When Daniel Tomaka graduated from Canisius College with a degree in economics and finance he certainly did not imagine himself the man who would save SEM students from the never-ending computer problems they face. Yet, here we are, relying on SEM’s newest hire to keep everything running smoothly.
Mr. Tomaka’s interest in computers started off as a hobby. He left his family soft drink company Frosty Valley Beverage after 20 years to work for himself on computers. Mr. Tomaka founded “Tomaka Technologies” and began to develop his computer skills. Tomaka Technologies was an outsource IT company, which means they fixed computers at small companies that did not have their own IT workers. Mr. Tomaka grew this company through a system of referrals until he had a dozen regular customers and about 60 to 70 semi-regular customers. The clients had anywhere from 2 computer to 35 computers that Tomaka Technologies was responsible for.
Tragically in 2012, his father was diagnosed with cancer that quickly developed into a stage 4. There was no time to run Tomaka Technologies so instead, Mr. Tomaka took care of the family business and helped his mother through that difficult time. Eventually, Tomaka Technologies was sold and liquidated. Frosty Valley Beverage is also permanently closed.
Mr. Tomaka is now back to doing what he loves: working with computers. He is confident in his 15 years of experience but said “I haven’t worked on computers in a good three years. I’m rusty.” In the past year, he has worked for a few different technology companies but has not found the right fit for him…until now!
“Although this is considered an entry-level position your problems are the same problems as the big guys,” Mr. Tomaka said. He enjoys working with SEM students together to solve computer issues. He never wants to be the type of IT guy displayed in SNL that yells and pokes fun at people’s computer skills. Mr. Tomaka’s philosophy is “Help me, help you,” and it’s best when people work together and are all a part of finding a solution.
Feel free to stop in the technology office on the second floor and say hello to SEM’s latest hire. In the words of Mr. Tomaka, this is an exciting time because “we can both learn something new and it’s a win-win!”