CLiF is incredibly fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers whose behind-the-scenes efforts boost our organization’s efficiency and function immeasurably. We recently sat down with Trevor Luce, the tech guru who generously serves as CLiF’s entire IT department, to ask him a few questions about his background with the organization, and what motivates him to volunteer.
How long have you been CLiF’s volunteer Director of Digital, Superintendent of Software, Lord of Laptops, and Titan of Technology?
Just over 10 years now.
It’s a family affair! Your grandparents, Margaret and David Luce, are also CLiF volunteers. What inspires your family to volunteer with the organization?
CLiF’s mission is a very simple one: promoting literacy among children. The reasons behind that mission are what really resonate with me. Early literacy is such an important foundation for everyone’s future. Those early literacy skills are essential building blocks for doing well in school, getting a job, and being able to give back and set the next generation up for success. Getting kids excited about literacy so early is such a novel approach to solving many different problems.
As for how I ended up here: my grandmother has been volunteering for CLiF for about 25 years (since the start), and always speaks so highly of the organization. When I learned CLiF needed someone to help with IT stuff, I offered up my services right away.
What do you do for work when you’re not fielding CLiF IT queries?
I’m a senior software engineer at Ivy Computer in Waterbury Center, Vermont. I’ve been there for about 16 years now. Most of my focus is on making software for the waste hauling industry.
You were integral in masterminding all the tech infrastructure for CLiF’s new headquarters. Can you offer some details about that process?
It was a long, but really fun process. I work for a company that’s been growing rapidly and we’ve been building new space after new space for years now, just trying to keep up. The CLiF HQ was a very clean slate when we got started so we had the chance to do everything the right way from the get-go. I think I spent the better part of 18 months mostly emailing between [CLiF founding executive director] Duncan McDougall, CLiF employees, the builders, the architect, the various contractors and vendors to get the plan together. After all that planning, all the tech went in over the span of just a couple weeks. Couldn’t have done it without all the wonderful folks involved in that process from the start.
What is the most memorable tech snafu you’ve had to solve for CLiF?
I think it was the day before the new HQ’s Open House event. I got a call from [executive director] Laura Rice: the internet went down, the phones went down, it all went down. I rushed over to see what had happened. The battery backup for the entire tech infrastructure had died, taking everything with it. It had been plugged into a protected outlet (the only one in that room) and it turns out those battery backups don’t like protected circuits.
I ran home to grab some extension cords, ran the cords down the hall to the nearest outlet, taped the cord down with painters tape, and it all came back online. With help from the builders, we were able to get a new outlet installed that worked with the battery backup a couple of hours before the open house started. I hid all the extension cords and no one was the wiser. I was getting a little worried it wouldn’t be done in time and folks would come into the beautiful new building and see my mess of extension cords all over the place.
(Ed. note: And this is just one of many times Trevor has saved the day for CLiF!)
What do you do for fun?
I spend my working hours mostly in front of a computer. Most of what I do for fun is anything that can get me either outside or working with my hands. I’m an avid skier and sailor. I travel as much as I can (by sailboat if possible). I also really like fixing stuff, working on old tractors is definitely a favorite. I’m also currently restoring an old truck.
Did you like reading as a kid? What were some of your favorite books?
I loved reading as a kid. I remember spending a lot of time reading the Magic Tree House books. Goosebumps were always a favorite too.
Trevor, we are so grateful for all that you do for CLiF! We don’t know where we’d be without you – probably locked out of our email or offline entirely. Thanks for keeping us up and running!