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Education is priority for E-Z-Go quality engineer

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Wayne Felix has worn many hats in his 22 years working for E-Z-Go.

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Wayne Felix started at E-Z-Go as a machinist and later went back to school to move up in the company.  Now, he helps create and refine the manufacturing process.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Wayne Felix started at E-Z-Go as a machinist and later went back to school to move up in the company. Now, he helps create and refine the manufacturing process.

Felix started at the Textron-owned company in 1991 as an entry-level technician machining golf car components and spent 11 years as a machinist.

After spending time as an assembly line team leader and working as a specialist in the quality assurance department, Felix’s current job at the Augusta plant has taken him to China.

Felix, promoted to quality engineer in 2012, traveled to Wuxi, China, with two colleagues in September to oversee production of the first golf cars manufactured there after E-Z-Go expanded into the Chinese market last spring.

To advance in the company, Felix decided in 2008 to enroll at Augusta State University at age 43. He expects to graduate
with his bachelor’s degree in business management by 2014.

“Now I feel like the bachelor’s degree is water under the bridge and I’ve actually set a goal to start on my master’s,” he said.

Felix stressed the importance of earning a college education to his two daughters, who have both since graduated from Georgia Southern University. The two girls, both classical musicians, were the first in his immediate family to earn a college degree.

“I wanted them to stay focused with what they were doing and not fall by the wayside,” Felix said. “I more or less tried to keep goals with them. I figured I’d try to lead by example.”

Felix credits E-Z-Go’s management team with that same mentality.

“When you see the vice president and plant manager come in with T-shirts and jeans on to try to help
get product out of the door, then that kind of motivates you to stay involved,” he said.

As a quality engineer, Felix is in charge of overseeing the internal fabrication and final assembly of golf cars as they roll off the line. Many components, such as the frame and
brake drums, are made in-house.

Felix’s overarching job is to ensure the customer receives a high-quality product.

“He’s got something about him that makes him very good interacting with people,” said Clint Greene, who was Felix’s quality manager for five years. “He works well with everybody.”

Greene, now the company’s director of strategic planning, described Felix as a dependable and intelligent employee with excellent judgement. He praised Felix’s commitment to his education and for encouraging his daughters to follow suit.

The two have formed a friendship outside of work and began playing golf together four years ago. The sport stuck with Felix, who now plays frequent rounds on weekends with his three uncles. Two of the three live in South Carolina, and the other lives nearby in Georgia.

“We have our own little personal border bash every weekend we play,” he said. “It’s always a joke about where is the trophy going to stay this week.”

Felix enjoys undertaking projects that require his mechanical prowess. A few years ago, he rebuilt a 1990 Nis­san Twin Turbo 300ZX in just two months.

He also is handy around the house, repairing appliances and fixing plumbing problems.

“I’m usually fixing things myself before I actually call someone else to repair it,” he said.

WAYNE FELIX

TITLE: Quality engineer

BORN: May 9, 1965; raised in Hephzibah

FAMILY: Wife Towanda; daughters Brittney and Loren

EDUCATION: Working toward bachelor’s degree in business management at Georgia Regents University

HOBBIES: Golf

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Dixieman
15998
Points
Dixieman 04/01/13 - 01:42 pm
1
0
DIXIEMAN GOT LOTSA POINTS

Inspiring. Everyone on public assistance ought to be required to read this guy's story! Success IS possible in America if you dedicate yourself as he did. Congratulations to him! And nice story, AC!

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