Back to basics

K.C. Knudsen has skills. No, they aren’t bow staff skills, they’re people skills. And he has technical skills to boot.
Knudsen is a service technician at Islamorada Boat Center in Islamorada, Fla., and, at 22, his skills stood out to Tim Smith, a Yamaha district service representative who covers much of Florida. Smith found Knudsen’s abilities so outstanding, he created a new award just for him Last April, Smith arrived at the dealership to give Knudsen, who was surprised but happy to be recognized, the award for outstanding achievement in Yamaha customer service, which says Knudsen’s “attitude toward doing whatever it takes to keep [Yamaha and IBC’s] mutual customers satisfied with their outboard has proven to be exceptional.”
“It’s a benefit to Yamaha to have quality techs,” Smith said. “[Knudsen] makes our job easier. We can send him a customer with confidence that he’ll do everything he can to fix [a problem] and take care of the customer. It’s unusual to have both a good attitude and the technical skills, especially for someone that young.”
The same person with the same go-get-‘em attitude and thirst for knowledge shows up for work every day at IBC, and has since Knudsen started at the dealership as an apprentice while still in high school, said Brian Lesko, IBC’s owner.
Inspired by his military-man-turned-fishing-guide father, Knudsen took an early interest in tinkering around with stuff. One afternoon, having observed his technical prowess, a neighbor asked him to do some things on her boat. A little skeptical of the abilities of a teenager, the neighbor called nearby IBC to have someone check out Knudsen’s work. The tech was impressed, which eventually lead to Knudsen’s apprenticeship at IBC and later training at Orlando’s Marine Mechanic’s Institute.
“Interest, just pure interest,” is what Knudsen says keeps him on his toes technically. And as far as having a good attitude goes, respect is a two-way street, Knudsen said: if one person is nice to another, the second is more likely to reciprocate.
“I would expect this for everyone to do,” Knudsen said. “I’m happy to help out.”

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