Meet a Helpful Human – Tom Canfield

April 2, 2021 Todd Terwillegar

We’re the employees you would hire if you could. Responsive, helpful, and dedicated in ways automation simply can’t be. We’re your team.

Each month we recognize one of our Most Helpful Humans in Hosting.

Meet Tom Canfield

Tom Canfield was born and raised in mid-Michigan and is happy to call it home. He had worked in, and eventually managed, several local restaurants before he decided to pursue a career in tech. A dramatic change, but tech has always run deep in Tom’s roots.

Tom has had an interest in tech since he was a young kid. He still remembers his first PC quite fondly - a 486SX 33MXHZ, complete with a whopping 4M of RAM. Soon, Tom was editing his AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS to load minimal drivers in order to get new games like DOOM to work. When a position at Liquid Web in Support opened up, he knew it would be a great opportunity and a great fit, since it would allow him to pursue his interest in ever-evolving tech.

Today, Tom is one of our esteemed Support Technicians, out on the front lines and making a huge difference for our customers. We wanted to find out more about Tom.

Meet a Helpful Human - Tom Canfield

What draws you to the Hosting Industry as a career?

I’m known as “tech support” within my family and network, funnily enough. I find satisfaction in resolving tech issues for friends and family, whether that is related to their laptops, desktops, network setup, or security. Therefore, doing that as a service for which I'm paid is a perfect career path.

Is there something specific at Liquid Web that you just love?

I absolutely love my fellow Support Technicians at Liquid Web. I've seen a lot of positive “get-it-done” attitudes here at Liquid Web which also amplifies my desire to see issues through to resolution. It is also very helpful to have a second set of eyes on tough issues that come through from our customers. That way, we can solve them as a team.

In your eyes, what’s the difference between Liquid Web and other employers?

I came to Liquid Web with a lot of enthusiasm, but not a lot of related experience. Liquid Web gave me a chance and has invested time and knowledge into me to build my experience and expertise to where it stands today. I would not be the Support Technician I am today without the investment from my teammates and Liquid Web. I will always be grateful for that.

What is the biggest milestone you’ve accomplished?

I'm proud to have been a Helpful Human for nearly eight years now. In that time, Liquid Web has invested in me with numerous classes, certifications, and training. The experience that stands out to me most was getting my Red Hat certification (RHCSA). That class challenged my tech skills and expanded on the tools I use in daily troubleshooting. There are usually several ways to accomplish the same thing in Linux, and gaining a greater understanding of my options has benefited me along with our customers.

Tell us about a truly rewarding experience you’ve had with a customer.

I recall a specific phone call from a customer a few years back. When I answered, I could hear in their voice that they were in a state of panic. They quickly explained their website was getting far more traffic than they'd anticipated. Sales were going through the roof, but their site and server were in danger of going down. Server resources were being completely used up, which could lead to server overload, and unfortunately, downtime for the business. Their regular tech who handles the server had left the company suddenly, and the customer had no idea how to proceed.

I worked with Sales to get a significantly more powerful server package together, and worked across our migration and service delivery teams to get the new server up and running very quickly. We were able to ensure his business stayed running and profitable throughout the traffic spike.

The customer kept expressing their gratitude openly, and kept saying "You saved my business!" Having that kind of impact with a customer is very rewarding.

What is one thing you wish our customers knew about their hosting?

A web server is only as good as its backups. Not having a regular automated backup setup when needed often means a site has to be rebuilt from scratch, which could be the difference between a business surviving or failing during a crisis.

Our Cloud and Acronis backups are very simple to set up and use. I try to mention both of these backup options to anyone not using them. If you don’t have a backup option in place right now, contact us via chat, phone, or ticket in Support, and we would be happy to help you get started.

Work aside, what are some of your hobbies?

I've been playing Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons with my friends for more than 20 years now. My favorite video game at the moment is Noita, but give me any rogue-like game and I'll be happy.

I'm also an ordained minister, and have performed over a dozen wedding ceremonies for close friends and family.

Our family wouldn’t be complete without our furry family members as well: Sweet Chester and Crazy Klaus, our two cats.

What is your favorite TV show?

I’m a huge Trekkie. I love Star Trek: The Original Series, Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine. Picking a favorite would not be logical.

If you could have dinner with one famous person [dead or alive] who would it be?

Craig Minowa (and his wife Connie).. He's the founder, songwriter, and singer of the Minnesota band Cloud Cult. His words and music have been inspirational to me and my family. Connie performs live paintings during the show, which are auctioned off at the end. I've had the wonderful chance to meet them a few times now, and even own one of Connie’s paintings. Getting to chat over an entire dinner would be fantastic.

We hope you enjoyed our series, and stay tuned for the next Most Helpful Human in Hosting profile.

About the Author

Todd Terwillegar

Todd Terwillegar is the Digital Content Marketing Manager and Editor-in-Chief for the Liquid Web Blog, helping growing web businesses and enterprises thrive with the latest trends and technologies. Todd has been published with several global brands on the topics of marketing, SEO, and blogging, including Nexcess & Uberflip. You can follow Todd on LinkedIn.

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