Font Awesome

Nerd Show and Tell: Meet Font Awesome’s Real Human™ Tech Support Person

by Font Awesome

Changing careers after a decade and a half in a chosen field is no small feat. But Trevor Chase is proof that making a career 180 is doable — and in his case — rewarding.  The key to getting through the process? A strong support network, and a willingness to learn and take risks. Check out some highlights of our conversation, or just listen to the full episode!

If I’m not mistaken you were not always a tech support person, right? 

I definitely did not have a computer background. That was my brother’s thing. I started out getting a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and I worked at a bank while in college. But I pivoted into education. So I went on to get hired without a teaching degree yet, but I got my master’s degree in teaching and taught high school business for a few years. 

And then I got my Specialist in Educational Leadership, so superintendency and building-level administration. I became an assistant principal for a junior high in the town I grew up in and did that for eight years. So I was in education for 13 years.

It seems like a education career would be tough. 

As an assistant principal, I handled discipline and attendance issues. I dealt with all the negativity at school for years, and eventually it wore me down. Being the assistant principal was stressful and I quickly realized I didn’t want to be the building principal anytime soon. So I just decided  that’s not the path I wanted to continue going down.

Did you ever imagine you’d enter the world of tech? 

No, it was actually kind of funny. I thought I’d go back to banking — at least for a transition period. I took the day off to think things over and went to Travis’ house. I said, “Hey, I want to talk to you about what I’m doing.” I valued his opinion, and he had experience in the business world. I told him I’m going to leave education. At the time I had two job offers, from two different banks and I asked him what he thought I should do. 

And he said, “well, if you really are planning to leave education, why don’t you come work for us?” And I just laughed because I’d never been into computers growing up. He was always into gaming and the computer world and that was never for me.

But he showed me the stuff they needed and what I’d be doing. He said, “if that seems interesting and you’re willing to learn, it’s something we really need right now.” And I thought, this is new and different. I knew I would never get bored in this position because there’s always something to learn. And so I was like, OK, let’s do it. And I’ve been on board for about four and a half years. So, yeah, it’s been good.

And outside of work, I understand you’re quite a coffee aficionado, right? 

Yeah. So it’s something I’ve been doing for probably 12 years or so. And I actually started out using an old school popcorn popper to roast coffee beans. It’s not the most efficient way of roasting, but it gives freshly roasted coffee. My dad had recently retired and was looking for something fun to do on the side. So we started a little coffee roasting side business, and he purchased a little sample roaster drum roaster. We both learned about that, which was a lot of fun.

What’s the secret to a great roast? 

There’s a ton to it. You know, the drum roaster uses propane for the heating element and then you have to consider airflow and drum speed. And so all those things work together through timing to roast the beans. There are some great videos online. I think we watched them on YouTube from Mill City Roasters. It’s almost like taking a class, really. And they walk you through the stages of the roast. 

Once you get the basics down, you can play around with different beans. The beans come from different parts of the world, and depending on the level of heat you use while you’re roasting, it can produce a completely different cup of coffee. You can get different flavors out of the same bean. That’s the fun of it — ordering different beans from different parts of the world and seeing what I like the best, what tastes best fit my palate.