January 27, 2018

Volunteer Profile: Tim Lacey

Our IT consultant and technical advisor, Tim Lacey grew up in South Dakota but came to California in 1988 to attend Stanford University.  While working on a Ph.D., he got sidetracked creating a company, Immersion Corporation, which creates simulated tactile feedback technology, like game controllers and medical training simulators.  In 2002, the company went public and by then he had essentially worked himself into obsolescence, so he and his wife Kathy moved down to San Diego.

Two children, Rio and Roark, came into his life and the subsequent years have been focused on raising a family while managing investments and working with non-profits.  Tim has an engineering background, but his company role as treasurer taught him about the accounting side of the business, so a lot of his work with non-profits has involved financial work.  He is, in fact, a licensed investment advisor – if he wants to be – which is the key to Tim’s outlook on life.

Tim likes life best when work is fun, and he sees the diverse skills he’s picked up along the way as allowing himself to pick and choose, with less concern for remuneration.

In pursuit of various interests, Tim has become an expert on an assortment of household technologies, using his own home as a tech lab to learn, for example, about solar energy technology and security cameras.  He takes this same personal approach to whatever he does for others, designing from scratch for their particular situations, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

Similarly, when TreeSD inherited the TreeTracker system from the Center for Sustainable Energy, he saw it needed updating for our needs, which involve more than just recording results. To this end, he set up training for Urban Corps so that planting and watering activity can be input on an ongoing basis for active consultation in real time.

TreeSD fits into that mode for Tim because he can get involved in so many aspects of the organization.  A veritable sponge for knowledge, he’s enjoyed absorbing the science of trees from hanging around arborists and consulting with Cal Poly experts.  Just as his professional life has evolved organically, Tim likes to see connections and follow them wherever they lead, looking for the challenge of something new ahead.

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