Composed by Alliance’s Mike Prokop
Many of us at The Alliance Risk Group have known Mike throughout his career since his early days at Crowell and Moring. Mike was the kind of person that when he spoke, everyone listened. This is a testament to the subject matter knowledge that he had and more importantly, the respect that people had for Mike. His sense of professionalism was matched only by his quick wit and infectious smile.
I met Mike back in 2004 when he joined Crowell & Moring working with Chris Ondeck to provide anti-trust guidance for the Committee of Chief Risk Officers (“CCRO”) organization. Mike brought a great deal of valuable experience of how things worked on The Hill given his time working on the staff of US Representative Gilmor from Ohio. Sharing these experiences with us, at times, was done with a little bit of humor so that he knew the topic would sink in. The best example of this was during the pre-Dodd-Frank years when Mike was explaining to us how a Bill gets passed through The House and Senate and then to the President’s desk. He told us that he could think of no better way to illustrate this process than to show a video of how it’s done. The lights went out and up on the screen was the classic episode from Schoolhouse Rock! “I’m Just a Bill”. Of course, the room full of executives broke out in laughter but by the end of the video, you could see that they all learned something. What I learned that day as well was that Mike Gill would be my friend for the next 20 years.
The most important thing I knew about Mike was that he was a devoted husband and father. When I would see him on my many trips to Washington over the years our first questions to each other were regarding our families. One time in particular, he thought it was so cool that President Obama’s girls were attending the same school as his daughter Annika. As great dads do, he was attending his child’s school activities and sitting in the same bleachers with the First Lady!
Finally, Mike Gill was my friend. There was no doubt that Mike and I were both of Irish ancestry when I was with him. Years ago, he made me promise that when I came up to DC from Houston I was to call him and set a time to meet at Fado (Irish Pub) next to The Capitol One Center. There we would order our fish and chips and bangers and mash and of course, a glass of Guinness each. It was there that I would hear his stories about everything going on at home and in The District. In addition, he taught me a number of Gaelic words and phrases as well as the rules of Curling since there was always a match on one of the TVs. I don’t think that it is a coincidence at all that Fado closed after 22 years in 2020, which was also the last year that I saw Mike in person. The last time I saw Mike was, of course, the last time I set foot in Washington, DC. We kept our promises to each other because we were colleagues, but more importantly, because we were friends.
May God rest your soul Mike, and may he keep Kristina, Sean, Brian, and Annika in his care as he and you watch over them. beannacht Dé leat