned to Boston to work for Boston Coach, a ground transportation company. There, he held a variety of positions and responsibilities until 2005, when he founded his own ground transportation venture, Tristar. His youngest brother, Brian, who had followed his footsteps to Wesleyan as a baseball player, graduated eight years later and then joined Mike in his new company. Together, they built a high-performing business, and in 2016, Mike and the other executives elected to sell the business to Addison Lee Group.
Currently, Mike serves as President of Addison Lee Group of North America. If you ever use black cars, busses, or shuttles, you may very well have been using his company. They work for corporate accounts, as well as private passengers. Just recently, Mike has put his Wesleyan government major to work. "We were lobbying for a level playing field against companies like Uber and Lyft," he recollects. His knowledge of government process served him well. Other Wesleyan friends of Mike, including his brother, Brian, and Frank Barrett '87, a former hockey and baseball player, still work with him as well.
Mike has stayed living in the Boston area. He married his wife, Zoe, in 1996 and is looking forward to touring Wesleyan with his older son, Griffin, who is currently a high school junior. Justin, a freshman in high school, trails close behind.
When Mike thinks about his experiences on the Wesleyan campus, he is grateful for its commitment to diversity. Having gone to an all-boys Catholic high school, "Wesleyan was the first meaningful exposure to people with wildly different perspectives." He went on to talk about how these experiences opened his eyes to differences in the world, and are the foundation of the interpersonal skills he uses every day in the corporate world. As an undergraduate, throwing a frisbee on Foss Hill with people of divergent backgrounds was routine. Now he realizes how important those experiences were in becoming an open-minded business person; he not only looks for other perspectives, but he also values them.
Without the support and scholarships that were available to him because of generous Wesleyan alumni, Mike would not have had his collegiate experience. Therefore, he gives back, supporting the programs and cheering on Wesleyan and its athletes. "Ever since I graduated," he said, "I have felt the need to pay it back. I want other people to be able to have the same great experience I did."