Jason Templer has been at the ALS through many reorganizations and job titles, providing help to all corners of the facility. Outside of work, this proponent of work-life balance loves dogs and cars—find out just how many cars he’s owned!
When did you join the ALS, and what path led you to where you are today?
I started at the ALS in 2008 after working in private industry in IT project management. My first position was an administrator for the Experimental Systems Group, which became Photon Science Development in 2018. At that point I became the lead administrator for those groups, which included managing and processing all the ALS affiliates and student fellowship programs.
In 2019, I accepted an opportunity to join the ALS Work Planning and Operations group, which provided me an opportunity to utilize my background in administration and project management and apply it towards learning about ALS operations and how the facility is maintained and operated. It’s been extremely exciting, challenging, and fun.
There’s still people from the original Experimental Systems Group that come to me with administrative needs, and I have to remind them that that’s not what I do anymore. But, I think people are just used to coming to me, and I’ve always tried to be a reliable source of help.
What is an issue that you’ve helped resolve for people?
The first thing that popped into my mind was the ALSIWAMP system—ALS interim work and maintenance planning. When Steve Rossi and Mike Martin came to me in 2020 about “this new COVID issue,” they said that we may need to start controlling access to the ALS due to occupancy restrictions. After some intensive Smartsheet online courses, I designed the ALSIWAMP system for people to request access for different areas of the ALS. It routed to the appropriate management to approve the request. We used that for the first year and a half of the pandemic, every day. It was very challenging, but rewarding once it was all said and done, because I was able to push myself out of my comfort zone, and learn how to do new things, and support the division during this pandemic.
What do you do in the course of your work?
My work includes regularly communicating with our internal crafts and technical teams to gather information for all planned work prior to shutdowns and tracking the status of all the work scheduled for the ALS facility. In addition, I triage many of the daily maintenance requests and issues for all the buildings in the ALS complex and work with our Facilities partners to resolve the issues in a timely manner. I also manage the ALS logistics team, which provides shipping and receiving services to the ALS staff and visitors. I manage all the office space within the ALS complex and coordinate office assignments, space redesigns, and office moves. I work with staff and affiliates to gather requirements, coordinate incoming external subcontractors who are performing work around the ALS, and I’m also excited to temporarily serve as building manager for another division.
Do you have any advice for people who are new to the ALS?
My advice would be to talk to people to learn what they do. Learn all the different parts of the ALS, because we’re unique in the size and scope of what we do here, and be open to different opportunities to grow. Learn in different areas that you didn’t originally envision. The funny thing is, I haven’t applied for any of the positions except when I started working with the Experimental Systems Group. All of these jobs have come as a result of organizational changes or other groups recruiting me based on working with me. Steve Rossi and Jeff Troutman pulled me over to work planning because they saw something in me that I didn’t necessarily see myself.
How are you involved in inclusion, diversity, equity, and accountability (IDEA) efforts?
I am on the Work-Life Balance task force. I think the Lab has been extremely progressive in our hybrid work models, and I am looking forward to continuing work on that. I think it’s important that everybody takes time for vacations and managing so that you don’t burn out. It’s very important to feel supported by management to take the time to recharge.
How do you recharge?
I’m very close to my family and have a large extended family. My parents recently relocated from the East Bay up to the foothills of the Sierras on the way to Tahoe, and I spend every other weekend up there. I enjoy boating there, trying new breakfast and lunch spots with my dad, and exploring the foothills. I also enjoy watching TCM and old movies from the ’30s and ’40s.
I’m a dog person and a car person—I’ve had 38 cars so far, but right now, I just have one car. My favorites are mid-’90s Mercedes, and I’ve learned how to repair them myself just by watching YouTube videos. Right now, I don’t have my own dog, but I’m a co-parent of Barney, who is my parents’ 11-year-old English Labrador. I’d love to retire and buy a hundred acres in the mountains to run a rescue and hospice for terminally ill shelter dogs.