Here is a tongue-in-cheek bio I submitted for a recent industry event:

“The son of Arizona Restaurant Association (now Arizona Restaurant and Hospitality Association–ARHA) Hall-of-Famer Leonard Monti Sr., Michael Monti was born into a great tradition of the Arizona restaurant industry, being raised in and around the walls of the legendary Monti’s La Casa Vieja in Tempe. His first job was bussing tables at the age of 12. While proud of his father’s accomplishments, Michael had very different plans for his own future. He got his BA degree in Spanish from Arizona State University and then went on to graduate with a law degree from the University of San Diego. He was sure that his extensive studies would keep him far and away from the reach of the family business. Michael, determined as he was to stay away, was still called upon in 1993 by his elderly father
to take over the venerable  establishment.  He agreed and returned to Tempe. Surprisingly, he flourished–and not knowing to quit while he was Ahead–he and his fellow buccaneer, Eddie Goitia, opened Monti’s at the Ranch in 1996 in Mesa, took over ownership of the famed Tempe location
in 1997, then launched Monti’s of Scottsdale in 1998 and finally relocated and renamed the Mesa operation to Michael Monti’s Mesa Grill in 2000. These now extinct and still expensive learning experiences are what have made the original Monti’s La Casa Vieja the even better
restaurant it is today.

When not engaged in the hard scrabble tactics of restaurant survival, Michael fancies himself an amateur Arizona historian. Through his newsletter and tours of the restaurant, he rambles out quirky
episodes of Monti family lore and Tempe history. A firm believer in the responsibilty of business owners to build social capital, Michael actively serves on a number of industry, community and political causes including the Arizona Restaurant and Hospitality Association, Tempe Rotary, and
Tempe Diablos Charities.

Michael resides in a manic household with his wife Christen and their four young children while awaiting arrival of their fifth in October.”

To the above I will add that, when time and finances permit–alas, rarely these days–I enjoy dabbling in Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo 5.0 (in the past known as Ed Parker’s American Kenpo Karate of the AKKS variety), travelling and reading a broad spectrum of fiction and nonfiction.

Linkedin Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/1/4bb/1bb




  1. mark gorman said,


    I am amateur researching “Herbert Richmand Gage 1848 – 1930” who was associated with Abbot Kinney in forming Venice, CA. I am thinking he may be related to George N. Gage of Tempe. Any Ideas ?

    • Michael Monti said,

      I cannot claim any personal knowledge of this matter, but let me refer it to greater minds than my own. I will see if anyone at the Old Settlers association, for example, could help you.

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