LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR DIES AT 48

Courtesy of Santa Monica Daily Press

by Ross Furukawa | 

Local entrepreneur, extreme sportsman and original Dogtown local Mike Vaughan passed away suddenly on June 18th. He was 48 years old.

A third generation Santa Monican, Mike attended Grant Elementary, John Adams Middle School and Santa Monica High School. Many locals knew the Vaughan family, they owned DSJ Printers on Pico Blvd for many years.

Mike started his printing career at DSJ, then launched his own printing company, Positive Existence Printing. Mike built Positive Existence to become an industry leader, printing movie posters, point of purchase displays and many of the billboards you see throughout Los Angeles.

Mike served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs council and the Santa Monica YMCA.

In 2005, Mike started ProSup Shop with his then-partner Nikki Von Reisen, Ross Furukawa and his father, Mike Vaughan Sr. Through insight, hard work and a long term vision, ProSup Shop became the largest Santa Up Paddle board business in LA County, operating at Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey.

Mike touched the lives of many through Pro Sup Shop. He introduced thousands of people to his love of the ocean through this accessible water sport, and was always generous with his time, resources and skills with anyone who showed interest.

He was instrumental in facilitating and building Stand Up Paddleboarding as a team building, social activity, and found it a great way to network with everyone on the water.

Mike played a huge role in starting the Santa Monica Pier Paddle and Ocean Festival, one of the largest water sports events on the West Coast.

A true waterman, Mike competed on a national level in Stand Up Paddleboard racing, eventually cracking the top 5 in his class. He would jump off his board to try to catch sharks with his bare hands. He paddled from San Pedro to Catalina, ran a marathon, then paddled back. He competed in the San Diego Bay to Bay 20 mile race in 10 ft swells during a winter storm. He never quit.

Mike was always the first to go out and the last to come in. He was always the guy who caught the biggest wave, surfed closest to the rock, and got stuffed in the deepest tube.

Most of all, he had a passion for sharing his love of sports and this infected everyone around him.

Mike Vaughan is survived by his wife Jennifer, son Cole, father Mike Vaughn Sr, mother Linda, brother Matt and sisters Diana, Christine and many nieces and nephews.

Ross Furakawa is publisher of Santa Monica Daily Press. editor@smdp.com