South Georgia Tech retired instructor Rick Davis honored by CAT dealers
South Georgia Technical College retired Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Service Technology program instructor Rick Davis was honored by individuals from Caterpillar at the South Georgia Technical College ThinkBIG Advisory Board meeting recently. The Caterpillar dealers presented him with a big Green Egg cooker and table.
Jim Larson of Yancey Brothers thanked Davis for being one of the cornerstones of the Caterpillar ThnkBIG or Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Service Technology program at South Georgia Technical College. “You were one of the original ones who helped get this program off the ground at South Georgia Tech. You helped this college become the standard by which other colleges are judged. You were the pilot of that ship and insured that this program and the students were top-notch. The Yancey Dealership is sad to see you go but we all thank you for what you did for this program. You taught the students that are now managers of managers. Thank you!”
After those opening words, Jim Larson asked for comments from other dealers and officials. Raymond Holt, SGTC Dean of Academic Affairs over the CAT program, spoke on behalf of the college and thanked Rick for the way he was able to work with the students. “Rick has a great way of encouraging students to stay or get back on track if they veer off course,” laughed Holt. “And he did a great job of making sure that the dealers were proud of the products that we turned out.”
Bob Bacon, retired Thompson Machinery representative, said “the success of this program takes a team and your leadership helped dealers to be proud of the choice we made to locate this program at South Georgia Technical College. Mr. R.E. Brake from Carlton in Albany was adamant that this was the place we needed to begin this program. And he was certainly right. Thank you for your help in making this program exceptional. I am proud to be associated with you.”
Phillip Welch of Thompson Machinery, echoed Bob Bacon’s comments. “We go back a long way. I have enjoyed working with you. You have done a lot for our students technically and personally. Sometimes we sent you students that needed a ‘little growing up,’ and you did it. You were patient but firm.”
Ashley Self of Thompson Tractor told Rick Davis that he was going to miss working with him. “I always enjoy coming down here and spending time with you and your students and I am going to miss you being here.” Teresa Odom of Puckett Machinery echoed Self’s thoughts and thanked Rick for turning out great students from this program.
Tony Tice of Thompson Machinery said that he had not worked with Rick Davis for very long, but that in his capacity he got to see a lot of colleges around the nation. “This is a premiere program and it is good to see what you have done for the students and the program.”
Kyle Hartsfield, a graduate of the program under Rick and a former instructor of the program who is now working with Yancey, said, “I came through the program with Mr. ‘D’ as my instructor and then I worked side by side with him for five years. He was a true friend and I would not be where I am today without him. I am forever grateful!” Donald Rountree, the new Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology instructor at SGTC, was also a student of Rick Davis. “When I came here in 1983, the first person I met was Rick. He taught me an awful lot and he will always be my instructor.”
Jeff Cornwell of Yancey Brothers thanked Rick for what he had helped build at South Georgia Tech. “We appreciate what you have done. I travel a lot and the difference between South Georgia and other places is that attention to detail. There are of little things that you just took care of. Thanks again for what you did here.”
In closing, Jim Larson said, “we have heard a lot of things today – like friend, instructor, mentor. We wanted to celebrate this milestone with you and give you something to help you look forward to the future. We wanted to give you something that you would use and enjoy.” With that the group raised the roll up door and displayed the Green Egg cooker and table that had been secured by the Caterpillar Dealers for Rick Davis.
“I am speechless,” said Rick Davis. “I thank each of you for what you have meant to me and to our students. I will certainly enjoy this and each of you are invited to stop by when you are out my way.”
Rick Davis retired in March with over 33 years of service to South Georgia Technical College as a Diesel Instructor as well as one of the CAT Heavy Equipment Dealer’s Service Technology instructors. He was honored with a retirement reception in March by the college.
South Georgia Technical College is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018. The history and the legacy of the college and its graduates are evidence of the impact that individual instructors have made on the college and students for the past 70 years.