Mike watching the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan for insurgents
If you made a list of all the characteristics that made a good employee, it would probably include traits like the following:
- A strong work ethic - someone who sets and achieves goals
- A positive attitude - making the workplace a better place
- Self-motivated - requiring little encouragement or supervision
- Team-oriented - collaborating when a group effort is needed
- Good communicator - he or she knows how to quickly get their point across
At Dallas Harley-Davidson® in Garland, our employee of the month Mike Waters has all of those characteristics. He also brings his nonstop courage, his passion for motorcycles and customization and his enthusiasm for all things Harley®. We asked him a few questions lately to get to know him better.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR MILITARY SERVICE?
I was in the Army for almost 16 years. From 2000 to 2009 I was in the Army Reserve, then from 2009 to 2016 I was active duty at Fort Campbell with the 101st Airborne Division.
Our air assault unit rappelled from helicopters for various missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were combat related missions. We would get flown out and dropped off in an area, then picked up when the mission was over.
I was a forward observer, so my job was to call for artillery mortars, for air support to have planes drop bombs and helicopters engage targets.
SSG Waters bottom left 1-187 INF, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) U.S. Army, Afghanistan
HOW DID YOU END UP AT DALLAS HARLEY-DAVIDSON®?
I got medically retired for being injured, so I decided to use my GI bill. I went to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology because at the time it was closer to where I lived. They had a motorcycle program.
Once I graduated, I moved to Dallas because I have family here. Then I heard about the job and decided to apply. I also have an associates in electronic controls and instrumentation. Well, and a Bachelor's degree in biology.
I had always been into motorcycles, so I wanted to do something where I could be more hands on. I enjoy fixing things.
Also, during my time at TCAT I apprenticed for Chris Grissom racing, a racing shop. That got me more excited about following that as a career field instead of just a hobby.
I rode dirt bikes when I was younger, but I was never involved in racing. I was always into extreme sports like skateboarding. I grew up doing that every day. I always liked going fast.
My uncle had a Harley®, and I remember he had a picture of an eagle ripping through. It was like a big bald eagle just ripping through the paint job. The bike was loud and shiny and I loved it.
In the military I got my first bike. It was a Sportster.
WHAT BIKES DO YOU HAVE NOW?
I have three motorcycles right now:
- A 2013 Dyna Switchback. I put a 110 kit on it, which isn't sold for that bike, but through precision measuring we made it work, so I have one of a kind. It has Woods 777 cans, S&S quickies pushrods, CNC throttlebody, large fuel injectors and Dyno Power Jet tuner. I normally ride this one.
- A 1992 Sporster on a rigid frame so it has that old school chopper look.
- A 1974 Ironhead, it's the last year for the right side shift.
The last two are still in the process.
2013 Dyna Switchback
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT YOUR JOB AT DALLAS HARLEY-DAVIDSON®?
I like the performance side, getting to be involved in creating more torque and power. I try to get as involved as I can with doing the tuning. I've done several engine builds at Dallas H-D®.
My favorite part of the job is seeing customers satisfied with the work I've done, watching them ride away on a bike that's mechanically sound. I just want to do the best job that I can, improve the performance and efficiency and have returning customers, and to help build that character for the store.
It's easy to see why customers think so highly of him, because everyone here at Dallas Harley-Davidson® does too. That's why we're proud to announce Mike as our June employee of the month.