About the TechMentors
Tom Chandler is the founder of the TechMentors. He has been blessed with many opportunities to help people and businesses get more out of technology. Here are some of the experiences he had that prepared him to help others with their computers and their businesses.
From the stage
In high school Tom was a theater geek. He loved being on stage in all the high school musicals including West Side Story, Peter Pan, and Once Upon a Mattress. Those experiences taught him that the classroom is another kind of stage, and the audience (students) deserve a great show.
As a high school freshman Tom, and his classmates, were given an aptitude test to help them figure out what they wanted to be when they grew up. It suggested Tom should be a banker, financier, or accountant. So, the following year Tom took an elective class in Accounting and loved it. True, the stage was more fun, but he still enjoyed learning about debits and credits. This strange fascination paid off when a family friend offered Tom an after-school job as a bookkeeper.
In his senior year of high school Tom thought “Well if I am going to be an accountant I should learn something about computers.” So, in January, even though he would be a full semester behind the other students, the teacher allowed him to join the class. Even though the computer only had a 40 character display, Tom loved programming it. Within two weeks he had caught up with and surpassed the other students in the class.
College homework, make the computer do it
During college Tom took a Statistics class. The formulas were complex, and the homework was tedious. Tom decided to not do the tedious calculations on his calculator, but instead programmed his Apple II e computer to do the work for him. The teacher approved, and even used Tom’s print outs to help other students learn how the homework should be done.
Summer work – Skip data entry, just program Lotus 123
Each summer Tom returned home and worked as a temporary employee for multiple firms in San Francisco’s financial district. Often the temporary work required data entry using Lotus 123. It was a dream come true when one assignment allowed Tom to learn about macros and then program the company’s spreadsheets to do the work.
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After graduation – Atari and Taxes
In the late 1980s, after graduating from BYU with a degree in Finance, Tom found a position doing accounting work for an Atari Magazine company. Each year around tax time, the magazine asked Tom to write an article showing people how to computer their 1040 tax return with a spreadsheet Tom had created.
Next – Hospitals and IT Solutions
Tom’s next couple of jobs were in the accounting and finance departments of two Bay Area hospitals. As a Junior accountant Tom was supposed to prepare financial statement, post journal entries, etc. Instead Tom created more Lotus 123 macros that did the work for him. He also showed the boss how, with a macro, she could turn a 6-hour Saturday chore into a quick Friday afternoon push-button exercise. She loved it.
Teaching Tax Software to Accountants
In the early 1990s Tom was hired to teach. His employer had him traveling all over Northern California to teach accountants how to use their tax software. In the process Tom learned that the accountants needed training on other computer topics as well, but the employer said no. Tom dreamed of the day when he could mentor businesspeople on all their pressing computer needs.
Full-time trainer / Consultant
In the summer of 1996 Tom was hired as a full-time trainer. Now students were coming to Tom’s stage (classroom) and being entertained (learning) with Microsoft products like Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint and MS Project. Often, after class, students would approach Tom about the need for a database or macro solution at their office. They asked “Could you come to our office and help us build this solution?” Tom and his employer agreed, and the clients were happy.
Tom stayed with the training company through thick and thin – mergers and acquisitions notwithstanding. In late 2009, the new owners asked Tom to start marketing the company’s computer consulting services for no additional compensation. Tom, who now had 7 children, two of which were in college, and almost no benefits thought “If I am going to do the training, the consulting, and the marketing, why do I need my employer?” So, in 2010, with a prayer in his and his wife’s hearts, the TechMentors was born. Since then TechMentors has helped many businesses get more out of technology in a fun, entertaining environment, and with easy to use macros and databases.
If you and your team are ready for some fun, entertaining training, or if you need a way to turn 6-hour Saturday chores into quick Friday afternoon push-button solutions, please give us a call.