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Executive Symposium 2017 Bright Lights, Big Ideas and You. Uptime Institute Certifies the World’s Digital Foundation for Business.

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FOREWORD HELLO, AND WELCOME to July’s edition of Business Review USA. We kick off this month with an exploration of how a millennial favourite, Instagram, draws in advertisers to support its staggeringly lucrative image-sharing business. We also speak to SerraLux Daylighting Technologies about its SerraGlaze window film, which redirects light to better illuminate spaces in a way that is energy efficient and has a positive impact on peoples’ wellbeing. With health under the spotlight in these turbulent times, this month’s list is the top 10 healthcare businesses in the United States. On top of all this we have in-depth and information-packed exclusive profiles on Rackspace, Grand Forks Water Treatment Plant, and a discussion with four female executives about their experiences as women in STEM industries. Enjoy the magazine, and join the conversation on Twitter @BizReviewUSA


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Let t her e be


P26 TOP10

Top 10

US Healthcare Companies




34 Rackspace 48 Crescent Communities 60 Bond Brothers 74 Grand Forks Water Treatment Plant Project 86 Women in STEM 98 Corbins Electric 110 Miller Electric 132 UptimeInstitute


SUPPLY CHAIN 138 EPIC Management 146 Choice Hotels International

P132 P74

P98 P86

Women in STEM

P146 P138



HOW DOES INSTAGRAM DRAW ITS ADVERTISERS? Business Review USA charts the rise of Instagram and its developing relationship with Facebook, a partnership that is reaping rewards for advertisers Writ ten by: ALE X ANDR A ME NDE Z- DIE Z

PROFILE PHOTO-BASED SOCIAL MEDIA network Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media networks around.

Founded around seven years ago, on July 16, 2010, its numbers are staggering. In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that 32 percent of adults online used Instagram, second only to Facebook. In comparing the numbers to Facebook, the percentages skew more towards women and younger users. In the US, 26 percent of men and 38 percent of women are on Instagram as opposed to 75 percent of men

and 83 percent of women on Facebook. 59 percent of people aged 18-29 are on Instagram in the US, while only eight percent of those over 65 use the platform, as opposed to 88 percent of 1829s and 62 percent of over 65s use Facebook. Another big reveal that the data showed regarding Instagram was the frequency with which people used it. While again Facebook is used most frequently, Instagram comes in second once more, this time coming in way ahead of the other measured social networks like Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter. Of those who used the

H O W D O E S I N S TA G R A M D R A W I T S A D V E R T I S E R S ?

site, 51 percent used Instagram daily, 26 percent weekly and 22 percent less often. Twitter, next in line to Instagram in usage, frequently showed its users as being 42 percent daily, 24 percent weekly and 33 percent less frequently. And the next in line, Pinterest, only had 25 percent of its users on the network daily. That Instagram has managed to grow so rapidly since its 2010 founding is impressive, but Facebook at that same age was also showing impressive growth. What is truly astounding, and what sets it apart from the example which Facebook set, is Instagram’s ability

The more data a company can offer, the more precise,

and more effective any advertising can be

to take that growth and turn it into the ability to make money. When did Instagram start making money?

In order to answer this question, it’s important to take a look at the social network to define all social networks: Facebook. Facebook launched in 2004, but did not put any real effort into making an income until 2012, the year it went public. It was almost two years older than Instagram before it began to implement any sort of cohesive business plan. 2012 is also the year Facebook went public, and although it already had over one billion users at that time, its initial IPO offering of over $104 billion made it the butt of many jokes, especially in the initial days, when the stock dropped. Of course it was those who bought and held the stock that ended up laughing, all the way to the bank, as $104 billion, as astronomically high as that seemed for any initial offering, let alone one of an internet company, turned out to be fully justified. Instagram, however, has taken a very different but nonetheless 11

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H O W D O E S I N S TA G R A M D R A W I T S A D V E R T I S E R S ?

connected journey. At the start, Instagram was always popular, amassing users quickly, targeting a youthful audience but not offputting to older users. And like Facebook, in the very beginning, Instagram did not seem particularly concerned with making money. Take a look at this 2011 Business Insider article that conjectures how the new but impressive social network might be able to capitalize on its success. While it mentions the idea of advertising or sponsored posts, it warns that that tactic is much more likely to turn

users off and besides, the platform isn’t well suited for selling stuff. The author believes the platform will have much better luck with a subscription model or by charging API developers. Of course, this article couldn’t be further off the mark. Charging for social networks has yet to catch on, and Instagram is notoriously against allowing anyone to develop tie-in software for use with their site. Moving just one year into the future, and Instagram still seems much more interested in amassing users


PROFILE and engagement than it does in creating profit, but then it happens. Facebook (not yet public) pays a cool billion to own Instagram. And before there were jokes about Facebook overvaluing itself, there were the jokes about Facebook overvaluing Instagram. Who pays $1 billion for something that doesn’t make any money and doesn’t seem particularly inclined to do so? This Forbes piece trying to make sense of the purchase lists 10 explanations, none of which say it’s a good investment for making money. But someone knew what they were doing. It was a good way to make money. Exact numbers are hard to come by, because Facebook does not share breakdowns of its profits with Instagram, but we do know that in 2016 Instagram doubled their advertising base. It is making money and growing fast. Nothing is as big as Facebook

In the battle amongst social networks to win advertising dollars, there is always going to be the elephant in the room. And by elephant I mean Facebook, it’s 14

July 2017

always there, it’s always huge and there’s no getting around it. But while all of the other social networks must work against Facebook on some level, and must offer something which Facebook does not, or create a different sort of business model, Instagram, owned by Facebook, is free to work in concert with Facebook. And while the amount of advertising dollars in the world are finite (although the amount being funnelled into social networks is growing fast), and all social networks have to compete with each other to get them, there’s another major factor: data. Data is worth big money, but it’s also worth a lot to advertisers. The more data a company can offer, the more precise, and more effective any advertising can be. And once Instagram fully implemented advertising to a broad range of companies, large and small, it offered that advertising integrated through the Facebook advertising, so that the data gathered by both platforms could be used to best target the promotions. So when you purchase an ad on Instagram, you’re putting it on a platform with

about 700 million users, but you have added to that the data of a platform with over two billion users to help target your ads. A more balanced approach

From that alone, it’s easy to see how Instagram might trounce its

competitor social networks, but let’s take a quick look at how else it comes in ahead of the others. Compared to Twitter and Pinterest, Instagram strikes a better balance. While Instagram does skew more female, Pinterest really skews heavily towards female users.

What is truly astounding, and what sets it apart from the example which Facebook set,

is Instagram’s ability to take that growth and turn it into the ability to make money 15


While there are a lot of people on Pinterest, and in many ways it’s a great platform for selling, it is limited by only being appealing to a more limited audience than Instagram. Twitter, while broad in topic, has high user engagement amongst some users, but many more are casual. And while Twitter has recently stepped up attempts to be increase images and video, 140 characters is not the best way to sell things. Twitter is an amazing way 16

July 2017

for brands to interact directly with consumers, but that takes a great deal of resources for a relatively small payoff. Instagram, like all great advertising, is able to use the universal to create the idea of the intimate feeling. A mention must be made of Snapchat, which, while not having nearly as large numbers as the other social networks, is definitely a huge influence for Instagram. In

H O W D O E S I N S TA G R A M D R A W I T S A D V E R T I S E R S ?

fact, Instagram Stories, which are constantly being updated, are pretty indisputably Instagram’s take on the Snapchat app. But Snapchat has been picked up with enthusiasm (and unparalleled engagement) by an extremely young base, and it has not been able to successfully break into older users. Instagram has reached older users, and while

incorporating what has made Snapchat so successful into its own platform; it’s taken the best of that platform and used it to its advantage. Most recently we’ve seen this in advertisements being dropped into Instagram Stories, but in a way that allows users to skip over the ads should they choose.



Let t here be


Business Review USA talks to Serralux Chairman David Willets about the importance of daylighting technologies



A RECENT HARVARD University internationally accredited architect, study found that employees working Professor Michael Wigginton. in green-certified offices display An experienced, serial inventor, markedly higher levels of cognition Milner had been challenged to “do than those that don’t. A similar study away” with the original car wing, rear found that 77 percent of 200,000+ view, mirror – notorious for being employees surveyed state that natural the most aerodynamically inefficient light is important to them. Happy and and clumsy component on a car. healthy people perform better, that’s Milner’s solution was to design a no mystery. prism structure What’s more It’s 2017 and workplace to “bend light” of an enigma from outside the wellbeing has taken are the steps vehicle so as to employers can present the reartake to increase view image on a natural light in reflector inside. the office. David Wigginton Willets, Chairman came across of daylighting the report on technology firm SerraLux talks the award-winning Milner Mirror and to us about the company, and realised the potential of designing how its helping to improve prismatic structures to achieve workplace wellbeing in the US. what was hailed as the “Holy Grail” of daylighting - redirecting natural What are the origins of SerraLux? light from the outside to the inside SerraLux Inc was founded in 2012. of a building while preserving the The origins of the technology view to the world outside. Michael however were earlier, born of the explained the building design unique relationship between Peter aspects, Peter did the maths and Milner, an innovative “first principles” the rest, as they say, is history. automotive engineer and an



July 2017


What is it about natural light that improves people’s mind-sets and health so markedly? We all feel better when waking up to a sunny day. That’s not rocket science, it’s just a normal, natural human response to natural light. Natural light has been found to help beat seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D), increased levels of Vitamin D, aid concentration and alertness, improve a variety of skin conditions and even boost our overall immune systems.

How was the technology for SerraGlaze developed? The first prototypes were produced in collaboration with Saint Gobain and 3M using machines designed to manufacture microstructured prismatic lenses for overhead projectors. At that time, there were no specialist micro-processing companies to be found in the UK and very few optical scientists with relevant manufacturing experience. The market in the USA


for daylighting technologies, although small, was homogenous and growing, supported by world class research institutions such as LBNL (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in Colorado. Moreover, there was a greater number of US property owners, architects and engineering firms that were early adopters of new building technologies relative to their European counterparts. This is why I made the strategic decision to come to the US. Once there, I recruited the experienced entrepreneur and local Californian, Bob Ford, and assembled a small technical and commercial team. What have the company’s biggest achievements been over the last 12-18 months? It’s 2017 and workplace wellbeing has taken centre stage in the built environment sector. As awareness around wellbeing grows, so too will the awareness around natural light and its role in improving employee satisfaction levels. I think our biggest achievement in recent months has been our success in commercialising our family of “daylighting” film

David Willets Serralux Chairman

We need to encourage thinking WHICH RECOGNIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF DAYLIGHT ON OUR BODIES, AND OUR ENVIRONMENT and strive to educate the next generation about the benefits 23


products. Our latest version has been developed to manage glare more effectively, in line with feedback from our current customers. At present, we operate in both the UK and US market in schools, offices and commercial buildings. We are particularly delighted with a recent independent comparative study by LBNL that has demonstrated the unique performance of SerraGlaze in improving energy efficiency in an already efficient building by up to 25 percent. We are also delighted that SerraGlaze is being installed in the new Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) offices in Boulder Commons, Colorado, as home to 100+ RMI researchers and consultants. We’ve had inquiries from within


June 2017

the retail and healthcare sectors now too – which I think is testament to the reputation that we have built on both sides of the pond. Are there any exciting upcoming or ongoing projects happening for SerraLux and what is your vision for the next 2-5 years? Without saying too much, we do have a new product on the horizon. We’ve been developing this with newer technology, really focusing on how best to bring light deeper into the room, helping people to harness the maximum amount of daylight. There is also considerable interest in our developing a version of SerraGlaze® that will help prevent the millions of deaths each year from


birds slamming into window glazing. Our vision is two-fold. First, we want to commercialise our products globally– we have designs in the pipeline and lots of behind-the-scenes work which is coming to fruition. The next logical step after production is to then get that rolled out more widely, on a global basis. We are also currently conducting research into markets in the Middle East and India, and we’re all really excited about expanding our geographical reach. The second goal is rather ambitious but, in our view, necessary for the discourse and thinking around daylight. Rather than make good use of beneficial daylight and turn off the lights in the day time, we live in a society where all too often everyone

from facility managers to architects, property and business owners, only see the unwanted effects of the sun and automatically seek to block it out by drawing the blinds. We need to encourage thinking which recognizes the importance of daylight on our bodies, and our environment and strive to educate the next generation about the benefits. Instead of blocking light out – rather, let’s let the light in! This task requires important research which we are planning from our UK operation based in the STFC Campus at Harwell in Oxfordshire and is a way in which we believe, in conjunction with our daylight redirecting technologies, we can enhance the living and working environment for millions of people.


TOP 10

Top 10 US Healthcare Companies 26

July 2017


We examine the top healthcare companies in the United States based on an authoritative 2016 report by Fortune magazine Although there is no single formula to create a leading healthcare company, the raw elements remain generally consistent. Effective management, productive employees, a unique selling point, a dedication to customer service, and an excellent market reputation are just a few important keys to success in this volatile but extremely lucrative industry. The leaders in the healthcare field have learned to combine these diverse elements in just the right ratios to thrive in the modern marketplace. Writ ten by: CHAD DEITCHLEY


TOP 10

10 THE PHARNACEUTICAL GIANT Pfizer has faced significant patent issues over the last several years, including the loss of exclusive rights to the all-time best-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor. Despite the considerable blow this has dealt to company profits (sales figures declined by 1.5 percent in 2015), Pfizer remains a strong performer in the healthcare industry due to factors that include high shareholder yields and an exceptional reputation as an employer. under the Big Win sports brand.

CURRENTLY RANKED 52ND on the Fortune 500 List, Humana was nearly acquired by rival health insurance company Aetna in 2016 before the deal was thwarted by anticompetitive legal concerns. The failed merger hasn’t had a lasting effect on Humana’s business operations. After struggling a little in the first and second quarters of 2016, Humana finished strong in the third and fourth quarters, with revenues of $14,007,000 and $13,800,000 respectively. Humana is also popular with consumers, garnering more than 1,000 positive reviews through the independent healthcare ratings organization Consumer Affairs.

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8 AETNA IS ALSO faring extremely well in the wake of the failed merger with Humana, consistently maintaining double-digit yearover-year revenue percentage increases. In January of 2016, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini announced that the company would boost its minimum wage to $16 per hour - a move that was extremely popular with the company’s workforce.

IN ADDITION TO producing bandages and baby powder, Johnson & Johnson features a range of prescription drug and medical device brands that generate billions in sales. The company suffered a significant drop in revenue in the wake of accusations that its talcum powder leads to ovarian cancer, but it has since rebounded to land in the 39th position on the Fortune 500 List. Johnson & Johnson expects to boost profits even further by submitting ten new pharmaceutical filings through 2017.

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TOP 10

6 THE SECOND LARGEST health insurer in the United States and the largest for-profit managed healthcare company in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association. Anthem rapidly rose to prominence in 2014 after acquiring the massive healthcare insurance group WellPoint. The organization currently serves approximately 38.5 million patients.

PROCESSING AROUND 1.5 billion claims on an annual basis, Express Scripts has emerged as the biggest full-service pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) in America. Its success has been fuelled by consolidation within the pharmacy industry, resulting in reduced costs and increased bargaining strength with pharmaceutical companies. The company currently occupies the 22nd spot on the Fortune 500 list and expects to climb even higher as national drug spending increases.

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4 DISTRIBUTING A WIDE range of pharmaceuticals and medical products, Cardinal Health has benefited greatly from recent increases in the prices of generic drugs. With revenues of well over $1 billion, it continues to expand its portfolio of doctor office and medical center products while simultaneously capitalizing on a new market of customers that have abandon the traditional hospital model to embrace other integrated systems of healthcare.

AMERISOURCEBERGEN IS THE second-largest US distributor of pharmaceuticals with posted revenues of $136 billion. In recent years, it has found additional success within the rapidly growing animal health industry. AmerisourceBergen currently supports a workforce of roughly 16,500 employees and ranks 12th on the Fortune 500 list.



TOP 10

2 THE LARGEST SINGLE healthcare carrier in America, UnitedHealthCare is the currently covers approximately 70 million Americans. The company has benefited from the higher enrolment rate of the Affordable Care Act but suffered from the increased fees that are associated with the ACA. Part of UnitedHealth’s success can be attributed to diversification. It is a tremendous supporter of medical research as well as an insurance provider.


July 2017


RANKING FIFTH ON among all companies on the Fortune 500 list, McKesson is the largest pharmaceutical distributor and healthcare IT company in the US. Its work in the digital technology sector (producing and maintaining electronic health-records systems, payment plans, and revenue cycle infrastructure) is a major key to its ongoing success. Adding to its monumental success in the field of pharmaceutical distribution, McKesson’s IT operations boosted profits to $190.8 billion in 2016.

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FANATICAL about the cloud

Managed cloud provider Rackspace prides itself on its customer service, known as “Fanatical Support”, available 24-7, 365 days a year. The company’s commitment to providing expertise and support to customers is so strong that team members are called “Rackspace fanatics” Written by Leila Hawkins Produced by Tom Venturo



ackspace is a leading managed cloud company that helps businesses tap the power of hosting and cloud computing without the pain, complexity and cost of doing it themselves. The company provides results-obsessed customer services, known as “Fanatical Support” to customers of all sizes in over 150 countries, from city guide websites to large finance and healthcare companies, including more than half of the world’s Fortune 100 companies. Across all these locations and sectors, Rackspace’s work is standardized to very fine detail thanks to the company’s extensive bench of technology experts. Each team meets every two weeks to review processes and policies, taking into account feedback from impacted customers, stakeholders and fellow Rackers. This feedback could be a request for a RAM upgrade, or replacing a top of rack (ToR) switch. The details of these tasks are then worked through and the technical experts determine the most effective method to solve the problem. This method is then rolled out across the entire company so that, regardless of the location, customers will receive the same experience and level of service. LONDON CRAWLEY DATA CENTER (LON 5) Since it was founded in Texas in 1998, Rackspace has established itself as a global leader in the data center industry. It has over 5,500 employees in 16 offices globally and operates 11 data centers serving regions across the globe including Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Northern Virginia, London, Sydney and Hong Kong.


July 2017


Jim Hawkins Vice President, Global Data Center Operations & Engineering

Jim Hawkins is the vice president of global data center operations and engineering at Rackspace, where he oversees the company’s worldwide network of data centers and other critical infrastructure and operations. Jim joined Rackspace in 2008, initially serving as director of operational excellence. Since then, he has held several positions, including director of U.S. data centers and senior director of global data center operations.

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Rackspace’s 12th data center is set to open in Frankfurt in July. In mid 2015, Rackspace opened a new, purpose-built data center facility in London, called LON 5. LON 5 was built from scratch, giving Rackspace the opportunity to shape it from start to finish. Located in Crawley, West Sussex, an area of west London within handy reach of Heathrow airport that’s long been a hub for engineering and industry, the impressive 130,000 square foot data center dominates the surrounding landscape. The Rackspace Crawley data center was designed to be benchmarksetting in terms of energy efficiency. During the design process it was ensured the building would meet the

highest standards in the industry - its Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) is designed to be 1.15 leveraging indirect air cooling to take advantage of the cool British climate and hot aisle containment. The cement floors were smoothed to tight tolerances to eliminate the use of raised floor tiles. The plan was to apply this design model to further expansions. The visual appeal of the data center is intended to convey visually the world-class nature of our operations. The common areas and meeting rooms are impressive, with viewing galleries that have floorto-ceiling glass walls throughout allowing plenty of natural light in. Jim Hawkins, Vice President, Global

“Our customers are giving us the crown jewels of their companies” – Jim Hawkins, Vice President, Global Data Center Operations & Engineering

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Graham Weston CoFounder

Jeff Cotten President Interim CEO

Data Center Operations & Engineering at the company, explains why this aesthetic is essential: “Due to the high security of our data centers and the sensitive nature of customer data, our customers aren’t able to see many of the details that make the data center great so the visual design helps to convey that same World-Class approach throughout the data center.”


July 2017

John Engates CTO

The Magic Quadrant This year the company was positioned in the “Leaders” quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers, Worldwide. This assessment evaluates providers based on the completeness of their vision and their ability to execute. This recognition is hugely important


Company Kickoff

for the industry as it provides an unbiased view of managed service providers in the space, outlining their strengths and weaknesses. “Our customers are giving us the crown jewels of their companies,” Hawkins says. “They’re saying here’s my IT stuff, this is my business as it runs, I need to do what I do and I need you, Rackspace, to make sure that my data is always available so that my company and my employees can continue to drive our business success.”

Clients and partners In order to deliver end-to-end Fanatical Support on the technologies and services that it supports, Rackspace has strategic partnerships with organizations across the globe – from hardware providers, to connectivity providers, to other cloud providers to solution providers. In late 2016 Rackspace partnered with United States company Megaport to establish the dedicated RackConnect Global circuits to data centers throughout the US, vastly expanding its capacity.

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With the rise in enterprises’ “multicloud” strategies in recent years, Rackspace has taken the approach of partnering with the big public and private cloud providers to manage their platforms for customers who want to add support rather than compete with them. “Customers can deploy workloads on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or on Microsoft and soon on Google’s cloud,” Hawkins adds, “and Rackspace will support them on the technical capabilities that many companies are really lacking. As fast as these technologies

are changing, companies need experts and Rackspace is filled with those experts.” Within the industry More and more companies that previously had their own data centers are finding that they’re too expensive or difficult to run. As Hawkins explains, this can happen to a company regardless of its size, as it’s down to the proliferation of software as a service. “When this happens the data center footprint from an IT perspective begins to shrink,” he

Number of employees at Rackspace


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“OUR VISION as a company is

to be recognized as one of the world’s greatest service companies”

– Jim Hawkins, Vice President, Global Data Center Operations & Engineering


July 2017


Year founded

1999 says, “aided by technology changes like the virtualization of servers, which allows them to compress their IT hardware even further. Pretty soon they have a data center that’s only 20 percent utilized. It becomes a big financial and technical burden.” This takes away the reason to have their own data centers so they seek partners they can trust to put their business into. This is where Rackspace steps in. “There are a number of operating mechanisms that Rackspace has implemented to provide a reliable

service for our customers. These operating mechanisms include global standardization programs, the rigor of our change management, the meticulous way we deploy and interact with our infrastructure and our response to issues.” Hawkins continues: “There will always be things that go wrong in a data center hosting environment. What makes Rackspace unique is how we respond to those issues. The combination of Fanatical Support and a very mature Root Cause Analysis (RCA) methodology certainly sets

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us apart from others and eliminates the recurrence of issues.” Fanatical about service The customer service team members are called “Rackers”. Hawkins explains that this culture is one of the elements that sets Rackspace apart from other data center providers. “Our vision as a company is to be recognized as one of the world’s greatest service companies regardless of the industry. We certainly saw early in our history how terrible support generally is in the IT industry. We saw an opportunity to not just provide better support, but to provide Fanatical Support that’s far and beyond what anybody else provides. That’s really been the catalyst for our growth over the years since 1999, and we’ve expanded that support to be on top of not only our infrastructure, but also on top of other leading cloud providers.”

Rackspace experts are available 24-7, every day of the year, and the company prides itself on the fact that customers will never hear a recorded message. “It’s about the level of ownership that we take when customers have issues,” he says. “Our Rackers are there to solve their problems. They can chat with us any time of day, we’re always available.” The cloud industry is growing extremely quickly, but Rackspace is tackling all the challenges this may present. One of those is the consolidation of clouds that are available. “There were once public and private clouds all over the place and that’s beginning to really consolidate down to companies like AWS, Microsoft and Google being the leading clouds in the space,” Hawkins concludes. Whatever the challenge, Rackspace will be there to provide the answer.

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Building communities for a better quality of life Whether it’s envisioning communities with orchards and herb gardens, or with easy access to public transportation, Crescent Communities ensures the people who live in their neighbourhoods experience life on another level

Written by Leila Hawkins Produced by Tom Venturo


typical neighbourhood built by Crescent Communities might feature upscale grocery stores and shops on the ground floor, with apartment homes suitable for families above. They may be positioned intelligently next to multi-modal transportation hubs so cars are used as little as possible. Or they could be strongly themed around food, encouraging residents to grow their own produce and cook at home. Whatever the case, the element they all have in common is that they are designed to offer residents premium quality of life. Eric Rothrock, the company’s Vice President of Preconstruction, manages all estimating, general contractor selection and agreements, and design processes and standards of Crescent’s entire


July 2017

nationwide portfolio. Projects can vary from garden apartments for families who enjoy a suburban lifestyle to homes in high-rise buildings leased to millennials, along with increased numbers of people hailing from Generation X. In construction Crescent Lucerne in Orlando is one of several ambitious projects Crescent is currently working on. Formerly a hospital site, it is being transformed into a ground up luxury residential community stretching over 4.6 acres, integrating 373

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Project Portfolio

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multi-family apartments with food retailers and parking. When it opens in the summer of 2018, it will comprise two separate sites bifurcated by a thoroughfare but connected by two bridges. In Charlotte, the largest city in the mostly rural, South-eastern state of North Carolina witnessing a huge boom in people moving in, Crescent is developing Crescent Providence Farm, which will be centred on food. Adding to the master planned restaurants, Crescent Providence Farm will have a garden for residents to plant their own herbs, communal dining areas featuring tables made from salvaged trees, and even an outdoor kitchen programmed for cooking demonstrations. Rothrock explains that although Crescent Providence Farm is in the suburbs, it will have a distinct urban vibe one might typically find in an urban setting, with the garden component being strongly influenced by the surrounding farmland. “It’s unique in the fact that


it’s not a traditional garden apartment,” he says. “It’s a fourstory elevator-served building with a food inspired theme that’s in a real hot spot with easy access to highways. We thought it made sense for people who wanted to live next to a boutique grocer, and wanted to make sure we delivered something harmonious.” Also underway in Charlotte is Crescent Stonewall Station. This community will feature a 19-story high-rise building directly adjacent to the public LYNX light railway station; allowing residents the luxury of never having to drive.

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The light rail has been in use for more than 10 years, but it is still expanding and its usage makes the areas it serves highly attractive sites for developers. “Obviously it’s great for us,” Rothrock explains, “because for anyone living in Uptown Charlotte for the last 10-15 years, the experience is different from what it used to be. This will be a great way for someone to never need to use their car. [They can] jump on the light rail, step right off the platform, get their groceries or whatever they need, jump back on the light rail, and head home

without ever getting into their car.” “It’s unique in the growing sunbelt” he adds. “In Chicago, or larger cities, people don’t use their cars as much; that’s common place. But in Charlotte and many cities in the south, everyone loves their car and that’s something that’s changing.” The first phase of this vast project is set to be completed in late 2017. Before construction began, Crescent reviewed seven different potential configurations. During a meeting with the various stakeholders, developers construction managers, architects,

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July 2017


and Crescent Pre-construction personnel, the latter used 3D modelling to illustrate the massing of the project as the group was collaborating in real time. The Massing Models were saved using Nextplans, a workflow tool that makes it possible for them to be accessed by all. At the end of this six-hour meeting they arrived at Crescent Stonewall Station’s ultimate design. “The concepts created that day are very similar to the building you see standing today. It’s pretty amazing how that all came together,” he says. Brand new tech This real-time methodology, using software such as NextPlans that allows all the partners to be involved from start to finish is typical of Crescent’s projects. “It’s a collaborative platform. We’re able to customize folders and have secure access to all our projects, granting access to partners. This software for internal construction serves as a facilitation software. It also


has a tablet and phone app so you can walk around and pull up the drawings on an iPad.” Crescent has recently started using Bluebeam, a piece of software that allows them to edit and share documents online. “We saw that most of our architects were using it” Rothrock says. “We prefer to control certain aspects of preconstruction and be the initiators of discussions, so we have all the stakeholders in the room and we can take notes in real time on the cloud. Our architects like it because it’s all in one place. It’s been super

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is proud to be Crescent

Communities’ preferred accessibility consultant for more than 10 years, including performing more than 100 plan and construction reviews for Crescent’s multifamily and mixed-use developments.



July 2017






819 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60605


beneficial for us, certainly from a time-saving standpoint.” Another piece of software that has proven invaluable is a photographic indexing database called Multivista. This service allows users to zoom in and capture crystal clear images of different building components during each phase of construction. One example could be a window, where constructors can very easily identify issues such as leaks or a lack of proper waterproofing without having to get up close or remove any of its components. What sets them apart “Construction pricing is at an all-time high,” says Rothrock. “Over the last four years it has consistently escalated and that makes it more difficult to get deals done. “General Contractors

and certainly Developers, are feeling the pinch of the market pricing,” he says. However, using novel technology to cut down on costs and time, Crescent is ensuring it continues to get the best value both for itself and its customers to maintain a competitive advantage. “We’re doing everything we can to add value,” he says. “Particularly behind the walls and looking at the soil and under the ground, in places where no one sees so we can spend more money on the things that make an impact for our residents. “We’ve really taken a deep dive, and we look hard at how we can minimize unnecessary or inefficient costs. We’d rather spend our money on things that our residents want and value.”

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Into a new century of relationships Bond Brothers, Inc. (BOND) is a full-service construction management and general contracting company. One of its recently added business units is the provision of district energy projects. Written by John O’Hanlon Produced by Tom Venturo

Tim Peer, P.E. Vice President of District Energy (left) and Dennis Keough, P.E. Vice President of Power Generation (right)



n 1907, the company’s founding, Thomas J. Bond borrowed $500 from his mother to set up a business building sidewalks in Everett, Massachusetts. The company is still headquartered there and today BOND is run by its fourth-generation CEO, Edward Bond, Jr.

A family culture is desired by large corporations, although it often eludes them. However, BOND has a commitment to its people that has attracted top construction professionals and engineers over the decades and has built a commanding presence throughout New England. A strong dedication to partnership and longterm relationships with clients, alongside an established niche in academic and healthcare sectors, persuaded Tim Peer, P.E. to join the company as Vice President of District Energy in 2016. The company saw an opportunity to expand its power and energy related services work with this strategic hire. A licensed professional engineer with more than 25 years’ experience in the evolving power and energy industry, with a specialization in campus district heating and cooling, Peer’s background is a great fit for BOND. “This is highly technical work and it meshes well with the core quality of BOND,” says Tim Peer, P.E. “It requires the ability to work effectively in logistically challenging sites, such as tightly built urban environments that are hard to access.

62 July 2017


Massachusetts Institute of Technology Central Utility Plant Expansion / Boiler & Deaerator

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Brown University Campus-Wide Utility Initiative

Tim Peer, P.E. Vice President of District Energy Tim is responsible for leading BOND’s District Energy market sector, with a focus on developing new strategies and integrated solutions that exceed client expectations. A licensed professional engineer, Tim has over 25 years’ experience in the evolving power and energy industry, specializing in campus district heating, cooling and micro grids. He has a unique and diverse skill set leading the construction of many complex projects. These include not only central utility plants and distribution systems, but also natural gas delivery systems and substations. Tim comes to BOND from CHA Consulting, where he led the company’s district energy, power and thermal generation business unit. Prior to that, Tim spent 22 years at Cornell University, holding positions such as chilled water plant operator, utilities engineer, project manager and eventually energy plant manager. During his tenure, he led the operations and maintenance of several multi-million-dollar central plant projects. These included the Lake Source Cooling Facility and the Cornell Combined Heat and Power Project. After an enlistment in the United States Marine Corps, Tim graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Biological Engineering. He has professional engineering licenses in the states of NY, NJ, MA and VA along with OSHA 10-hour certification. He is an active member of the International District Energy Association (IDEA) and the Cornell Society of Engineers (CSE). In 2010, he was presented the Keystone Award by Cornell University for his exemplary work in facilities management.


New Medford, MA Office

Typically, we are working within an operating, mission-critical facility. For instance, when renewing a central heating plant, one plant may be providing all the thermal requirements of the entire university. If it is a research university, or they have a large medical facility on the campus, the reliability of that facility is critical to the operation of the entire institution.” BOND has a strong track record in delivering energy projects with a team of experienced people.

Examples are the combined heat and power (CHP) plant developed for Lahey Health at its Burlington, Mass. campus and the upgrade of Brown University’s Central Utility Plant (CUP) and utility networks, both completed in 2015. “Over the last 15 years, BOND has completed more than $1 billion in energy-related

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Edward Bond, Jr.

Robert Murray

Francis X. Hayes



Chief Operating Officer

work. For some of this work, BOND served as construction manager but many of these projects were self-performed. BOND is one of the few New England construction managers with a self-performing workforce on its payroll. The long-term relationships that have been cultivated over the history of the company with several major institutions directly led to the development of a dedicated District Energy Division. Leading the Division, Tim Peer has extended the company’s footprint along the East

It’s important to get involved before a project is out for bid. WE HAVE TO ENGAGE WITH THE CLIENT EARLY AND UNDERSTAND the processes established to do the work successfully w w w. b o n d b ro t h e r s . c o m




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Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Combined Heat & Power Facility Plant

670+ Number of employees at Bond Brothers, Inc. Coast including New York City and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. The team has been strengthened, he says, by recruiting professional and licensed engineers not only on the construction side, but also in the areas of operation and maintenance of district energy plants. “It gives us deeper insight into how these plants can be integrated into operating facilities. We know how

to operate and maintain these plants, train staff and commission them without disruption.� The human element, understanding the challenge and the client, are key strengths of the company. Nothing is left to chance and staff have access to the best technology platforms to deliver consistent and top-quality results. Peer explains, “For example, we perform 3D laser scanning services so we can go in and reality-capture the entire facility and create our own 3D models to facilitate planning and trades coordination. We have several platforms to manage site safety, quality and financials,

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This is highly technical work and it meshes

well with the core quality of BOND. IT REQUIRES

THE ABILITY TO WORK EFFECTIVELY IN LOGISTICALLY CHALLENGING SITES, such as tightly built urban environments that are hard to access

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and staff managing the job with handheld tablets.” This eliminates paperwork, while giving people the ability to access the latest drawings, information and the 3D coordination model without leaving the site. The estimating stage is made transparent using the established Winest program. Project scheduling is managed through Oracle’s Primavera software. Modeling is achieved using Navisworks and Revit from Autodesk, and document exchange transmitted through Newforma. On site platforms


Thomas Baillie, P.E.

David Shrestinian

Richard Small

Executive Vice President

Sr. Vice President, Building Division

Chief Financial Officer

include BIM 360 for safety and field management, and all of this is integrated with the company’s financials. Technology is a portfolio of tools, and Tim places long-term relationships at the center of the company’s thinking. “Over time we have been able to create a pool of knowledge in the company about how these clients want work done and how they operate. This allows us to be more cost effective for them.” The business model of BOND’s District Energy Division is to engage at an early stage. “It’s important

to get involved before a project is out for bid. We have to engage with the client early and understand the processes established to do

$536 MILLION Bond Brothers, Inc. Annual revenue

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Paul James Sr. Vice President, Risk Management


July 2017

the work successfully.� BOND has developed many new services for its clients, including consulting services. Project planning and constructability reviews are of value to a client when deciding how to meet future energy needs. The company can provide the initial feasibility assessment before proceeding to a full investment grade feasibility study and an accompanying full cost proposal. At this point, the client can decide


as to whether to proceed. “We are a contractor and much more,” he says. “You can perhaps call us a project integrator based on our ability to design and execute systems into existing operations.”

Kathy Freitas Director of People Strategies

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The once in a lifetime project of North Dakota The residents of Grand Forks, the third largest city in the state of North Dakota, are used to big floods. However, the infamous Red River Flood of 1997 was very different

Written by Leila Hawkins Produced by Tom Venturo








urrounded by rich farmland, Grand Forks sits in the Red River Valley and is at the confluence of the Red and Red Lake Rivers. The Red River winds all the way up from Breckenridge, Minnesota to Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada and the Red Lake River winds its way from Minnesota and combines with the Red River at Grand Forks. While these rivers are popular with locals for canoeing and other recreational activities, they can be also devastating. The most tremendous effects were felt during the flood of ‘97, when most of the entire population of more than 50,000 people had to be evacuated. There was a very significant snowfall that year and when the ice melted in April, this contributed to the rise in the water level which peaked at 54 feet. It would be over a month before the water receded and people could return to what was left of their homes. This spurred the city’s governors to take action. Todd Feland, Grand Forks City Administrator, is currently overseeing the Grand Forks Water Treatment Project; a significant, brand new infrastructure that will provide clean water to its citizens. The once in a lifetime project Feland explains that this project had already been in the planning before the flood happened, but it did change the paradigm of where the facility needed


July 2017



Grand Forks Regional Water Treatment Plant

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AE2S is Excited to Help the City of Grand Forks


with the Grand Forks Regional Water Treatment Plant

Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.


“We like to think

we’re a little bit of a poster child for flood recovery” – Todd Feland, Grand Forks City Administrator to be located. Rather than build it in the more constrained downtown area near the river, a decision was made to build it on the west side of the town, along with the reservoir and pump station, where there is also more space to expand. “[The flood] allowed the City of Grand Forks to reinvent its protection systems.” Feland says. “It was really out of a bad situation that, working with our federal and state partners we were able to come up with a better system that provided much more security in our community. “Instead of having the river be your enemy we were able to move back and create recreational opportunities. We like to think we’re a little bit of a poster child for flood recovery.”

Todd Feland Grand Forks City Administrator

The old facility will be converted into a mixed-use development, which Feland believes will be a great project. “That will be exciting for the community to see how we can redevelop areas that have been more of an industrial setting,” he added. “We’re not London, England, but even in Grand Forks people are focused on downtown redevelopment. The water treatment plant site will be more of a mixed use setting as opposed to having a water treatment plant which is more of an industrial setting. It’s really a unique way we

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Softening Drain

can redevelop. The flood was the trigger to move this forward.” Bringing new technology to Grand Forks The state of the art facility is expected to treat up to 20 million gallons of water each day once it’s completed. Innovative technology is being developed to handle problems like pesticides and herbicides from the surrounding sugar beet, wheat and corn fields as well as


July 2017

discharges from the nearby Devil’s Lake and wastewater discharges from downstream municipal and industrial point sources. For this they’re using a GE membrane system to treat the source water. Additionally, ozone treatment processes will ensure it’s sustainable. “It can treat water at different times of the year, whether it’s in the summer when things are dryer, or in the winter when it’s colder water. We needed to create it in a challenging climactic






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pure and simple WATER

Water is the world’s most precious resource, and its essential role in sustaining all aspects of life is unchanging. At Black & Veatch, we’re on the leading edge of many advanced water treatment technologies – membrane filtration, desalination, ultraviolet disinfection, ozone treatment and hybrid/alternative methods. So while the world – here in Grand Forks and beyond – endlessly grows more complex, our clients and their customers can count on high-quality, safe and reliable drinking water. Visit to learn more.


condition and challenging river source water that could be really adaptable. During different times of the year based on what’s occurring we can decide how to treat the water the most cost-effective way, and still assuring our citizens and industries that our source water is of the highest value.” “We need the plant to be really adaptive,” Feland says. “We looked at how we’re going to treat source water that’s challenging to begin with, and how we could build a plant that had to be a fiftyyear plant on a hundred-year site.” The project will cost approximately $150m, which will partly be funded by the state of North Dakota who are paying 50 percent of it, along with rate increases and possible sales tax and the ‘Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund’, a long-term loan with a low interest rate with terms of 2 percent for 30 years.

Dr. Michael R. Brown Mayor of Grand Forks, North Dakota

Inspiration Before starting construction, Feland and his team carried out bench-testing with various types of technology and also took field trips to look at what

systems other facilities employed. One was in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where they also use membrane technology; however, the source water there, coming from the mountains, is cleaner. They also looked at the central Minneapolis area and Fargo, which is 80 miles south of Grand Forks, and where they also use a membrane facility. “That plant is further into construction than we are,” Feland explains. “We can draw a lot of inference from

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them because they’re treating similar water as we are.� Contracting challenges The greatest challenge is getting this ultra-modern project completed on time. To ensure a seamless transition, Feland cites Melanie Parvey, Director of Water, for bringing in the operations and design teams very early on in the process. This way when they move in to the new, more sophisticated plant the team will already have their fingerprints on all the operations. Construction began in December


July 2017

2016 and it’s expected to be fully operational in the summer of 2020, which is a very short timeline for such a significant construction project. This was not without its challenges. Just as the final design and construction stages were about to begin, there was an oil boom in North Dakota, which meant most of the qualified contractors were engaged. This posed a problem in terms of getting reasonable bids. Under state statutes companies are allowed to hire construction managers at risk, so they completed


an RFP (Request for Proposal) and partnered with a local/national construction management team called Construction EngineerUlliman Schuette, a Joint Venture. This company became involved with almost half of the final design to ensure it was effective as possible. The benefits of this project for the

community’s wellbeing will be terrific. Feland says: “It’s going to set the city up for the next 50 to 100 years in our distribution and treatment system. As the city grows it will be able to transmit this water in a reasonable way. What we’ve done here, for further generations it will become more and more valuable.”

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the next generation

of women in tech

Four female executives tell us their stories, their experiences as professional women, and share wellearned life advice to inspire the next generation of technologically-minded girls in following their passions

Written by Nell Walker Produced by Tom Venturo

Michelle Forbes Gina Gardner Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Cloud Services at QTS

Ali Greenwood Vice President – Data Center Solutions at JLL

Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & ManagedCloud Services at QTS


QTS HYPERSCALE SOLUTIONS – MOVING AT THE SPEED OF THE INTERNET. You’re driving innovation at an unprecedented scale and pace. You need a data center partner who can empower growth and innovation. For more than a decade, QTS has been creating agile, flexible, and future-proofed solutions for the world’s most innovative companies. That’s more than speed to market. That’s speed to the future. That’s where IT is going.

Get our new report – How Hyperscale Will Disrupt the Data Center Market at or call 877.QTS.Data


he rise of women in higher management, in digital technology business roles, and in STEM is an ongoing discussion that is still only making baby steps towards an equal balance. However, successful female professionals are growing in number and using their positions to speak about their experiences, serving to prove that women are able to enter and thrive in all manner of jobs and should be encouraged to do so. Ali Greenwood, Vice President – Data Center Solutions at JLL; Gina Gardner, Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Cloud Services at QTS; Michelle Forbes, who is also a Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Managed/ Cloud Services at QTS; and Sarah Keller, Senior Manager, Technical Sourcing and Supply Chain at Uber, are all women playing vital roles in the large businesses they represent. All of them were excited by the concept of data centers, and all of them had

to learn the industry from scratch to become the experts they are today. Greenwood began her career at a small real estate investment and development organization, before the company she worked for was drafted in to assist in securing capital for a new data center. She swiftly had to learn all about this new world including all costs involved, and was fascinated by it. “I started working at Digital Realty a couple of months later,” she says. “It was such a great way to learn the data center business. Truly focusing on the data center itself, the required investment, ongoing operating expenses, leasing, and how it all affects the ultimate return to stockholders is an incredibly valuable approach to understanding the data center business. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.” Greenwood felt, however, that she should be working more closely with people, using her skills as an articulate and engaging person to translate the potentially complicated world of


“Technology is growing like crazy, and all the technologies we constantly utilize touch a server in a data center somewhere. There’s no reason women shouldn’t participate in that growth” – Ali Greenwood, Vice President – Data Center Solutions at JLL

data into something more palatable. “I knew after sitting in the corner of sales pitches and tours to end-users that I could explain why our company, and this particular facility, was a great choice. Now at JLL, I’m instilling in clients the confidence that I can help them through a process that will result in a successful data center project.” The data center industry is growing apace, and as it does so, more opportunities are opened up for a broader range of people. Greenwood sees this as an opportunity for more women to join the fray of STEM, and she is better served than most to watch the evolution of the industry. “It’s certainly an underserved area,” she admits. “Technology isn’t going anywhere, it’s growing like crazy, and


July 2017

all the technologies we constantly utilize touch a server in a data center somewhere. There’s no reason women shouldn’t participate in that growth.” Keller, Gardner, and Forbes – the latter two being childhood friends and now colleagues – are equally passionate about the inclusion of more female professionals in the data center world. “Women in leadership has been a hot topic for a while now and there are so many more organizations dedicated to the advancement of women in business, technology, and engineering,” says Gardner. “It is no longer uncommon to be in meetings or events and see quite a few women representing all sides of the business. I have had the great opportunity to work with and meet some incredible

women in this sector who are rising and making notable contributions.” “It’s refreshing how many more women are in the industry today than when I started,” adds Forbes. “Over the past 10 years it has been exciting to see more women selling wholesale space, working as brokers, and what I especially love to see is many more women in IT and engineering roles. There are some incredible smart females that are changing the way

we are perceived, and I love that.” “I find the lack of diversity – not just a lack of women – to be a real challenge,” Keller admits. “We are in an industry that is going to need to respond to ever-growing demands as IoT and Cloud infrastructure require that the underlying technology become more efficient, scalable and stable. We need diverse experience and backgrounds tackling these issues.”

JLL Data Center Solutions: What’s all the buzz about “the cloud”?


“Over the past 10 years it has been exciting to see more women selling wholesale space, working as brokers, and what I especially love to see is many more women in IT and engineering roles” – Michelle Forbes, SDirector of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Managed/Cloud Services at QTS

Gardner, Forbes, and Keller, like Greenwood, were all excited enough by the concept of data centers to enter the industry at the soonest opportunity. Gardner was enticed by the looming presence of the World Wide Web in 1995, and entered into a job selling web hosting and colocation services. The company she joined – Best Internet – launched one of the first ever ecommerce sites and sold eBay its first data center colocation cage. Gardner introduced Forbes to the carrier-neutral colocation world in the late 90s, and she has been selling data center space ever since.


July 2017

“I knew it was an exciting time and the internet was here to stay,” Forbes says, “and with that, data centers were an essential part. Today it’s incredible to think about how almost everything we use is likely running out of a data center, and maybe even one I lease them space for.” After the dot com crash in 2003, Gardner took a break to get married and have children, before she wanted to get back into the data center industry. Thanks to her enthusiasm for returning to the game and a swiftly-reviving industry, she found a comfortable role once again. “As I look back over the past


“We are in an industry that is going to need to respond to ever-growing demands. We need diverse experience and backgrounds tackling these issues” – Sarah Keller, Senior Manager, Technical Sourcing and Supply Chain at Uber

two decades through all the data centers I’ve toured, the change and evolution, the real excitement has always been meeting with people at growing companies, discussing their visions and innovations, and coming together through solutions and partnerships. That continues to motivate and move me to work hard and continue this journey.” In 2004, Forbes was introduced to the business that spawned the


July 2017

concept of wholesale data center space: “I took the leap as I could see the environment changing and customers were asking for more flexibility with their growing footprint,” she says. “I chose sales because I love working with people, building real relationships, finding the right solutions, and ultimately becoming a trusted partner. My advice to anyone would be to find your strength and stick with it, and

you will excel. Also, find a company culture that you fit in with – it changes everything. There’s nothing worse than the wrong work environment.” Keller was drawn more to the underlying technology that made data centers more efficient: “Starting out in the International Standards bodies, I was able to participate in early industry efforts to standardize grid and datacenter technologies. Those efforts really prepared me when for future roles I would take at Facebook, Workday, and Uber.” She saw first-hand some groundbreaking technologies that have shaped the world today, and she is able to utilize her experience in her current role at Uber. “I never planned to end up in this career,” she admits, “but I’m grateful I found something that I’m genuinely happy to do every day. I think that some of the most awesome challenges are coming to the data center industry, and you need people that are willing to step up to those challenges.” These four women have not only grasped the opportunities they worked to achieve, but have flourished

within them and managed to create a structure which encompasses family and career in the most comfortable way possible. “The key is realizing that balance and perfection is not realistic,” says Gardner. “Being okay with the fact that life and work are always in flux is when it all comes together. I love my job, and I enjoy working hard, but I rejoice in spending time with my family and the people I love. I’m pretty sure this is why women are such strong multi-taskers; it’s our way of life.” “As a mother of three children and working at one of the fastest-growing start-ups in the world, I’m always looking for ways to keep this balance in place,” Keller adds. “Every day is an exercise to ruthlessly prioritize, and you need to measure on a daily basis what is important to you, to your family, and to your work.” “Today with technology and our ability to connect virtually in so many ways, it has made it even easier,” says Forbes. “Women are great at multitasking, and finding the right work-life balance provided for me the right way to work smarter and harder, while still

Ali Greenwood with her son


July 2017

“I have had the great opportunity to work with and meet some incredible women in this sector who are rising and making notable contributions” Gina Gardner, Director of Enterprise Data Center Solutions: Wholesale, Custom & Cloud Services at QTS

being able to have time for my family.” “Happier chaos I think is the key,” Greenwood states. “I love my job, I love working hard; it’s a huge part of my life, and honestly, who I am. Juggling it all is crazy, and single working moms – bless you. Something I always try to remind myself is at the end of the day it is not the years in my life, but the life in my years that will define me. It truly is all about spending time with those you love.” Life is full of challenges and opportunities, and the working world has the capacity to be a minefield for women. Greenwood, Gardner, Keller, and Forbes are living proof of the brilliance and adaptability of female technical professionals, and they possess an enviable

aptitude for a balance that ensures the highest possible satisfaction. Greenwood concludes: “Those of us in the industry could probably do a better job of speaking up and making women of all ages aware of a great and growing opportunity. Endeavour to always find your niche, your passion, your stride, and find your value proposition as soon as possible. If you do not feel that you’re insanely invaluable, then you should promptly change paths. “As the famous Zig Ziglar said: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” If you can’t define how you can help people get what they want, push reset and figure it out. Then get back in the game.”


Transforming the industry Written by Nye Longman Produced by Tom Venturo

Corbins Electric is redefining standards inside and out. We speak to COO Justin Martin about how this is happening



orbins Electric is on a journey to change the electrical manufacturing industry forever. A company with more than 40 years’ experience, Corbins certainly knows its terrain well. Not content for the business to rest on its laurels, however, COO Justin Martin is determined to radically rethink assumptions around people and processes. We speak to him in-depth to understand more about how this is being achieved, as well as how the company’s commitment to technology is reinforcing these changes. Operations “Corbins Electric started in 1975 as an electrical service contractor and grew into electrical construction,” Martin explains. “We are a company that offers four complimentary but distinct services: Electrical Construction, Electrical Service, Virtual Construction and Fabrication.” Corbins Electric’s industry leading virtual construction, building information modelling (BIM), and 3D modelling capabilities, is one of that many advantages that sets


July 2017

them apart from the competition. Although these are facets of electrical contracting that are already techheavy, Corbins is keen to continuously develop its technology capabilities. Using eVolve™ workflow to leverage single-click automation for fabrication, material ordering, and detailed as-built drawings, Corbins is able to deliver efficient virtual construction services to contractors, engineers, and architects. We don’t just do modelling to support our own projects – we also do this to support others. This is a need that our industry has – not everybody can accelerate that functionality quickly enough. We have some unique tools that help contractors prefabricate - that’s something we are able to leverage worldwide.” “It’s our virtual construction and prefabrication that makes us stand out in the marketplace,” Martin says. “We’ve also implemented a lot of lean manufacturing practices including value stream mapping to continuously drive waste out of processes.” Corbins also provides marketleading fabrication services. Its


“I see that there’s a bunch of baby boomers who haven’t figured know how to manage millennials and are still whining about it” – Justin Martin, COO

Waiting ... A Waste

state-of-the-art 23,000 sq ft lean fabrication facility provides a number of technical functions including conduit bending, racking, as well as TIG, MIG, and ARC-certified welding, and custom labelling, among many other complimentary activities. The

company is also able to offer clients consulting services ranging from lean manufacturing, modelling, fabrication and even mobile app development to help drive efficiency in the field. Corbins initially entered into the market with a variety of electrical


Out-Mobilize Your Competition

Catavolt provides a rapid app development platform specializing in custom apps for modernizing the world of construction.

Apps for Construction & Material Handling

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CONTACT US: 555 North Point Center East, Suite 550 Alpharetta, GA 30022 Phone: (800) 939-6812 Email :


Aaron Thompson VP of Design & Fabrication

construction services, an aspect of the business that continues to go from strength to strength. Having worked in the industry for so long has enabled it to gain crucial experience across a broad number of different sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, commercial, and aviation. These segments and more benefit from elite electrical construction services

such as design/build, design/bid/ build, construction manager at risk (CMAR), subcontracting, and job order contracting (JOC). Corbins also offers electrical services tailored to the needs of facility owners and property managers,

Chad Shultz

Operations Manager

including troubleshooting and repair, lighting and energy management, and preventative maintenance.

Darin Johnson

Transformation As with many people that have spent their entire career in the industry, Martin has an intimate understanding of the problems it faces. But unlike

VP of Field Operations





compared to the competition* *Results determined by external testing. Actual pull speeds may vary depending on pull conditions.

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JD Martin Business Solutions Manager

Jessica Grant Chief Financial Officer

Michael Vargo

so many others working in this space, he has a plan to not only survive but thrive by rethinking the fundamentals of the corporate culture. “There’s been a huge focus on undoing the stigmatisms in the industry in regards to how people are treated and developed,” he explains. “What’s glaringly obvious is a lack of leadership. I see on LinkedIn all the time how people post articles about millennials and how horrible they are. I even bought into it for the first few years and thought ‘this is going to be a real challenge.’ “But as we hire and intentionally developed them, their contributions to our business have continued to propel us forward,” he adds. “Now when I read these articles I see that a bunch of baby boomers who haven’t figured know how to manage millennials and are still whining about it.” “We have some of our most innovative ideas and some of our best leaders coming from a generation that people are saying can’t work,” Martin adds. With the age of an electrical construction journeyman averaging out at around 55 and,

Operations Manager



with 40 percent of the electrical workforce slated to retire over the next 10 years, the industry is facing a demographic challenge. While attracting a younger, more tech-savvy workforce is part of his strategy to combat this, it is only part of the story. “I don’t buy into the idea that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” he laughs. “Some people in the last years of their career are adopting and implementing the technology just as quickly. When you get down to what helps them to do their job and accelerate the experience they

already have they get on board – I have been impressed by how they have accelerate that so well.” “I would call myself the ‘chief culture warrior’,” Martin adds. Passionate about both people and process (in that order) he has worked in the electrical construction industry since he was 19. Persistently bothered by what he saw as invisible walls between the various functions of the industry, he is keen on identifying where changes can be made. “I didn’t think there needed to be lack of communication and

Mark Fleming President & CEO


July 2017

“I would call myself the ‘chief

culture warrior’” – Justin Martin, COO

unnecessary tension between field and office, preconstruction and operations, operations and accounting. A lot of times people defaulted to a people issue when there was a process issue - that was driving the disconnect.” Having doubled down on making sure that Corbins has workface fit for a rapid, multi-faceted transformation, Martin then set about implementing new technological solutions. In a short period of time, Corbins was able to significantly reduce payroll administration costs, while improving

accuracy and speed – all because of mobile apps and automation. “We have launched 80 independent functional mobile applications since October 2015,” he says. “Instead of buying canned software, we decided to develop those in house, and partnering with Catavolt, utilizing their platform to develop apps that meet our workflows.” Corbins has without doubt set about a sea change in the electrical construction industry. By innovating its corporate culture and technological capabilities, Martin and his team


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have strengthened the business, ready to meet the evolving needs of clients across the US and the world. Encouraging the next generation of workers to realise their full potential, while ensuring that more experienced workers benefit from the same fresh approach, Corbins’ status as a top employer in the industry has grown ever stronger. Martin concludes: “We are

really committed to the success of each other and the functions and departments – there’s a lot of alignment in that. It’s hard to grow a company to more than 600 people and have all the leadership going in the same direction. That wouldn’t have even happened if we didn’t have a leadership team that was completely aligned and bought into each other with that level of trust.”

Miller Electric Company:


O F C O R E VA L U E S Written by Dale Benton Produced by Tom Venturo

In the world of the contractor, establishing a trusting, rewarding and ultimately effective relationship with the end-user is the key to success. For Miller Electric Company, building those relationships and focusing on the end-user experience is forged into the very core philosophy of the business



or over 80 years, Miller Electric has grown from its roots as a local electrical contractor to a market leading company with a diversified range of services. The company has evolved over time to offer services in addition to its core electrical contracting, including integrated systems such as maintenance solutions, monitoring and security systems. “We work with clients on the entire lifecycle of their energy systems,” says Henry Brown, CEO of Miller Electric. “It’s about identifying issues and working with clients to provide turn-key energy solutions that allow them to unlock savings and potential in their facilities.” But despite the growth and diversification of the company over the years, Miller Electric, through Brown’s stewardship, keeps one important philosophy at the heart of the business. “The company takes a long-term approach to everything, both customers and employees. This allows us to develop trusting relationships where employees, customer and vendors can all work together toward collaborative solutions,” he says.


July 2017


Henry Brown

CEO of Miller Electric

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Generation game Brown has been a part of Miller Electric Company for 16 years, working his way up through the company in a variety of roles before being offered the position of CEO, but the company has been a part of his life for much longer. Along with his brother and COO Daniel, Brown represents the third generation of ownership of the company, following in the footsteps of his mother, Susan Walden, and his uncle, Ron Autrey, who in turn followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, H.E. “Buck” Autrey. It is this journey through the company, almost from the ground up, that has allowed Brown to lead the company into the future with a ‘new lens’. Officially entering the company in 2001 in an accountancy role, over the years Brown worked through legal, risk management as well as strategy roles, establishing key relationships and understanding of the way the business works. “I was able to build deep relationships with so many of our

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“We don’t want to be treated as a commodity, so we don’t treat vendors as a commodity” – Henry Brown, CEO of Miller Electric

project managers and team members; learning from them and identifying our strengths and weaknesses, what we did well as a company and what we didn’t,” he says. Now as CEO, Brown works closely with his executive leadership team, developing and leading strategy, working to better understand challenges, opportunities and guiding the organisation into a better future. Brown has identified key goals for the company, namely strengthening its presence across the country. Expanding from its home base in Jacksonville, FL, the company has established a network of branch offices throughout the Southeast US, and beyond. In certain key markets, such as Tampa, Charlotte,

Daniel Brown

COO of Miller Electric

Nashville and Birmingham, Brown plans to invest in those locations to become not only the number one player in the industry but also a major part of those communities. Core Values In order to create those long-term, trusting relationships with clients and employees, Brown and his team oversaw the development and establishment of six core values. Trust, collaboration, safety, quality,

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stewardship and community. These are the values that truly define Miller Electric Company, values that Brown works tirelessly to instil into everything the company does both internally and externally. “Trust is really the core foundation of everything. The company is very transparent – we work open book with clients to ensure we are working towards the most cost effective approach,” he says. This applies to employees as well. Miller Electric Company actively shares financial statements internally, so all employees are “in the loop” as to the company’s status. “It’s the same with vendors, we want to establish open trusting relationships with them. We don’t want to be treated as a commodity, so we don’t treat vendors as a commodity,” Brown adds. Safety and quality are “the price of admission” to Brown, but he is keen to stress that the company must focus on these elements in order to remain in business and these are still values Brown believes are core to the business.

David Long President

“You can have all the trust in the world, but without a safe and quality operation – you have nothing,” he says. One of the more important areas, and one that is close to the Brown’s heart, is stewardship. As a thirdgeneration family business, Brown sees his role as “borrowing the company from the next generation. We are stewards of our clients and their money, but we are also stewards for the future generation.”

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Pivotal moment elements of what made that such Following his move to CEO, Brown had a terrible contract and realised a baptism of fire with the company. that they were buying our work Miller Electric Company was locked as a commodity,” he says. into what Brown describes as one of This has forced the company to shift the worst contracts in its history. The its focus onto finding and working with project was a large hotel addition and customers that value and appreciate renovation project, with a general that long-term approach to quality contractor, an owner and an unfamiliar and trusting relationships. It was this construction type. very moment that saw It was born out of the core values of the the recession, where company established, key errors were made with Brown, his and not recognised executive team and until the project was all employees to well underway. gain a better a richer – Henry Brown, “After we realised understanding of CEO of Miller Electric this was a catastrophic the company. financial project, we “It allows us had to rally a lot of the team together to build a cohesive strategy, to finish the job,” says Brown. where we know we are working Following the completion of the towards the same goals and project, Brown and his team pulled everybody has that consistent together and made several key goal and consistent roadmap to decisions that set up the company achieve that goal,” he says. for the one it is today, one that works with the right clients and Through adversity... truly values its employees. Following such a major challenge “We really picked apart the and pivotal moment in the history

“We have vendors who will walk through walls to get us what we need”

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and future of the company, a pathway was paved towards a leaner, smarter and more successful business. For Brown, over the last five years, Miller Electric Company has developed a number of key clients across 40 states at any given time. The major clients from five years ago are still a part of the portfolio, but they have been joined by new clients that fully appreciate and buy into the longterm trusting approach to quality. Clients now use their working relationship with Miller Electric Company as a standard for relationships in their respective industries. This standard is a testament to Miller Electric’s quality of delivery, commitment to the core values and appreciation of the client. “They use our relationship as a test to see if our model works in new markets, and in turn they take us with them. That in itself is a major win for us,” he says. Employee empowerment Miller Electric Company is a company that empowers its employees,

approaching their careers with the same long-term approach as it does with their clients. The transparent open book relationship creates a culture of connectivity; the employees know exactly where they stand and how much they are valued by the leadership. In the construction industry, finding the right people with the right talent is often recognised as the biggest constraint to growth. As a third-generation company, Miller Electric Company has second and even some third-generation employees on its books. “This dedication and loyalty goes both ways creating employees that will go above and beyond for the client,” Brown says. The challenge then, is replicating that committment going into the future. This is where partnerships with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) comes in with an apprenticeship programme, the Electrical Training Alliance that looks

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to create skilled employees to fill the skills gap. “We invest heavily in our relationships with the IBEW and NECA, and in the Electrical Training Alliance. Our company president, David Long, focuses most of his time and energy on these industry relationships because we know they are a large part of our past and future success. As early as the apprenticeship program, we look for employees who can be leaders in the company. From foreman in the field, superintendents, or even employees moving into project management roles and executive ranks, many of them begin their career in the apprenticeship” Brown says. “We take those and invest in leadership training, executive education and create a culture of continuous learning within the company.” Of course, not every employee can come from the field and into management. Miller Electric Company also invests heavily in searching for the right college graduates or entrants from other industries to bring into the company and into a management training program. “The short answer really is that we want to build an

“it’s about looking outside the four walls of construction and how the more advanced industries are working” – Henry Brown, CEO of Miller Electric

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In the wall. In the ceiling. In the floor.


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environment and provide opportunities that allows individuals to learn and grow, while being continuously challenged. We want people that want to be here,” explains Brown. “This creates employees that have our culture engrained within them so deeply, it shines through in everything they do.” Technology Technology is rapidly transforming the construction industry, with the Internet of Things (IoT) changing building electrical systems in a big way. Miller Electric Company is investing

in this space to remain a leader in an ever-changing environment. “We try to stay at the forefront of this change and identify ways we can use IoT to help clients monitor and control facilities through IP based networks,” says Brown. Miller Electric Company is installing lighting systems that are connected through IP networks as well as security systems and other building management systems. “This enables clients to run their buildings as efficiently as possible. But then there’s also the opportunity to use information that

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comes from their buildings, harness it and run their overall operations better,” Brown continues. The importance of staying ahead of the technological curve is key to maintaining the success garnered over 80 years and enabling success in the future. On this front, Brown hits the books. “I try to read as much as possible, really paying attention to the other industries,” he says. “Generally, the construction industry lags behind when it comes to technology, so it’s about looking outside the four walls of construction and how the more advanced industries are working.” Trusting partnerships It’s all well and good promising a long-term trusting relationship, one that is found on quality assurance, but as a construction company you are nothing without the work of vendors to help deliver on those promises. For Miller Electric Company, this is no different. The company works with Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products. The company allows a flexible distribution

model across the US, providing one point of contact to lead the account across the country in which the company is operating. Graybar also provides a number of manufacturing partners for the company, manufacturers that Brown believes will “really go to bat” for Miller Electric Company. Much like the relationship with clients, Brown looks to treat the supply chain with the same level of focus and value. “We want to be open, transparent and respectful, and want it to be a truly successful partnership for all involved,” he says. “Our vendors, to me, are a large part of our competitive advantage. We have vendors who will walk through walls to get us what we need.” Future foundations As market leaders in the electrical construction space, a position solidified through generations of employees, core values including stewardship, Miller Electric Company can only look to the future. Miller Electric Company works with a number of Fortune 500 companies

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that rely on the company and through the continuous work with IBEW and NECA, Brown envisions a future of sustained growth in the company’s ability to service those clients, all with the goal of remaining the “go-to” partner. But, with eyes set firmly on growth, success and better services, Brown values one area of the business above all else. “For me, the most important part is to continue to establish ourselves as the employer of choice in the markets in which we compete,” says Brown.

“To me that does not mean having a ping pong table in the office and a BBQ, it means creating opportunities where employees have meaningful engaged work, they feel good at what they do, they feel good about their company and they know they make a difference in what they do.”

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RESILIENCE The seventh annual Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey shows that businesses are as wedded as ever to their data centers, cloud or no cloud Written by John O’Hanlon




he cost of not having a robust plan for managing your company’s data properly can be very high – a major outage at a data center is an existential threat to any business that has relies on it to store and manage its operational and transactional processes. Even if recovery is possible, the consequences can set the business back severely through loss of productivity and the consequent dip in revenue. Down the line, customer relations may sour as a result of system unreliability. The list goes on and any senior executive should be concerned about it – after all, top jobs may be on the line as the dominoes fall. If they want to sleep better at night they should be moving towards IT-based resiliency, says Matt Stansberry, Uptime Institute’s Senior Director of Content & Publications. Uptime Institute is best known for its Tier Certification, accepted as the design, build and operational standard for data centers round the globe. Furthermore one of its key roles is to


July 2017

help business assess and improve their strategies in respect of data management. Any colossus of the digital world, Google or Amazon, for example, could lose an entire data center and nobody would notice because the affected traffic would be re-routed elsewhere in the world. This is the paradigm of multi-site application resiliency, and the world of enterprise is moving towards it though it may take some time before that tanker turns to its new heading. This year’s Data Center Industry Survey, drawn from the perspectives of more than 1,000 international data center professionals and IT practitioners, reveals that IT resilience is growing and that 68 percent of businesses rely on it. The extent varies from sector to sector – for example 85 percent of logistics companies have a multi-site resiliency strategy that incorporates multiple data centers and relies on live IT application failover. Surprisingly, retail can only muster 58 percent and is one of the sectors with the lowest adoption rate. What really surprises Matt


Stansberry though is that only a third of companies say that they will meet the demand for increased data center capacity by shifting workloads to the cloud. “Many people don’t seem to be willing to throw out their legacy systems but are still investing in diesel generators and backup power.” One statistic thrown up by the survey has changed very little over the last four years. 65 percent of organizations deploy their IT assets in an enterpriseowned data center; 22 percent use a colocation or multi-tenant data center provider and only 13 percent have moved their assets to the cloud. “It

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Matt Stansberry is the Uptime Institute Senior Director of Content & Publications and Program Director for Uptime Institute Symposium. He has researched the convergence of technology, facility management, and energy issues in the data center since 2003. Mr. Stansberry operates the Uptime Institute social media outlets (Blog, Twitter, and YouTube channel), conducts the annual data center survey, and develops the agenda for Uptime Institute industry events including Symposium and Charrette. 136

July 2017

“Many people don’t seem to be willing to throw out their legacy systems but are still investing in diesel generators and backup power” – MATT STANSBERRY, Senior Director of Content & Publications


is moving slower than I’d have thought,” he says. “It is probably because it’s not easy to re-architect their legacy applications for a cloud environment.” Digital transformation is a seismic and traumatic operation for a large organization, and it can be costly too, but it does clear the way to future growth. So don’t expect an exodus of enterprise data centers’ workloads to co-location or the cloud. Inertia is an enemy to change. Stansberry predicts that investment in traditional data centers will continue for some years to come. Though Uptime Institute still earns its bread by monitoring the design, build, commissioning and operation of data centers, it has a big role in promoting effective management policies to its clients and across its network. More than 70 percent of respondents to the 2017 survey admit that their organizational processes for evaluating colocation and cloud providers left room for improvement and at worst were incoherent. “Managers may

VIDEO: Uptime

Institute’s 2017 Data Center Industry Survey Results

not have the breadth of vision to make effective decisions. We are really going to work on helping people look across silos.” The survey does show that there’s a much more realistic awareness of the business critical nature of data to a business and the consequences of outages. However, though 90 percent of organizations say they conduct root cause analysis of any IT outage, only 60 percent report that they measure the cost of downtime as a business metric. There still seems to be something of a gap between perception and action.

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TIME WITH THEIR PATIENTS Written by Leila Hawkins Produced by Denitra Price

E P I C M A N A G E M E N T, L . P.

As well as providing a wide range of administrative services to physician practice groups in southern California, EPIC Management’s new implementation of technology is giving doctors more time with their patients.


wned by the longestablished Beaver Medical Group, EPIC Management LP is a management service organization that serves as the group’s administration arm. It provides a range of administrative and support services including contracting, finance, clinical

140 July 2017

and operations support and staffing, business development, information services, human resources, marketing, claims, billing, supply chain, and facilities management to 27 clinical sites across the Inland Empire region of southern California.

EPIC Management provides services for a wide range of small


to large physician practice groups and IPA’s. In total, EPIC’s clients include over 300 physicians and 1,300 employees. Since it was founded in 1995, EPIC has attained a market leading track record of developing and managing high quality healthcare services for its clients. Its services make it possible for doctors to focus on their patients while benefiting from the company’s administrative and operating strength.

Time-saving tech

One initiative that’s proven extremely beneficial has been the implementation of automated scanners for supply replenishment, a system that enables the barcoded inventory storeroom to be easily categorized and managed. Using the Opticon Scanner system in conjunction with the McKesson Medical Surgical online supply manager platform, replenishing and ordering of supplies is now truly automated. At no cost under

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E P I C M A N A G E M E N T, L . P.

a Medical Distribution agreement, the Scanner and Barcode system interfaces directly with the Online requisition software platform. Before this was introduced, to re-stock medical supplies in storerooms, nurses and clinicians had to place orders using paper. Jason Gateas, the Executive Director of Supply Chain Management, oversaw the move from this system into online requisitioning. Two years ago he introduced the use of the Opticon scanner which barcodes every single

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item making the process of replacing clinical supplies much faster, saving the time it takes to replenish supplies in the clinical setting. It took about a year and a half to roll it out to all the clinical sites but it means that now all the medical and non-medical products are documented onto a computer. The only items this doesn’t apply to are pharmaceutical items as these are kept in controlled environments. Then, when it comes to ordering, clinicians simply enter the quantity they need based on the shelf levels. “All they [clinicians] do is press a

button and that online requisition goes to purchasing,” Gateas explains. “It takes 50 per cent less time to replenish supplies.” Although this system hasn’t impacted EPIC in terms of a hard cost savings, Gateas explains the savings are invaluable for the medical staff in the reduced time it takes in managing critical medical supplies. “As far as the contracting cost goes it doesn’t affect us,” he says. “What it does affect is the soft savings cost as far as the backoffice time and supplies, so it gives

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that time back to the clinicians to do important clinical work and better attend to their patients.” There is a difference between the big health groups and smaller practices and hospitals. Gateas explains: “Larger medical groups are more technology-savvy and more complex when you’re dealing with aggregate volumes, vs. the smaller clinics that don’t have the same time and resources for complex software systems” He says the latter can be a challenge however also a

144 July 2017


benefit if managed correctly and where Supply Chain Management acts as a professional consultant to the clinical teams. Change management utilizing a Lean management process combined with technology usually leads to a win-win scenario for the clinical and administrative teams.

more efficiently and accurately will lead to more informed purchasing contracts with manufacturers. The maintenance is the challenging part.” As far as EPIC’s market goes, it’s currently servicing over a dozen sites that provide care to more than 150,000 patients in the Inland Empire region of the Southern California marketplace.

Looking ahead

The main challenge, however, is to keep up the efficiency of this system. “It’s an on-going training process, he says. “You have staff turnover. Tracking and managing inventory

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CHOICE HOTELS INTERNATIONAL: An employer of innovation and choice

Choice Hotels International has been a market leading hotel and lodging provider for more than 70 years, with a philosophy that champions inclusion, diversity and high-quality service, customers are spoilt for choice

Written by Dale Benton Produced by Denitra Price


ith over 6,300 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms in more than 35 countries and territories, it is fair to say that Choice International Hotel is deserving of its title as one of the largest and most successful lodging and hospitality companies in the world.

An American corporation company, Choice Hotels started life back in 1939 as referral chain consisting of motel owners in South America. Over the following 70+ years, Choice Hotels has expanded and grew exponentially,

148 July 2017

acquiring and franchising hotels, motels and inns and owning 11 brands across the world. But no company can achieve any form of success, particularly in the hospitality sector, without the help of its employees. This is where Choice Hotels stands tall against its competitors. The company, throughout its broader business strategy, invests heavily in both time and money

into Inclusion and Diversity across the whole organisation. Stephen P. Joyce, President and CEO, [places inclusion and diversity above all else at the company, a “building block� on which the company can achieve future successes. “Choice Hotels strongly supports a workplace culture and environment that is conducive to diverse perspectives,

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HBO® brings you addictive shows, more of the biggest and latest movies, family favorites and more. HBO is proud to be the preferred premium at Choice Hotels. We thank you for your many years of partnership.

If you have questions about adding HBO to your hotel property, email

©2017 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc. ©2017 Sesame Workshop®. Sesame Street® and associated characters, trademarks and design elements are owned and licensed by Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.


backgrounds, and experiences,� he says. “Diversity across our organization will be a key building block of our future successes. I understand the value of diversity and am committed to continuing to build and support an inclusive, diverse organization.� Inclusion

Joyce strives to create a workplace culture that rewards diversity of thought and perspective and highlights them as key contributors to a high-performance culture and long term, ultimately

sustainable success. This culture of diversity is a culture that is bread right through from top to bottom, with a key focus on ensuring that employees are well aware of the support from the top. Choice Hotels has a Diversity Advisory Council, which is designed to pool together the input and insights from leaders and employees throughout the entire organisation. Joyce heads up this council; and works closely to develop and implement a series of diversity and inclusion initiatives and goals.


But it doesn’t stop there, Choice Hotels is one of the few companies in the sector that has its very own Diversity Committee that sits at the Board of Directors Level. Much like the advisory council, but with much more strategic management control, the committee assists and oversees the management of all diversity and inclusion initiatives, ensuring that when these initiatives press ahead they are delivered to the highest of quality and bring about the maximum benefit for the company and its employees. The committee’s reach stretches

beyond the in-house employee base but also across the entire franchise and vendor network, as Choice Hotels looks to develop a network that reflects the community in which its chooses to do business. Vendor network

Choice Hotels is a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and fully utilises this database of minority owned businesses for its procurement and supply chain needs. This is crucial to the core nature of Choice Hotels International. As a franchise,

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Choice does not own or operate any of its hotels and therefore the company does not purchase goods or services used by individual properties. Through its commitment to diversity, Choice seeks to work with partners and vendors all over the world and qualifies them as official vendors and partners that serve its entire hotel chain. This process of qualification is a fairly straightforward affair. Though there will of course be certain industry specific needs and Choice Hotel standards to be considered, one of the main factors in the process of becoming a Choice Hotels qualified vendor is evidence of “standards and systems in place for continuous improvement.� This stands as evidence of how Choice Hotels International commits to innovation and drive, not only through its employees and its services, but also through its suppliers and vendors.

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Award winning

It is all fine and well making promises and installing councils and advisory boards, but the proof really is in the feedback and work ethic of its employees. To this end, Choice can look across its multi-award-winning service, being recognised as one of the best places to work for LGBT Equality, Healthiest Employers of Greater Washington and amongst the top 50 franchises for minorities. These awards are a testament to the vision and drive of Choice Hotels to truly become an inclusive and diverse workplace for any employee in any role. Technically speaking Empowering a workforce and celebrating diverse thinking and inclusion can only get a company so far. In the modern world of hospitality, with customers now demanding more access and variety in a hotel’s offering, technology and the embracement of technological

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innovation is crucial in order to remain as a market leader. One such technological solution has been the implementation of Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV). EMV cards are a new, much more secure credit card. The cards contain chips which encrypt

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bank information securely when compared to the old traditional magnet strip cards of the past. In the world of increased data reliance, security is everything. Fraud has been an ongoing problem within the U.S, with fraud cases doubling over the last seven years so the


move to EMV comes at an opportune moment in the technological space. Choice Hotels has been implementing EMV across its entire organisation over the past six to eight months. Cross implementation of a new wave of technology across 6,300

locations most certainly does not come without challenge. One of the more notable challenges has been a consequence of that cross location, in some cases the implementation resting in the hands of individual hotel staff as opposed to one consistent form of rollout.

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The company will continue to work through the implementation of EMV across all of its locations, aiming for a fully EMV enabled organisation by the end of 2017. Future focus

For Choice Hotels, looking back through the company’s history, one could argue that it has well and truly been a story of continuous success. In fact, in 2017 alone, the company continues to champion exemplary service offering. The EconoLodge, which falls under the Choice Hotels International umbrella was recently awarded the Hotel of The Year Award. “The Econo Lodge in Russellville, Kentucky consistently goes above and beyond to make travel

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easier for guests by delivering value, exceptional service and convenience,” said Anne Smith, vice president of brand management and design for Choice Hotels. “The Econo Lodge brand is known as the Easy Stop on the Road and this hotel is an outstanding representation. The owners and staff are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of service and instil that level of commitment in every new employee who joins the team.” When searching for a market leading, diverse and inclusive workplace offering only the highest of quality service across a wide variety of locations and hotels, there really is only one choice.


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Business Review USA - July 2017  
Business Review USA - July 2017