Congratulations to Information Technology Manager, Cory Leinberger, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Staff of the Month for March 2022. Leinberger began his career at CWI nearly 13 years ago on the first day of the College’s second semester during the fall of 2009.
“When I found out there was a position open to start a technical support team at a brand new community college, I was giddy,” he said. “It checked all the boxes for me. I had been part of a few startups and loved the energy and the unknown, but to be able to build a department from scratch was a real selling point.”
Leinberger was initially hired at CWI to be the College’s very first Help Desk Manager.
“My first day on the job, I learned my new department was staffed by one, full-time employee on loan from the Information Technology (IT) Operations team. This one employee was taking all the IT support calls on his personal cell phone, and his voicemail inbox was full! This realization was both frightening and exciting as it provided me an opportunity to build something from the ground up and create the best user experience possible. Attracting people to create that experience was challenging, but half of the team I hired is still here today.”
Today, as the Information Technology Manager, Leinberger and his User Services team of nearly 20 oversee end-user technology and software support on computers and in classrooms throughout campus. This includes support through CWI’s Help Desk call center, available to employees and students.
“I love technical support and the challenges that come along with providing end users with technology,” he said. “Every day is an adventure! My hot button is managing teams of geeks to deliver a consistent, high-level of service to those they support while working to meet their personal and professional needs.”
IT Technical Support Specialist, Keith Peterson, has experienced Leinberger’s professional and personal support firsthand.
“I was diagnosed with major depression as a teenager and bipolar disorder in my 20s, all of which I have been handling well until last spring,” explained Peterson. “I began having issues with anxiety and stress causing me to slack in my duties and miss work. Noticing this change in me, Cory made it possible for me to take time to focus on my mental health and recover. I was falling fast when he caught me, and his actions literally saved my life. Many of my past jobs would have just cut their losses and let me go. Cory stood up for me, held me up, and made sure I had the support and help needed to succeed.”
“Cory really does care about the people who work under him,” added Technical Support Specialist, Robert Healea. “He never tries to bring attention to himself for lifting people up. If all managers were like him, no one would ever quit a job, no matter where they worked or what they did. He instills kindness and compassion, shows us how to look deeper into issues, and how to step into the other person’s shoes and see an issue from their point of view. He sees the value in a person and is willing to work through the thorns to get to it. People are not disposable to Cory, they are an asset that he helps to grow.”
Leinberger was born and raised in Boise along with two younger siblings. He and his wife of nearly 40 years met while working together at Shakey’s Pizza. Together, they have six children (three boys and three girls) and 11 grandchildren (10 of which are boys) with another on the way. In the little time he has to himself he enjoys hunting, fishing, golf, hiking, mountain biking, and brewing beer.
“It’s a wonderful trade off when you have a large family – your hobbies dwindle, and your attention is focused on the beauty and experiences of the lives around you.”