Atec Employee Spotlight: Mike Patterson

Caroline Bennitt Around Atec

Atec, Inc. is home to an incredible team of skilled and capable people who make the continued success of the company a reality every single day. With a slew of accomplished and promising co-workers, it can be difficult to stand out but Mike Patterson, Atec’s Vice President of Engineering, makes it look easy.

Mike PattersonCincinnati, Ohio native Mike Patterson joined the Atec team almost eight years ago along with two other engineers (one of whom, Jim Scheid, is still part of the Atec family to this day). Atec’s CEO Howard Lederer said “Six months after Patterson started, Paul [Fenley, Atec’s President] and I looked at each other and said ‘Whoa, we’ve got something here.’” Mike, known around Atec headquarters simply as Patterson, has made a big impact on his seniors, co-workers, and customers alike with broad range of skills and capabilities, high energy level, and reliability. When asked about the most significant projects he’s worked on since joining Atec, Mike said “I think they are all significant. A few that stand out are the development of our Phoenix Series Modular Test Cells, the Kalitta Air Cargo 10-Meter Turbofan Engine Test Cell, and our ongoing support of the USAF T-20/T-21 IDIQ contract.” In addition to being an exceptional engineer with great technical skills, Mike is a “good writer, meeting moderator, and leader,” said Howard. “He doesn’t shirk the inconvenient or tough assignments.”

Patterson, whose reputation as a joker precedes him around the office, is also well-liked by both co-workers and customers. “People want and accept his leadership; they look for it,” said Howard. “He makes sure everyone’s concerns are voiced and heard.” Patterson’s door is always open, both literally and figuratively, though it may be difficult to find him at his desk sometimes. “Mike created somewhat of a legend in the field,” said Howard, highlighting the many trips Patterson made during Atec’s acquisition of the IDIQ contract with Warner Robins AFB. “Everything he went out to repair got fixed. Our customers, especially the US Air Force, were thrilled.” Mike considers “customer responsiveness” to be his area of expertise, adding that “Our work is driven by our customer’s needs. What sets Atec apart from our competition is our attention to customer support. Everyone at Atec understands the importance of what we do and the importance of responding to our customer’s needs in a timely manner. Having customer responsiveness as our primary focus is what sets Atec apart.”

In addition to thriving professionally, Patterson also met his wife, Usebia, at Atec’s Stafford, TX office. Shortly after Usebia joined the Atec team in 2010, she and Patterson began dating. A little over a year later, Usebia found herself on a catamaran in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with Patterson down on one knee in front of a literal boatload of people, asking for her hand in marriage. They’d been snorkeling and Patterson had kept her engagement ring in the pocket of his wetsuit all day until finally popping the question at sunset. Her answer was yes, but her first words were “This better not be a joke, Mike.” They were married in 2012 and now have a beautiful daughter, the first girl in Mike’s mom’s family tree for 52 years.

Mike Patterson has accomplished a great deal in his time at Atec. His contributions are especially apparent as the company grows and expands upon its legacy of innovation and excellence with projects currently underway, such as the US Air Force T-20/T-21 IDIQ contract, and many more on the horizon. “Our USAF T-20/T-21 IDIQ contract puts Atec at the forefront of supporting the USAF warfighters. I would have to say that working on a daily basis with the various USAF personnel in supporting and improving their engine testing capabilities and keeping USAF engines in service gives myself and the Atec team a great since of accomplishment and pride. Our recent USAF qualification of the Atec ADAQ Data System for use in T-21 Test Stands testing T56 turboprop engines was a “cool” moment. The Atec team put a lot of effort into making this happen working closely with USAF engineering personnel at Warner Robbins AFB and Tinker AFB. This was a true team effort.”

Atec may have scored big eight years ago by adding Mike Patterson to the roster, but the real winners are Atec’s customers. “That’s why we’re writing about Mike,” said Howard. “He puts our customers’ needs first. If a true emergency comes up, Patterson is on the way.”

 

5 Fun Facts with Mike Patterson:

  1. Describe your job in 3 words.
    “Never a dull moment. I know that’s 4 words, just don’t count the ‘a.’”
  2. What are your hopes for the future of Atec?
    “Continual growth in the products and services we offer our customers.”
  3. What advice would you give someone who hopes to get where you are?
    “You have to love what you do.”
  4. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be?
    “A boat, a satellite phone, and water.”
  5. A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
    “Hey, this is Atec. This wouldn’t surprise me at all. He would probably say “Where’s the thermostat?” obviously, because it’s a penguin in Houston, TX.”