By Chris Wachowiak
Good IT (information technology) guys are hard to find. Keeping up with computers and technology is not always an easy task, especially how fast technology changes. It takes a special sort of person to be able to keep up with it, and be passionate about it … and it takes a remarkable person who can communicate to others in a way that allows novices to understand.
Greg Farnham is 29 years old and is passionate about computers, networks and technology. He is also an aspiring photographer/videographer on the side.
Farnham is that “hard-to-find” IT guy for Keith Country Day School, and that “hard-to-find” IT guy for a lucky few. He brings an intensity, a kindness and an eagerness to share with others.
After gaining his associate’s degree from Rock Valley College, Greg quickly jumped into a career in IT at Keith, where he resides today as their computer technician/network administrator. He has also helped run the “School of Rock” there the last few years.
School of Rock is one of those rare amazing programs in our community that enables young artists to work in “a working band” scenario and gain some mentorships from some local legends like Miles Nielsen, Stu Johnson and many more. Many of these kids then get to fine-tune their skills and then go play out in the community in events like Green Light Nights and other festivals.
Greg has helped move this idea off the school into the community time and time again. It was during the first School of Rock that he discovered photography and had the chance to meet Brian Milo (a drummer and amazing photographer).
Milo began to serve as Greg’s mentor, and Greg began to take on photography with a zest of almost consumption. Four years later, Greg still fine-tunes his craft every day, and adds to his skill set with some video work.
When Greg is not working his 40-plus-hour-a-week job, he is out in the field doing event photography or learning more about his passions. He recently joined Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts on a tour documenting their life on the road via photos and video. That was his first band road trip, and it opened his eyes to the hard work of being a touring artist.
I find Greg — with the ability to be an artist paired with a critical-thinking ability — to be a modern-day renaissance 20-something. He does not fear failure, but pushes himself over obstacles until he figures a way out to his end goal. He believes in a collaborative approach to work and community.
Greg loves Rockford and believes that Rockford is what you make of it. He chooses to live here and do his part to improve it through his actions and attitudes toward others, and by always pushing forward.
One thought has echoed through his mind since he heard Miles Nielsen say it to his students in the first Rock Camp: “What are your goals, and what are you doing today to reach those goals?” A question I wish we would all ask ourselves a little more often.
Chris Wachowiak is owner of Kryptonite Bar, 308 W. State St., No. 110, Rockford. Read his blog at http://ChrisWachowiak.com. Do you know a 20-something who is doing something unique and should be recognized? E-mail Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the March 6-12, 2013, issue