As Citizen Potawatomi Nation continues to grow, so does the number of computers on which it relies. The need for information technology professionals like Chad Wimer increased, too. He began working for the Tribe as a help desk technician in July.
Wimer is part of the IT department at the Nation’s administrative building near Shawnee, Oklahoma.
He mainly spends his days solving other employees’ computer problems, big and small. Extensive projects also come up, and maintenance is another significant aspect of the job, especially when it comes to digital security.
Wimer lent a hand integrating digital displays into new exhibits at the recently reopened and renovated Cultural Heritage Center.
“This whole place has changed completely. I love these interactives,” he said. “Technology with history, basically.”
Wimer also expanded the administrative IT department’s available services and became an expert on Mac products. His favorite operation system is Linux, but Wimer can now help Tribal employees with Windows and Mac devices as well.
“I just took the lead on it and learned everything I could so that we can support Macintosh in our environment,” he said. “I’m actually excited about bringing more in.”
Wimer mainly taught himself how to work on computers.
“I’ve been my family resident IT person since I was a kid,” he said. “I’ve picked it up on my own other than school.”
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in network management from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma, last year. Wimer earned his Microsoft, CompTIA Security+ and electronic soldering certifications too. A master’s in cybersecurity is the next goal.
He built small computers for airplanes while working for United Dynamics engineering company.
“We would ship off to the government, or even Boeing or Northrop Grumman,” he said. “There are lots of airplanes flying around that I have parts on.”
Computers off the clock
Wimer is on computers even when he is not at work.
“I’m kind of a nerd,” he said. “I sit at home with a virtual lab, and I break it and put it back together. I hack into my machines.”
He can also make a delicious bloody mary. With nine years of experience as a bartender, it is his favorite cocktail to make and drink.
If anyone questions the composition of the classic beverage, he will confidently say, “That’s because you haven’t had mine.”
When he is back to being an IT tech, assisting fellow employee’s with their efficiency in the office satisfies Wimer from day to day.
“I love it. This place is awesome. The people are great,” he said. “I get to do things I love on a daily basis.”