CANNON BEACH — Keeping up with system updates, spotty Internet or cell service, overwhelming amounts of junk emails, and social media platforms can be headache-inducing, even for the computer-savvy.
Patrick Johnston hopes to help computer systems run more efficiently in Cannon Beach and the rest of the North Coast with his new business, Tolovana Tech, which opened in late January.
“It seemed like there was a need here with the many hotels and the lack of mobile tech support,” he said.
Johnston’s expertise is in Apple and Microsoft products and operating systems, Internet connectivity and troubleshooting, hospitality e-commerce websites, and helping people navigate hardware or software customer support.
He recently moved to Cannon Beach from Salt Lake City with his 10-year-old daughter, Lillian.
As a full-time single parent, he enjoys living close to family again. His father, David Vonada, is an architect in Tolovana.
Johnston, who grew up in Portland before moving to Utah, is happy to return to his Oregon roots. He recalls spending summers in Cannon Beach as a child.
“It’s a beautiful area, with the air and the water,” he said. “My daughter is ecstatic to be here.”
With a background in hospitality management, Johnston enjoys interacting with customers and providing customer service. In Utah, he spent 16 years as a general manager at major hotel groups. He also worked at Comcast for several years, providing tech support.
Johnston’s various services include troubleshooting modem problems, upgrading hotel property management systems, adding system software and assisting with hospitality revenue management. He has helped several businesses set up their Facebook pages, and is working on installing a receiver for a zone on Elk Creek Road that lacks cellular service.
Johnston even helps customers upgrade their email in-boxes by clearing out thousands of unwanted junk mails, which reduce the number of potential emails that could contain scams.
He also provided audiovisual support during the streaming broadcast of Seaside Police Sgt. Jason Goodding’s funeral at the Coaster Theatre, and is the newest member of the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce.
When not troubleshooting technological issues, Johnston likes to spend time with Lillian. They enjoy mountain biking together.
He’s excited for the many opportunities to “pay it forward” in Cannon Beach, whether by supporting the arts or cleaning up the beach.
— Lyra Fontaine