Every 2 years or so Granger Community Church takes a weekend to celebrate and recognize some of our outstanding volunteers. Men and women who get the mission, vision, and values of GCC and over the years have made a ginormous impact for the Kingdom through their efforts. We call them "Giant Killers" and surprise them Smooth Stone Awards … 5 Smooth Stone awards are presented at each service so this year that means 30 people across both campuses got an awesome surprise during the service :-)
The fun part is that this is all done in secrecy. We don't make any announcements that the Smooth Stone award weekend is coming and the folks getting the awards are clueless … muhwahahaha.
Couple years ago we (IT) got to recognize Dustin Hannifin for his contributions. Click that link for the old blog post on it. When I was asked this year if we had any IT volunteers that should be considered I immediately nominated Tom Templin. Tom started volunteering at GCC shortly after I came on staff in 2003. Hard to believe it's been that long & I can't imagine doing IT at GCC without him!
Here's a short blurb I wrote about Tom of which some made it into the actual weekend service:
This person started volunteering on the IT team in the Fall of 2003. Back then we had no automated systems so we needed many dedicated volunteers to physically run around to computers and install updates, run checks, and troubleshoot issues. It soon became apparent that this individual was not only dependable and willing to handle small tasks, but had immense capacity and knowledge to tackle large complex projects. For Example:
In early 2004 he was tasked to lead the research, design and implementation of a cutting edge campus wide private and public wireless system for GCC. Allowing any wireless user to pull up granger notes on their portable device and take electronic notes. News about this got out and received mention in the Saturday Evening Post and Network World Magazine. Then again in 2010 he again lead the charge to replace our by then antiquated wifi solution with the secure, robust, high density solution over 400 of you (our weekend guests) use each weekend! He is now using the knowledge he gained from our implementation to install the same, albeit considerably larger, wifi solution for the entire PHM School district during his day job.
Starting in 2005 this person became our goto guy for IT projects at MC3. He worked alongside program instructors to implement and maintain the network, wifi, and computer lab the students and teachers use daily.
We also leverage this person as our purchasing agent for all things IT. He loves to go to bat for GCC and find THE rock bottom price for our technology needs. We estimate he’s saved GCC in excess of $100,000 over the past years!
This person plays a key role in our decision making process throughout all levels of IT from switching infrastructure, to servers, to applications. We leverage his knowledge and skills for all our strategic planning and initiatives.
AND just last Sunday he spent over 8 hours helping GCC IT staff move all our production servers and storage from GCC to our new colocation space at Union Station in downtown South Bend.
Honestly, I can’t imagine what we’d do without Tom … his value to our team is impossible to measure … not only is he a volunteer superhero but I also count him as a close friend and brother in Christ.
Here's the video of the 7pm service where Tom was given his Smooth Stone award. Tom's part starts around the 12 minute mark.
Not only has Tom helped GCC, his impact on Church IT has continued to expand as a more and more of our Church IT peers contact Tom to get quotes on IT gear.
It's so fun to recognize and surprise people like Tom. They are truly Giant Slayers.