Mike Visscher: Hands-on kinda guy

Mike Visscher was born into this reality and that has made this second generation company so successful, has had a positive influence on this young man’s life.

In 1961, after several years in the logging industry, four Visscher brothers got together and founded a retail lumber yard in Chilliwack. By the late 1970s, the operation had evolved into a remanufacturing facility and today, the Visscher Family of Companies not only operates two wood processing plants, they also have a metal and forming factory and warehouses.

Mike Visscher was born into this reality and the drive, determination and commitment to quality that has made this second generation company so successful, has had a positive influence on this young man’s life.

Mike has essentially lived in Chilliwack his entire life and the Visscher family is firmly entrenched in the fabric of this community.

At 23, he’s the eldest of four children and admits that he was raised in a strict household but credits his mother and father with keeping him on the straight and narrow. They also taught their son the meaning of hard work. “I had to work for what I got. By the time that I was ten, I was helping my grandfather on the farm,” he said. By the age of 13, Mike was working on the green chain and he quickly figured out that he didn’t want to do that for the rest of his life.

For the first four years of grade school, Mike attended Timothy Christian School but was homeschooled from grades five through nine. “I went back to Timothy Christian for Grade 10, but went to Career Technical Centre for grades 11 through 12 and the first year of my apprenticeship,” he explained. He admits that he isn’t one bit scholastically inclined. Rather, he’s very much a hands-on kind of guy. “I never wanted to be involved in the forest industry; it’s too volatile. For Grade 10 work experience, I tried out a career as an electrician. I enjoyed it but wasn’t sure. My dad encouraged me to pursue it and told me that it’d be something that I’d have under my belt. I could always change my mind at a later time,” he said.

So, it was resolved. Mike Visscher would become an electrician and he began his apprenticeship with Norich Electric. “I’ve been with them for five years now and I love the work. I really enjoy the variety and I’m always learning something new.” While he enjoys his work as an electrician, he also still enjoys working on the farm. “My great-grandpa, Pete Visscher, was a cattle herder here in Chilliwack. My granddad went into lumber but he still had a farm. Then he got diabetes and had to have both of his legs amputated and the worse he got, the more I had to take over,” he said. Mike began taking care of the farm and working as an electrician, something that he continues to do until this day. “At one point we had 30 head of Black Angus cattle. I still have four cows on the farm for my own use but I auctioned off the rest of the herd.”

Although Mike was homeschooled from grades five through nine, this was briefly interrupted in Grade 6 when he did half a year at MEI (Mennonite Educational Institute). It was here that he met a beautiful girl named Brittany that would one day become his wife. “I always thought that she was way out of my league,” he laughed. It wasn’t until many years later that they would reunite and subsequently marry. “We have a 16-month-old daughter named Shayla and we have another child on the way. I’m not an overly emotional kind of guy but they do get to you. That child breaks my heart,” he said, smiling.

Mike has a can-do attitude and has an immense work ethic. “I’m certainly a cup-is-half-full kind of guy. I can’t handle negativity.  There’s no use crying about things; let’s just get it done,” he said, rather emphatically. He recalled one instance, while he was working at the mill, when a piece of lumber hit him in the face and two of his teeth went right through the skin. “I went to the bathroom and stuffed some paper towel in my mouth to stop the bleeding and went right back to work. You just do what you have to do. For every 10 minutes of work stoppage, thousands of dollars are lost, so you gotta keep going. I work hard and I’m happy with my life. I couldn’t ask for a better life. I could always use more money,” he suggested. I quickly added that the more you have, the more you spend. “Exactly,” he laughed, as he headed back to work.

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

RCMP investigating June 15, 2021 crash. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack RCMP say crash into median led to impaired driver investigation

Chrysler 300 driver allegedly collided with tree on Spadina median in June 15 incident

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read