Michael W. Graham grew up in a log cabin built by his parents in the small town of Cartersville, Virginia. His early explorations throughout the countryside inspired his sense of adventure and began his love of travel, which has shaped his worldview both personally and professionally. Due to his entrepreneurial spirit, Michael W. Graham continually seeks new ways to drive growth across the businesses that he owns.
After studying computer science at the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina (Coastal Carolina Campus), he started Fool-Proof Software Corporation in 1990 with W. Scott Means (previously a Senior Programmer for Microsoft), and they invented the first single-screen, multiplayer electronic game system. For the next few years, Mr. Graham served dual roles as Fool-Proof’s Director of Operations and Software Design Engineer.
In the mid 90’s, he moved to a new company, Better Games Distributing Co., Inc., which was located in Tabor City, North Carolina. Over the next 20 years, in addition to handling compliance and legal issues, Mr. Graham led the expansion of Better Games’ leasing operations into several states as well as international locations such as Brazil, Mexico, and Panama.
Aside from his technical pursuits, Michael W. Graham shares a love of fine food with his wife, Chef Kelly Graham. Together, they opened the award-winning SeaBlue Restaurant and Wine Bar in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 2004. SeaBlue consistently earns the Triple Diamond award from AAA as well as a Best of the Beach award for Best Fine Dining Restaurant. Although the Grahams sold their establishment to friends in 2007, it remains a Top 10 Restaurant in South Carolina, and was just awarded a spot on the Top 100 Restaurants in America.
During this same period, Mr. Graham was named CEO of Better Games and oversaw over 75 employees. He piloted the company through a period of sustainable growth and overcame many challenges.
During that tenure, he and wife Kelly had traveled the world extensively (over 300 cities and 25 countries), discovering new places and learning the logistics of travel. After his retirement from Better Games in 2013, they decided to open a Travel Agency, so he could leverage his travel experience for the benefit of others. Eventually, he decided upon a Cruise Planners / American Express Travel Franchise and opened Take The Trip Travel in August of 2013 – the web site is www.TakeTheTrip.com.
Michael W. Graham enjoys reading about history, philosophy, linguistics, and semiotics. He also unwinds outdoors by jogging, hiking, golfing, kayaking, rafting, and scuba diving. He speaks Portuguese fluently, and frequently travels abroad. He, his wife, and his son make their home in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.