Faces of CNM: Johnny Garcia

After more than 26 years of ensuring CNM was on the cutting edge of technology, Johnny is retiring
June 17, 2020

Those of us who work at CNM often take the strong, reliable wireless internet for granted. It’s always there, and always working. We don’t have to think about it.

For Johnny Garcia, the fact that we don’t pay attention to the wireless is one of his biggest accomplishments. He’s been in the IT department at CNM for more than 25 years and was one of the staff who set up and constantly improved the wireless system so that students, staff, and faculty could do anything from access their email to file a paper.

“My goal has always been to make sure CNM’s infrastructure was safe and reliable at all costs,” he says.

Johnny has also been a key contributor for everything from the campus data centers to its smart and reliable IT safety protocol. He’s currently a Senior Network Security Administrator and is involved in everything from firewall protection to email security.

“The bad guys are getting smarter and smarter so we’re constantly having to come up with better technology and security devices to keep them out,” Johnny says. “Protecting CNM and not leaving it exposed is what’s most important.”  

Although the COVID-19 pandemic cast a shadow over his final few months at CNM, Johnny says he can see the silver lining. He’s proud of how his department and the entire campus responded and he says the episode actually moved CNM forward.

“Most importantly, we’ve proven that we can move online,” he says. “We know we can do it and that will help the college down the road.”

As you might imagine, Johnny’s made a lot of friends during his time at CNM. One of his closest is Roger Soto, an Infrastructure Supervisor in IT. Roger has so much respect for Johnny that he wrote him a goodbye letter when he found out he was retiring. 

“Johnny is the heart of CNM and has been involved in almost all of the technology updates,” Roger wrote. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Johnny for 25 years and he has always put CNM first, even before his family. We have worked together on projects when we’ve seen the sun set and the sun rise all in the same day. He is one of the best team players you'll ever meet and CNM will be losing a super fun and devoted employee in Johnny.” 

As for what comes next, Johnny says he’s most looking forward to relaxing and fishing. He loves to fish, but has only been able to go a handful of times over the past 15 years. Fenton Lake is his favorite spot.

“I told my wife I need to kick back and take a couple months off to regain my senses,” Johnny says. “I’m really looking forward to getting out to the forest and enjoying some peace and quiet.”