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Mike O’Gorman’s Perfect Work/Life Balance

Mike O'Gorman (on left) cheering for the home team
Mike O’Gorman (on left) cheering for the home team

You’re going to read this piece and automatically think the same thing I thought when I first interviewed Mike O’Gorman: It must be an interesting life as an alcohol and beverage attorney in Portland.

Just for your own clarification, the definition of alcohol beverage attorney is:

“An attorney who assists clients in obtaining alcoholic beverage licenses or permits in the states where the liquor, beer or wine permit or alcoholic beverage license is being sought by the client either at the retail, wholesale, or manufacturing/importing level.”

It’s no surprise then that when asked what his favorite thing about Portland is, Mike doesn’t hesitate in replying with, “the beer scene.”

Still, his work as an alcohol beverage attorney isn’t just about enjoying cocktails and living the high life.

He describes his work as hosting events, so he gets involved with many events all over town with beer and alcohol industry people, non-profit organizations and sports teams.

“I’ve also gotten to know a lot of the people involved in the Oregon brewing scene and get involved with everything from beer festivals to legislative and OLCC issues with them,” he explains.

With such a fun job, surely Mike knows how to live a fun life!

“I like to brew beer and cider,” he says, as though we should be surprised, “play disc golf, go to sporting events – I have season tickets to the Timbers. I love to go beer and wine tasting and get outdoors for camping and rafting,” he finishes.

Although Mike has a great job and seems to live a fun-filled life, he doesn’t forget other aspects of the city he loves, aspects he sees both personally and professionally, the not-so-pretty parts of our fair city.

He puts word to it explaining what’s revealed during a walk he takes during Saturday Market.

“Every time I go down to the Saturday market I like to look at this one portion of the Willamette that is sectioned off between the truss of the bridge and the waterfront,” he carefully explains.

“This spot is a reminder of the human struggle to me as it is always filled with floating used syringes and yet it is right next to a bustling market and a shipping container that has been equipped with a sharps collection box,” he finishes.

Despite the state’s overwhelming homeless population and strange juxtaposition of its unique “Portland’ness” with its infamy as a center for people who have not a roof over their head, there is still much to be loved – and much home to be found – in the City of Roses.

“I enjoy living in PDX and on the whole, it’s a welcoming and nice place to be,” Mike admits. “Living here is, to me, a nice balance between a small city and a large metropolitan area.”

Although he does leave a little disdain for what he calls Portland’s “overly-conservative drivers,” isn’t that something we can all relate to?

Certainly, a lot of Mike’s story – as a PDX person through-and-through – provides interesting nuggets we can all relate to, although you can’t deny you probably wish there was a little more alcohol attorney work/life action in your own personal and professional lives. We certainly do.

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William Bessette PDX People Contributor

William BessetteWilliam Bessette is a journalist and freelance writer who has been covering politics, entertainment, culture and travel for over thirteen years. When he’s not profiling Portland-area restaurants and residents, you can find him reporting on national and international travel and eco-tourism through his travel brand, Floppy Hat Adventures

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