A husband, father, craftsman, entrepreneur and son of a tugboat Captain, Mike Watson knows what it means to put in a hard day’s work. Starting his career as a skilled craftsman and turning that trade into successful businesses, Mike has first-hand experience of the opportunities provided by this great nation and will fight to ensure all Virginian’s have a path to their dream.
Mike is a Virginia native and spent much of his youth in Hampton Roads where he worked with his father in the family’s Tug Boat business at Lee Hall. After attending ODU, New River Community College and earning a degree in Instrumentation Technology, Mike worked as an Instrumentation Technician before moving to North Carolina, starting his family and first business at age 27. In the 23 years since, his employees have traveled to Asia, Africa, Central America and across the U.S., implementing process controls for Energy, Pharmaceutical, Aerospace and dozens of other industries; often managing projects to address OSHA, EPA and FDA regulatory compliance. In 2005 Mike expanded a second business, CATLab™, Precision Instrument Test Labs, back home to Virginia where he and his wife Amy are raising their sons.
In addition to receiving state awards including Small Business of the Year and national recognition as finalist for the Blue Chip Enterprise Award, his companies have been solid corporate citizens, supporting charitable, youth league and educational programs, including a fully endowed scholarship fund for disadvantaged students pursuing careers in technology. Mike has been a Boy Scout leader and Little League baseball coach. He frequently spends time promoting opportunities for skilled craftsmen, speaking to high school and college students and is a Senior Member of the International Society of Automation. He serves on the Board of Directors for the New River Community College Educational Foundation, Community College Technical Advisory Committees, Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance– Government Affairs Committee and BSA Troop 103 Troop Committee. He is also a FAA licensed pilot, NAUI certified Advanced SCUBA Diver and longtime member of the National Rifle Association.
Mike and his wife Amy, Administrative Manager at Control Automation Technologies, have three sons. Cody, 21 is a senior at Virginia Tech and member of its Corps of Cadets and will be commissioned as an Army 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation. Adam, 16 is an Eagle Scout and a junior at Jamestown High School. Taylor, 13 is a state competition swimmer and student at Berkeley Middle School. The family attends Williamsburg Community Chapel.
Mike was elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates in November 2011. He serves on the Science & Technology and General Laws Committees as well as Housing, ABC and Gaming subcommittees. He is a member of the Energy and Economic Development Caucus, Tourism Caucus and was recently appointed to Virginia’s Manufacturing Development Commission. He is also one of the four founding members of the General Assembly’s new Business Development Caucus. After his first session in Richmond, Virginia Free ranked Mike with the 2nd highest Business Rating in the entire General Assembly. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Champion of Free Enterprise Award and he was named Freshman Legislator of the Year for 2012.
Mike is an advocate for economic development with his legislative focus on reining in irresponsible spending, promoting energy independence by utilizing domestic resources, developing a highly skilled workforce and encouraging a pro-growth business climate.