On Monday, January 24, 2022
Q&As with Mike Woods
Mike, you’ve been with AHT since 2005. Throughout the years, what are some major AHT accomplishments or milestones that stand out to you?
Here's a few:
- 2008 - We broke ground in Cullman, AL - our fourth location in Cullman, AL. The building is pretty much identical to our corporate office/MidPort, so it has a lot of room for growth and new equipment. (Stay tuned for a special announcement about that this Spring...)
- 2011 - We introduced UltraOx, an environmentally-friendly alternative to salt bath nitriding, chrome plating, etc. It's essentially a form of nitriding plus black oxide and other proprietary steps. It's been very well-received by the agriculture and firearms markets - to name a couple.
- 2012 – We became Nadcap accredited for Ion Nitriding at our MidPort Blvd. facility in Waterloo, Iowa. Since then, we've continued to renew our accreditation and earn merit status. We've also added gas nitriding to our Nadcap accreditation. (View our quality certifications here.)
- 2014 – We rolled out the Traction rollout; re-evaluating and defining our mission, goals, values, leadership teams and more.
- 2018 - We added 15,000 square feet to our MidPort location, allowing more room for additional nitriding equipment and storage for our UltraOx hydraulic cylinder bar. (Read the press release here.)
- 2021 - We added another option in our UltraOx line: UltraOx Hyper. Hyper has the same great corrosion resistance benefits as our original UltraOx treatment, but allows our customer an even darker black finish. We can also offer the black oxide finish without the heat treatment.
What can AHT customers expect to see from AHT in the coming year?
We will be announcing a new heat treat service at our Cullman, Alabama location. Our Burton Ave. facility in Waterloo, Iowa is also in the midst of rolling out cryogenics. This new equipment will also us to reach an even colder temperature than we were able to with our past cold treatment offering.
You’re involved in numerous professional groups. Tell us about some of them.
I am involved in Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and Waterloo Industrial Development Association (WIDA).
YPO is a global leadership group where Presidents / CEO’s network to better their organizations, communities, families and themselves as leaders. WIDA consists of Cedar Valley leaders that look at economic opportunities to better the community and make it an attractive and competitive place to do business and raise a family.
What is one thing people may not know about Mikel Woods?
My first name is pronounced the same way as 'Michael' - it's just spelled M-i-k-e-l. It's commonly mispronounced, so if you have mispronounced it... don't feel bad.
What is one thing people may not know about AHT?
How BIG of a heart our owner, Gary Sharp, has.
He truly cares about anyone that has worked or works in AHT and will go above and beyond. The things he does for people that may have been sick, hit by a natural disaster, lost a loved one or just thrown a curveball in life are amazing. He will stop what he’s doing to make sure we as an organization do what’s best for them, then on a personal side commit even more. His heart is LARGE and compassion for those that play an impact in his life.
"Exceeding customer expectations with UltraGlowing results." What does it mean to you?
AHT’s Core Values are Service, Teamwork, Integrity, Professionalism, Passion and Loyalty. Tell us about those.
In your opinion, what sets AHT apart from the competition?
Our technical expertise.
We are blessed to have seven (7) teammates with degrees in Metallurgy and/or like fields across our four (4) locations. Or, nearly 5% of our employee base are degreed metallurgists. Not only that, but with the hands-on experience that our plant managers, lab technicians and technical sales team have, we have an abundance of knowledgeable teammates that can answer and/or guide customers down a path that will meet their specific needs.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Be sure to check out the technical resources webpage or our blog for technical content, too.)
What’s something “UNIQUE” about AHT?
A prospective customer was visiting us and while he was signing out in our lobby, he looked over and saw a little girl (my daughter) filling marketing folders with literature. He asked, “is she yours?” At which I said, “yes.” He proceeded to tell me about his family working inside his company when they were similar ages and that I should cherish these moments... seeing them grow… work hard… see what it takes to earn a living… and just being part of something successful. I could see a sparkle in this gentleman’s eye as he said each word. And, it made me think how lucky I am to be a part of something so great that allows “our family” to work within our walls.
At one point, I was fortunate to have our entire family of five working in the plant - loading/unloading parts, stuffing marketing folders, designing interior layouts and discussing where/what will make us better. It’s fun to grow and learn together. There were definitely some great conversations about “what made you laugh today” at the dinner table!
My family is a small sampling of the number of family ties we have within AHT’s walls. At one point, we counted close to 70+ different family ties within our locations over the years – a strong motto of ours has always been – the apple typically doesn’t fall too far from the tree – and if one brother is good, more than likely brother or sister number two is equally and/or even better! Which has been an excellent formula for success at AHT.
Now, a series of quick random questions:
- Favorite Movie: Tommy Boy
- Favorite Book: The Shack
- First Job: Family Farm – bailing hay, feeding livestock, cultivating, hauling grain, pulling weeds, you name it…
- Favorite Food: Pizza – Wig n Pen
- Favorite Sport: College football
- Favorite Team: Iowa Hawkeyes / Green Bay Packers / Milwaukee Brewers
- Role Model or Person You Admire: Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior
Have a Question for Mike Woods? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 319-232-5221.
- meet midport
- meet the team