Mike was born and raised in Waterloo by his parents Jon and Sharon Payne. He has one older sister, Susan, who lives in Cambridge England. He graduated from DeKalb High School in 1990. From there he went off to Terre Haute, Indiana to attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology where he graduated with a Civil Engineering degree in 1994. After college, he came back to DeKalb County to work for Auburn Foundry. In 1999, Mike signed on with Metal Technologies as an engineer. Currently, Mike serves as Vice President of Engineering and Environmental for MTI. In 2000, he received his M.B.A. from Indiana University via IPFW.
Mike married the love of his life Sarah Musser, also of Waterloo, in 2002. Sarah is the Executive Director of the DeKalb Health Foundation. Sarah and Mike live in Auburn with their two children, Charlie (12) and Tucker (9), as well as two basset hounds. Both Mike and Sarah are very passionate about Auburn and the surrounding DeKalb County community. They enjoy volunteering where their schedule permits. Mike also enjoys golf and working around the house.