Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso and Michigan City are pleased to welcome eight new employees to their teams. These new team members come to the Valparaiso and Michigan City locations from Harley-Davidson Calumet in Munster, Indiana, which closed its doors on September 30, 2020. With them comes years of experience in the industry and a passion for motorcycles that define the Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso and Michigan City cultures.
Get to know the new team members and what they’re excited to bring to the Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso and Michigan City families below!
Mike “MJ” Jackson
Entering his third season of selling new and used motorcycles, Mike “MJ” Jackson has found that the greatest feeling in the world is helping customers find that perfect ride.
“When they find that perfect bike, it’s always great to see them smiling and just so excited,” Jackson said. “You’re really making people’s dreams come true.”
The Hobart native has been part of the Harley-Davidson community since he was eight years old. Jackson is also a retired Local 150 operating engineer, making him the third generation in his family to be a part of the Local 150.
Since coming to the Valparaiso location from Calumet, the transition has been seamless.
“Jeff and Mark have made this transition so smooth for all of us,” he said. “I got a week off before starting here at Valpo to collect myself, and now I’m here learning how they do business. It was a seamless transition.”
Jackson looks forward to not only bringing his customers from Calumet to Valpo, but also meeting the new clientele he will have the pleasure to do business with.
“I’m looking forward to new stories and new people,” Jackson said.
Dave DeWitt, works in the parts department at Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso and looks forward to bringing his 24 years of experience to a new set of customers. Since January 1996, DeWitt has helped bikers accessorize or fix their motorcycles.
“We’re here to make sure we have the parts and accessories the customers and the service department need to get the job done,” DeWitt said.
DeWitt has been riding bikes himself since 1991 and has gone on some incredible rides in his lifetime, his most memorable being riding down the East Coast to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. DeWitt and his wife have five grown children, and just adopted their 7-year-old granddaughter, Addison, a year and a half ago.
“My wife and I are 56-years-old, and we are starting over with parenting,” DeWitt said with a laugh and a smile.
DeWitt looks forward to bringing a positive attitude to the Valparaiso location, along with his extensive knowledge and experience with motorcycles and the Harley-Davidson culture.
“I’m excited to continue my Harley-Davidson career here in Valpo,” DeWitt said.
Service Technician Bill Young started his career back in 1988. Not long after leaving the Navy, he had his own Harley that needed to be fixed. Young saw it as the perfect opportunity to begin classes and learn how to fix it himself, eventually working his way up and earning his rank as a Harley-Davidson Master Level Technician. Since then, he has looked at this job as a perfect fit.
“I’ve always really liked working with my hands,” Young said. “I like the satisfaction I feel after fixing something. Plus, I relate to the costumer base, given that I have been riding since I was in high school.”
When Young and his other colleagues made the move from Calumet to Valparaiso, he immediately felt comfortable in his new environment.
“I was lucky in that I had worked with Chris, the lead technician, before, so I knew a lot of people here already when I started,” Young said. “It’s been an easy transition. Everyone here is so friendly and it really feels like a family.”
Young counts his ride through Traverse City as his most memorable destination. He is married and has two kids, and he looks forward to meeting his new client base at Valparaiso.
Anthony Storino, Service Manager at Harley-Davidson of Michigan City, started his career at Harley-Davidson Calumet a little over four years ago in 2016 as a technician and eventually worked his way up to Service Manager in 2019. When the news came that the Calumet location was closing, Storino saw it as an opportunity to continue his career at Michigan City.
“I called Jeff and got an interview, and here I am, progressing as a manager and growing the service department,” Storino said.
Since joining the Harley-Davidson of Michigan City family, Storino is grateful for the welcoming environment and the opportunity to grow the dealership.
“Everyone here is excited to have us on board and do our part to grow the dealership,” Storino said. “It’s also nice to have so many people from the Calumet location here with me, to have a lot of those familiar faces as we go through this transition.”
Storino has been riding since 2015 and has a 2015 Road Glide. When asked what he loves about riding, he highlighted the riding culture.
“It’s really a lifestyle,” Storino said. “It’s the nature of the bikes and the culture that really drew me in.”
He has been married since 2018 and has a daughter with his wife.
Deena Boyd, nicknamed by her Calumet colleagues Deena “The Queena” Boyd, has over fifteen years of experience under her belt. As an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified consultant and a Ford Master certified service advisor, Boyd looks forward to bringing her expertise to Harley-Davidson of Michigan City.
“Coming here has been so easy and I’ve felt very welcomed,” Boyd said. “Jeff and Mark have made all of us feel so welcomed. That’s the one thing about Harley, you really become a family.”
As a service consultant, Boyd works with the customers and the technicians, helping to diagnose the bikes and put an estimate together. She acts as the liaison between the service department and the guests, letting them know exactly what’s wrong, what it will cost, and exactly how they’re going to fix it.
“I have customers who trust me to take care of them and their bikes, and at dealerships, that can be hard to do,” Boyd. “I just have an awesome customer base.”
Boyd has been riding for over 20 years and owns a 2006 Sportster 1200. Outside of work, she keeps busy doing a variety of activities from shooting pool, to event planning, and even advocating for those affected by domestic violence.
For service technician Liam Norris, there’s nothing like getting to the root cause of a bike’s problem and fixing it.
“There’s nothing like the satisfaction of fixing a bike,” Norris said. “That feeling when you finish it and it’s back up and running is like no other.”
Norris has been a part of the Harley-Davidson family for four years. As a service technician, he does everything from routine maintenance and engine builds, to accessories and tuning bikes.
“I do a little bit of everything, which keeps the job exciting,” he said.
Much like his Calumet colleagues, Norris immediately felt welcomed at Harley-Davidson of Michigan City thanks to the relaxed and friendly environment.
“The only thing I hate is that 45-minute long commute!” Norris said with a laugh. “But everyone here has been great and so friendly, which has made the past few weeks easy.”
Like most in the industry, Norris rides in his spare time and is the owner of a 2006 Sportster. In his spare time, he can be found reading (he recommends The Witcher novels and games), enjoying a beer, and drawing.
Driver and porter Jake Deboer started at Harley-Davidson a little over four years ago. As a driver and porter, Deboer spends his time picking up and dropping off customer bikes around the Region, transferring bikes from dealership to dealership, and working closely with the service department to make sure they have the parts they need.
Since starting at Harley-Davidson of Michigan City, Deboer is grateful for an easy transition to the dealership with many of his Calumet colleagues.
“It’s nice to have people I’ve been working with for years here with me,” Deboer said. “I’ve worked with Anthony and Liam for four years, Deena with two years, so that and our new colleagues have made this transition smoother.”
Deboer is the owner of two bikes, including a 2004 Dyna Low Rider and a 2003 Electra Glide. One of the more incredible rides he has been on in his riding career was the 1,000-mile Iron Butt Challenge from Munster to Lynchburg, Tennessee and back.
“It was fun, if not brutal,” Deboer said. “You had to do it in 24 hours, and I did it in 18.”
Deboer hopes to do a 1,500-mile ride in 24 hours or less in the near future.