About Michael (Crates) McDade

Head shot photo of Michael McDade, also known as Crates.
Such a handsome boy!

Hi! I'm Crates McDade. I have over 2 decades of industry experience in full-stack app architecture and scaling, online marketing, internet and operational security, cloud architecture and grooming, training and leading phenomenal teams.

I'm the de facto CTO of FranSuite, a venture built and owned by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the "Big 4" advisory firms. I've previously led teams at Gartner, McKinsey, OppenheimerFunds, Subway, Morgan Stanley and elsewhere.

I have an international retail business I built from scratch which has 37500 fans on Facebook, as well as an independent record label, a clothing manufacturing company, an event production company that rents stages, lights and sound equipment to music festivals and parties all around the northeast US, and a media development and marketing firm that does websites, apps and advertising.

I do a lot of music production, and I'm writing a book on building and running agile development teams across oceans.

I'm working on a non-profit to try and address the disparity of burden placed on lowest-income citizens as a result of climate change (a phenomenon termed "climate gap"). I'm also working on a productivity / organization / life management app called VieDay (View and Improve Every Detail About Yourself: V.I.E.D.A.Y.; also from "vie", to struggle towards superiority).

I'm an avid hiker, a world traveler, and a consummate mountain climber. I enjoy testing my boundaries and challenging myself. I've volunteered for many non-profit causes my entire life, starting with 7 years of Boy Scouts when I was young. I've served on the board of directors of six different non-profit organizations. I enjoy philanthropic hobbies like Habitat for Humanity.

I'm currently working on building my own non-profit, called ClimGap, meant to address the disparate burden that climate change poses to the most economically disadvantaged people in the world, who frequently lack the resources to relocate from areas most affected by climate change.

I'm a thrill-seeker. I jump out of perfectly good airplanes for my own entertainment. Currently, I'm working on my Advanced Free Fall skydiving certification. I always land running (and not on my ass).

I don't smoke or drink (anymore)... I quit both in the beginning of 2011.

I bought a police car with sirens and everything, because at heart, I'm still like... eleven. Seriously, I'm just a little kid: I love watching cartoons, driving fast, dinosaurs, lego blocks and boobies.

When I have the time, I practice classical Spanish finger-style guitar, keyboard, piano, and the saxophone. As a hobby, I do local community theater, and I've been lucky enough to score a role in a full-length independent film, which I finished in late 2010 and premiered in March of 2011.

I've studied Polish, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, American Sign Language, Lojban, Romanian and Mandarin Chinese... but to be honest, English and Spanish are the only languages I'm still fluent in. I've lost most of the rest over time.

Sometimes I like to write. I haven't taken it seriously in many, many years, though. Producing music is also a joy of mine, and I definitely enjoy creating unique material, beats, songs, post-production and audio editing in general. I like being behind the camera, whether taking video or stills, and have a lot of fun editing those as well.

For fun, I enjoy free-climbing, snowboarding, waterskiing, bungee jumping, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, parasailing, traveling to new countries and continents, and learning about the world. As of January of 2012, I've been to Canada, Mexico, England, France, New Zealand, Australia, and almost every single state in the US. My favorite museums are the Louvre and the MoMA, where I've spent countless hours taking pictures during my visits over the years.

I've had quite a few brushes with near-death experiences. Nearly drowned a couple times, had my life saved by seatbelts/airbags a few times, lots of close calls with potentially long falls (I did some free-climbing back in the day... basically, mountaineering with no harness). Nearly died of a ventricular tachycardia incident a couple years ago due to a congenital birth defect in my heart that nobody knew existed (but that has since been corrected via radial ablation).

My favorite movie of all time is Fight Club. I have started five or six bare-knuckle boxing clubs over the years and fought in over 100 fights personally, broken my nose seven or eight times, split my lip twice, fractured my eye socket twice, and other various injuries. Haven't fought in about four years, though.

I've ridden a horse bare-back into the ocean. I've waterskied not only on regular skis, and also barefoot, but once on the noses of two dolphins. I have climbed the steps of Chichen Itza and the Eiffel Tower, walked on the stage of Shakespeare's Globe Theater, (and been in his home), I've driven up across almost the entire western coast of Australia, a leprechaun once gave me a tiny wooden shillelagh (I have witnesses), I've made phone calls to Antarctica and the White House, I've met the CEO of Intel, the founder of Dell computers, one of the co-founders of Apple computers, and got to meet the most notorious computer hacker ever to live behind closed doors and talk shop for a few hours, the day before he stole my identity in front of a live audience of over 1,500 people (with my permission).

My tastes in music are broad. I'm equally partial to Frank Sinatra as I am to Cee-Lo Green / Gnarls Barkley, System of a Down, Busta Rhymes, Erik Mongrain, Bitter: Sweet, Tim Minchin, Verve Remixed, Flight of the Conchords, Amon Tobin, Michael Hsiao, Propellerheads and Charlie Parker.

I've had some opportunities to party with some of my favorite celebs. Back in college, I got to hang out with MC Chris in the green room before he went on. He's definitely among the most humble and enjoyable hiphop artists I've ever chilled with, right up there with Zach Deputy who is just a big damn teddy bear.

Picture of Misha Collins holding a Hellhound Fetus crafted by Libby Corcoran
This was the best day of Misha Collins's life. Don't let him tell you otherwise.

I once gave Misha Collins a fetus (courtesy of Libby Corcoran). Yes, in person. No, don't ask. Jared Padalecki is a total hometown-grown sweetheart with a heart of gold. Alona Tal is the same way, she's a blast to party with, she knows how to drink, and she's actually a quite decent singer. Richard Speight is hilarious in person.

I have two cats (Mister Kitty, and Tux) and a dog (Cooper). Each were rescues.

A picture of my black cat, Tux, my fianceé Alexis, and my beagle Cooper.
Left to right: Tux, Zebralexis and Cooper the beagle.