Friday, February 14th will mark the end of a career for Owen’s longest running employee, Mike Silvey. After 28 years with us, Mike is hanging up his Owen shirt and shifting gears to play golf and maybe do some fishing.
Mike says he and his wife are leaving jobless and homeless until they find a place in Vero Beach, FL, he’s calling it “a new adventure.” Mike is no stranger to adventure having joined the US Navy in 1965; he spent 33 months at sea until 1968 during which time he was based in Japan but spent time in other places like Vietnam and Korea. After coming out of the Navy in 1968, he checked out the college scene and says “well, if you knew anything about young people in 1968, you’d know I didn’t fit in.” So, he went back to the Navy and served on various ships including a nuclear power cruiser (the Mississippi CGN40 that escorted the US Nimitz) until September 30, 1985.
On October 1st, 1985 Mike started his career with what was then Ben-Ko-Matic. After running the parts department for a military ship repair parts center, he was more than qualified for the job. He laughs about the then owner warning him that it could be a stressful job, to which Mike replied “Not as stressful as having a nuclear missile pointed at your a**” When Mike started, the company sold mostly small equipment and replacement brooms having just become the Elgin dealer in 1980. He tells a story where they had a big pizza party the first year they made over $100,000. Mike has seen the Portland branch company change locations three times, expand from one location to three, and go from nine employees to the 36 we have today.
Mike says he’ll miss the banter he has with his customers though some of his favorites have already retired. He takes pride in dedication to friendliness and diligence whether he’s dealing with a $1 order or a $10,000.
We’ll miss Mike but we wish him and his wife, Linda, the best throughout his well-deserved retirement.