Terry McAdams, MacTech Solutions founder, is a teacher at heart. The business name lets people know MacTech Solutions is a place to find answers. It’s a place where teaching and selling blend. Terry founded MacTech Solutions when he was a computer network administrator and instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base. During his military career he earned bachelor’s degrees in both elementary education and industrial management and a masters in computer education and cognitive systems. He retired as a master sergeant. “Terry’s Tech Minute” lets him share tech tips via radio 1290 AM, a Wichita Falls station with a regional reach. Many customers recognize Terry by his voice. “I listen to your tech tips,” they tell him. Terry and technology go back a long way. He wasn’t yet 10 years old when he ran into his first computer – a Radio Shack TRS80. Primitive by today’s standards, it was his introduction to what soon would become a passion, right alongside soccer and airplanes. A Future Business Leader of America in high school in Fort Worth, Terry owned a Dynasty computer and was in business with Dynasty Computer Corp. Those were the days of many brands since forgotten. “I never sold a single computer, but I wanted to,” he said. Apple has proved to be a better fit. Terry is not only an Apple Dealer but also an Apple Specialist – a designation denoting additional certifications and achievements in sales and customer service. Terry and Lucy, his wife and business partner, are a good fit for Wichita Falls in general. They’re loyal members of the Chamber of Commerce and the First Presbyterian Church, and they support Leadership Wichita Falls, a leadership training program.
Lucy McAdams, business partner and wife of MacTech Solutions founder Terry McAdams. They’re an entrepreneurial team 24-7, working at adjacent desks by day and caring for chickens and a garden at their rural home in off hours. Even in the urban setting, Lucy thinks of herself as a grower: “In this job we wear a bunch of different hats, trying to grow the business, making it work. It is rewarding. I love being with Terry and spending time making this happen.” If MacTech Solutions is thriving, much credit goes to Lucy’s attention to detail. Accounting, ordering, bill paying, payroll, marketing are her bailiwick. A woman of contrasts, she likes to dance when the work is done. Originally from California, she’s learned the Texas two-step. Lucy grew up watching Disneyland fireworks from her backyard. She studied psychology and business at Cypress College, but when her family returned to its Texas roots, she moved too and took work as a rural postmaster relief. She liked the protocol of the job and her customers – folks who called to tell her if she was about to be late raising the flag. Lucy met Terry at a computer user group meeting in 1999. For years, they were just friends. They still are. If Grant Wood could paint a new American Gothic, it might be Terry and Lucy, but they’d both be smiling and holding iPads.
Call MacTech Solutions and there’s a good chance you’ll hear the friendly voice of Mike Braziel – from Houston. “Most people, when they call, they don’t even know I’m not there,” he says. Longstanding customers know both his face and voice from the years Mike was a physical presence at Mac Tech – a repair technician who also spent time behind the counter dealing with customers. When Mike moved to Houston a few years ago, MacTech gave him a going-away party. The separation didn’t last. Within a year he was back on the payroll, not only to answer the phone but also to offer remote support to customers and to handle accounts payable, all from Houston. Occasionally, he returns to Wichita Falls to fill in for employees during absences and to lend a helping hand to chief technician Ken Marlin when his workload is especially heavy. Mike is a phenomenon of the computer age. He likes to call himself a work-from-home dad. It’s an arrangement that gives him more time with his children – John, a junior high tuba player, and Jared who just graduated from high school and wants to study computer science. Mike has a degree in Music from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.
Ken Marlin knows computers from the inside out, not just down to the tiniest screw but also to the principles of binary logic that underlie their workings. At MacTech, he’s the man who wields the tools in the computer repair department, keen of eye and hand and brain, dealing with software and hardware issues with studied expertise – not that he wasn’t born with a knack for what he does. Ken’s talents shone first when he won a statewide electronics competition when he was in high school in Virginia. Unable to afford college, he joined the military, choosing a very challenging field – computerized test equipment. During the first half of his 26-year Air Force career, he helped maintain the F-111 fighter-bomber fleet, dealing with the aircrafts’ computerized modules. Then he spent 13 years at Sheppard Air Force Base, working much of the time as an instructor in computers. It’s how he met fellow instructor Terry McAdams, now owner of MacTech Solutions. Now a longhaired civilian, no longer does Ken keep F-111’s flying, but he’s just as serious about keeping MacTech customers’ computers working right. Personable, he doesn’t mind leaving his workbench when customers need to talk to him. Ever the patient instructor, he shares as much knowledge as the customer can comprehend – and sometimes a bit more. Ken met his wife, Rosa, in the military, where electronic and computers were also her specialties. Their only child, Adelicia, is “good in anything she wants to be good in,” according to her proud father. She’s now working toward a doctorate in physical therapy at Texas Woman’s University.