Sunday Star

Problem solvers

Jason’s Computer Services helps customers, community navigate pandemic

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Jason Lee has always liked helping others. That includes with their computers and other technology.

Lee found an interest and acumen for technology at a young age. Lee said by his teenage years, neighbors would bring him computers and electronic­s for him to fix.

“People just started bringing stuff to me,” Lee said. “I’ve always liked helping people.”

Lee — who owns and operates Jason’s Computer Services in Easton — has seen the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to continue helping his neighbors on the Eastern Shore.

“We had a customer at the peak of the pandemic. She has a son with some sort of health issue and he is a ‘critical care’ or an isolated space. They would not allow his mother or father to come in and see him,” Lee said.

“He was experienci­ng seizures. The problem is that nobody was able to witness them, since they would happen late at night or when nobody was around,” he said.

Lee’s team came up with the idea of installing a GoPro video camera to record her son and the seizures.

Lee said the effort required regularly

I’ve always liked helping people.”

Jason Lee

downloadin­g the video remotely and then uploading it on YouTube so it could be shared with doctors. “Those proved to be more challengin­g than initially expected. But in the end we got the job done over a one-week period for this customer. These type jobs are very rewarding, and make your heart feel complete at the end of the task,” Lee said.

The customized service sets the locally owned business apart from national chains and online competitor­s.

Lee said his Easton-based technology has been able to assist more customers throughout the pandemic. “We were able to help people,” Lee said.

That includes helping workers and students upgrade their technology in order to work and take classes at home. “That created a big market for webcams and speakers,” Lee said.

The pandemic and the resulting COVID relief checks have also brought more customers to Lee’s to buy computers and other technology.

The Easton business saw a big increase in sales when the pandemic began and schools and much of the economy were shut down.

“We sold 800 computers in the first month of the COVID,” Lee said.

That increase in customers included the Easton business helping seniors, schools, students and others navigate new technology imperative­s during the pandemic. “We built a brand new showroom with a ‘computer bar’ in it for a reason. So somebody can come in, sit down and vent to us. Offering them a hot tea, cup of coffee or something cold to drink. Allow them to explain what is wrong, what they are looking for,” said Lee.

Lee’s business continues to see demand for computers and technology after COVID stimulus checks were distribute­d — including the latest $1,400 payments sent to many Americans.

“We actually overall did really well with it,” he said. “We have done a lot of things for schools and families.”

Jason’s Computer Services has been in business since 1999, nestled on Centrevill­e Road.

The local business also shows that technology entreprene­urs and drivers are not exclusive to Silicon Valley office parks, social media giants and venture capitalist­s.

Jason’s goes well beyond the convention­al computer sales and repair shop. It sells Apple MacBooks and customizab­le high-speed gaming computers.

Lee said selling Macs has been a boost for his business helping local customers avoid a longer drive — including across the Bay Bridge.

“It’s a strong driver,” he said, estimating Macs make up 20% of computer sales.

The Easton business also offers data centers, managed IT and network security in addition to computer sales and repairs.

Jason’s offers data centers and other network services for local small businesses as well as medical and dental offices. The company works with 100 local businesses and 9,000 residentia­l customers annually. Many of those customers have been working with Lee for 15 years or more, he said.

The Talbot County business has six employees — including General Manager Ryan Protos, Punit Patel (network engineer), Jordan Lane (project manager), Chris Brodka (technical services), Nathan Allen (cloud services), and Jason Lee’s mom, Holley Lee, who is a retired teacher — as well as welcoming and mellow Black Labrador.

The Easton company is also expanding.

Lee has acquired an adjacent property for expanded parking and operations. He said his business has never borrowed money nor has it ever applied for PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) funds.

Lee said he also likes to help his employees develop profession­ally while maintainin­g a focus on local customers. “We’re like a big family,” Lee said.

 ?? PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL ?? Jason Lee is the owner of Jason’s Computer Services. He has a crew of six workers to help service all the computers and networks that need help.
PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL Jason Lee is the owner of Jason’s Computer Services. He has a crew of six workers to help service all the computers and networks that need help.
 ?? PHOTOS BY TOM MCCALL ?? This is the crew at Jason’s Computers in Easton. Left to right is Holley Lee, Nathan Allen, Ryan Protos, Jason Lee, Punit Patel, Jordan Lane and Chris Brodka.
PHOTOS BY TOM MCCALL This is the crew at Jason’s Computers in Easton. Left to right is Holley Lee, Nathan Allen, Ryan Protos, Jason Lee, Punit Patel, Jordan Lane and Chris Brodka.
 ??  ?? This is where the problems are solved on 9231 Centrevill­e Road. The space is clean, efficient and uncluttere­d. Jason’s Computer Services even sells Macs.
This is where the problems are solved on 9231 Centrevill­e Road. The space is clean, efficient and uncluttere­d. Jason’s Computer Services even sells Macs.

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