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Employee Spotlight: Nick Azevedo

selfie of a man in natureWhat do you call a person who is a firefighter, a Copper Plater and a collector of flashy jet boats? Nick. You call him Nick Azevedo.

Nick has been with Vista for nine years. He worked with the Clarkston Fire Department prior to coming to Vista, and currently still helps as a reserve firefighter for Lewiston and Clarkston. It’s a role he started volunteering in 11 years ago and quickly fell in love with helping people and the community, a prideful feeling that he says has molded him into the individual he is today.

Sure, it’s a crazy schedule, working 24-hour shifts as a Firefighter and EMT and reporting for duty at Vista, but he enjoys the ‘wild ride’ and some of the crazy things he has done along the way.

Nick got his start at CCI-Speer in rimfire assembly.

“I was very hesitant to be a line worker because it’s not my forté, but everyone has to start somewhere,” he said. He had formerly been delivering furniture and volunteering with the fire department, but Nick says as soon he was trained on assembly became part of the crew, he wanted more.

He began applying for other internal jobs, including an available copper plater job, which he landed in October 2013.man and woman selfie

“The job is challenging, but I’m confident in my capabilities and I know what is expected of me on the job,” Nick said. Like most everything else in his life, Nick looks for ways to take his role further. Because of the hands-on approach and exactness required in copper plating, the department is often the bottleneck of the plant. “I strive to prevent a slow-down. I look to improve efficiency, quality and make environmental improvements. That is where I focus my effort, energy and input.”

Nick described the danger of copper plating, listing some of the chemicals the six rotating employees in the department handle during their shifts. He describes the department as having its own entity, running uniquely different than any other department, stating that time management of multiple products simultaneously is critical. Plus, the department is in operation 24/7, 365.

“There are zero days off. Our department has never shut down and I doubt it ever will. Someone is always here. Each person in the department plays a humungous role, and without everyone doing their part, we wouldn’t have the flow we need,” he said.

man with a bike and certificateAlthough Nick takes both of his jobs seriously and has a schedule that requires nights, weekends and holidays, he finds time for fun on the side. He has raced BMX for 10 years and loves motocross. He owns five BMX bikes and three dirt bikes. In fact, in one of his recent ‘impulse moments,’ Nick decided to race his bicycle after finishing a shift at the fire department.

“I got off of work and drove to Richland, WA to race,” he said. “And I got second place. It was a blast. I get to riding my BMX bicycle and I feel like I am 12 years old again – until I fall,” Nick joked.

Aside from BMX biking, Nick has an infatuation with speed boats. He grew up in a ‘hot rod’ environment, and has concluded it’s ‘in his blood,’ as his dad had a career in collision repair. Maybe it’s the beautiful river that runs through the Lewis-Clark Valley, but the low-profile, loud and flashy ‘hot rods on water’ are a definite love. He has built numerous boats and even owns three of them, so it’s no surprise that these boats are a gateway to one of his favorite ways to spend a day.

In his true love life, Nick and his wife, Marissa, married in 2020 after years of being friends. Marissa is a nurse of 10 years, and Nick says to this day, when he brings a patient in when working for the fire department, and sees her working in the hospital, he gets butterflies.

 

FAST FACTS:

Last read: “Two Hands” by Matt Potratz.

What do you feel is your best quality? Attention to detail.

Most likely to buy in bulk? Toilet paper.

Most interesting job you’ve had? Working for the Fire Dept. I see and do things people wouldn’t dream of doing in their wildest dreams.

What would a day off with no obligations look like?bSitting on a beach on the Snake River with the boat.

Best type of meat? How is it cooked? Prime rib, medium rare.

One thing you could never live without? Honestly, my wife. Hands down.

An interesting learning point in life? Six years ago, mom passed away unexpectedly and it gave me a different outlook. My father always says life can change any second, but with that happening, I realized life is way too short. I am known to jump at an opportunity and I’m more apt to do some type of thrilling, impulse adventure. I learned from it, I think about her every day.

Worst Injury? I have a torn ligament in my wrist right now, but I have never broken a bone. All the years of BMX, I’ve been lucky.

Favorite activity outside of work? BMXing or boating.

Favorite holiday, and why? Christmas. I love going and getting a tree.

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