Offshore Exploration – Impact on Virginia’s Future
Mar 05, 2019
Michael B. Watson
Offshore Exploration – Impact on Virginia’s Future

Mike Watson is a native Virginian, raised on the James River working with his father, a tugboat captain, in his family’s business. After earning a degree in Industrial Instrumentation Technology, Mike worked as an Instrument Technician for Honeywell International in Illinois before moving to North Carolina where at age 27 he founded Control Automation Technologies Corporation. In the 30 years since, his employees have designed and installed process control systems for manufacturers on 4 continents. In 1998, he founded CATLab – Accredited Calibration Laboratories which services precision test and measuring equipment for energy, life science, defense, and manufacturing industries at its Winston-Salem, NC and New Kent County, VA facilities. 

Elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates in 2011, Mike quickly earned a reputation for promoting manufacturing and small business initiatives. He successfully patroned legislation for workforce development, affordable housing, and job-growth initiatives in addition to budget amendments for the College of William & Mary and Jefferson Lab’s Free Electron Laser upgrade. He was instrumental in placing the widening of I-64 on the Peninsula as a funded priority in Governor McDonnell’s 2013 Transportation Plan. Mike was awarded the state chamber’s ‘Champion of Free Enterprise’ with 100% pro-business ratings in back-to-back years & was one of four founding members of the General Assembly’s bipartisan Business Development Caucus. He was subsequently named the General Assembly’s ‘Freshman Legislator of the Year’ and still holds Virginia-Free’s highest cumulative pro- business rating of any legislator past or present.

Mike and his wife Amy live in James City County and have three sons.