David A. Winters, 36: Watertown Audiology

 

When you talk to David A. Winters, it only takes a few minutes to discover how important it is to him to be involved. Whether it’s his community, family or his own health, Mr. Winters fully commits to anything and everything he does.

Mr. Winters has been active in the Watertown community for more than 10 years. After working as a news reporter for a Niagara Falls paper, he moved to the area to take a reporting job at the Watertown Daily Times, and now holds the position of director of operations at Watertown Audiology. He is also president of the Downtown Business Association.

“I love helping out whenever I can,” he said, adding that regardless of the season, there’s always something to do in Watertown and the north country, whether it’s snowshoeing in the winter, running in the summer or going to a show any time. Through his work with the DBA, Mr. Winters gets a chance to showcase what the area has to offer.

The community, the environment and a rural setting where you can look up at night and actually see the stars are among Mr. Winters’ favorite north country offerings. He hikes. He runs marathons. He’d love to eventually complete the Boston Marathon. He’s recently taken up trapshooting. Despite a love of traveling — he’s been to Hawaii twice — he believes in this area. And if Mr. Winters believes in something, he works for it. This is a lesson he’s learned from his mentors — his parents — both high school teachers.

“They’ve instilled in me some great qualities,” he explained. “Be who you want to be; help others out. Try to make the area around you a better place at the end of the day.”

The best advice Mr. Winters ever received came from his father, also an Army reservist, who would often tell him, “If you want it bad enough, you work for it.”

“That’s been something I strive to live by,” Mr. Winters said. “There are no barriers that can hold you back. If you want it strongly enough, go for it.”

His job with Watertown Audiology has reinforced this lesson. When he began, health care was new to him but practice owner Dr. Sarah Grimshaw-Sugden, Mr. Winters’ mother-in-law, gave him a chance to grow into the job. Since he started, the company has reached more of the community by expanding its patient base and adding another audiologist.

“You can always try new opportunities and ventures. My wife’s family has been a great example of that,” he said. “If you’re willing to put the time and research into it, you can do it.”

Leaving journalism was a difficult decision, Mr. Winters admitted, but it let him enter a new career armed with the skills and knowledge to succeed.

“That background has given me a lot of insight to use as a platform to working in a health care field,” he said.

Keeping people informed is an important aspect of journalism that Mr. Winters enjoyed, and he’s happy to be in a field in which he can still make a positive impact on other people.

Mr. Winters listed his wife, Jessica, a special education teacher, as a top motivator through that transition.

“My wife has instilled in me a lot of great virtues and values. I’m forever grateful for meeting her,” he said. “She’s definitely made me a better person. She does that day after day. She keeps me going.”

When Mr. Winters discovered a passion for running, his wife was his No. 1 supporter, encouraging him to train for and finish his first marathon in Chicago. It was only recently that he found a pastime in running, but the sport has had a profound effect on his life. It gets him through the tough days and makes him a better person, he said.

“Running is just a great reset for everyday life,” he said. “It’s a great outlet to take away from the trials and tribulations of everyday life and clear your head. It gives you a different perspective. Just running out there — whether it’s for 15 minutes or two hours — it’s just you and the road.”

— by Lorna Oppedisano

Winters_Dave

The David A. Winters File

Hometown: Lewiston

Professional position: Director of operations at Watertown Audiology

Family: Wife, Jessica; parents, Gary and Shirley Winters; sister, Julie Hockenberry

Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism, SUNY Brockport

Community involvement: President, Downtown Business Association, Watertown; member, Henderson Fish & Game Club; volunteer, Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce; helps with family restaurant, Cooper’s Landing, Henderson

Last book read: “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson