For over 40 years, Pete Wielandt has been a valued employee, team member, co-worker, and friend at Atlantic Radio Telphone. Pete is our Lead Service Technician and marine electronics guru. This week he is retiring. Pete’s vast knowledge and experience will be greatly missed by our team, customers, and vendors alike..

Every Tuesday we pick a team member to spotlight in our “Meet the Team Tuesday” feature. This Tuesday is Pete’s last at Atlantic Radio Telephone, so we sat down with him to learn a little bit more about the Pete we know and love.

Tell us a little about where you grew up.

I grew up in the North Fork in the North Shore of Long Island. When people think of the North Shore they think of the Hamptons but this was definitely not the Hamptons.

So how did you end up in South Florida?

Well I entered the Air Force when I was 18 where I worked on bombers, including the B-52. I was stationed 6 different places including Thailand. Eventually I took my opportunity to leave the military and left. My family was snow birds so we would always come down here during the winter and had made their way down permanently so I joined them.

How did you get started working in the marine electronics industry?

Honestly, I needed a job. I applied to a few places and got hired by Jackson Marine Electronics around 1974. There was also Jackson Marina so people used to call us looking for them and it got very, very annoying.

When did you start working for ART?

Haha! I have no idea, you guys had to look that up for me. They say something like 1984. ART bought Jackson Marine Electronics out and brought me with them and I’ve been here since.

What is the strangest thing you’ve seen working in marine electronics. 

Luckily I haven’t come upon and serial killers or anything like that. I did have a Tornado coming right at me one time.

A tornado?!

Yep, a tornado. I was on my way to a job on the 17th street bridge coming up to the drawbridge and I see everyone stop their cars and I look up and there’s a tornado coming right at us. And keep in mind, this was in the middle of the day, not during a storm or anything.

Anyway people are getting out of their cars, all scared and running around. I wasn’t getting out, definitely safer in a 2 ton car. Anyway the tornado turned and headed into Port Everglades and that was that.

What is the biggest difference between ART then and now?

Well besides the industry changing over time and changing products there hasn’t been a huge difference. At least on my end.

Even with computers?

Computers just made things harder to find. Just give me a parts catalog and that’s all I need.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your role today?

Get out! I’m just joking but the marine industry isn’t the highest paying so you need to love what you do and where you work. But if you do, it’s definitely worth it.

Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t know.

Hmm… that’s hard. Well I’m a hockey fan, I used to have season tickets for the Panthers, up high too because that’s where you can see the game best.

Also I got to spend time watching my grandchildren play travel hockey. They were both goalies, and good too. Even played for the National travel team.

Tell us about something you accomplished that you are proud of.

Still Alive!

What will you miss about your time at ART?

Oh that one’s easy, some but not all of the people. But really, I’ve made some good friends and made some great relationships over my time here that I’m going to really miss.

Not miss?

That one’s easier, I’m not going to miss being in Florida. I’m ready to get out of the Sunshine State as soon as possible.