Greetings, and welcome to the historic Cotton Gin.
"Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
-St. Francis of Assisi
Born in Decatur, Georgia, Michael was raised by his mother, Mildred, and greatly influenced by his older sister, Marie. Mildred valued the importance of hard work and asked her children what they accomplished - as opposed to what they did - every day at the dinner table. And, one had better have a good answer.
After graduating with a Civil Engineering degree from Tennessee Technical University, Michael spent nine years working with drilling contractors in exotic places like the Ivory Cast and the Bay of Bengal. During this time, Michael learned extensively about blowout preventers (BOPs).
In 1984, while living in Aberdeen, Scotland with his wife, Janet, and their two children at the time, they would start WEST Engineering Services. Initially, WEST began as a training business – offering guidance to subsea engineers on how equipment works, what would break down and what the fix was. After only a few months, however, Michael was asked to consult on mostly deepwater, dynamically-positioned drilling rigs all over the world.
In 1988, the Montgomerys moved WEST to Houston where the company sustained growth in training and consulting services and was consistently recognized as the world leader in BOP certification, testing and maintenance.
WEST moved again to the cotton gin in Brookshire in 1998 and offered training in the building’s historic Seed House. A 2012 transaction between WEST and Lloyd's Register would lead to the exit of the company's employees from the cotton gin and enable the unprecedented renovation to begin.
In addition to being Chief Cotton Picker and a private pilot, Michael serves on the board of Living Water International (LWI) and is also a member of the organization’s H2Oil Committee. Additionally, Michael is a board member for the Brookshire Youth Foundation which helped to launch Discovery Park, a local destination for youth and families, located across the street from Cotton Gin No. 116.
Janet has not only been involved with the renovation of Cotton Gin No. 116, she is also the president of Stewardship Wealth which sits on the same property as the cotton gin. With her own business, she brings a unique perspective to the wealth-management process. To learn more about Stewardship Wealth, please visit www.stewardshipwealth.com.
Janet is a member of the Financial Planners Association and volunteers on her church’s finance committee. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family— including her grandkids—and activities such as hiking, running, swimming, biking, skiing and riding horses.
We would love to have you visit soon!
Cotton Gin No. 116
907 Bains Street
Brookshire, TX 77423
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