Looking back on Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re celebrating with this new video interview (above) with our VP of Network and Cloud, Chad Rodriguez.
We talk a lot about the importance of our people here at Stream. That often means showing off the great array of skills, depth of knowledge and proven histories of success across long and varied careers they bring to the team. Yet it goes without saying that people aren’t defined by their job title, and there’s a whole lot more to an individual than the duties they perform in the workplace. Citizens of the world are diverse, and we firmly believe that is a fact worth celebrating within our Stream Data Centers family, but also as a matter of sharing…
In 2022’s recent Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM,) we took time to celebrate the American Latino community by putting the spotlight on a few of our own team members to acknowledge their contributions, diverse cultures and extensive histories via fun conversations that resulted in this blog. While this nationally recognized celebration has been around for more than three decades, we just think that as our industry continues to strive toward greater inclusivity and representation, giving these events their much-deserved airtime has never been more important.
So, as we close out Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re excited to honor and share unique perspectives from just a few folks that help make Stream (and the world at large) that much more vibrant.
After you check out Chad’s video shown above, read on to hear from our own Jerome De Armas (JDA), Business Intelligence Manager… And George Carrillo (GC), Critical Engineering Technician.
Tell us a little bit about your role here at Stream.
JDA: I am the Business Intelligence Manager for Stream Data Centers. My role at Stream is to develop our internal applications and structure data in such a way that it conforms to our processes while also providing high level KPIs and analytical data. I work closely with each of our departments to understand the needs of the business so that we can build automated processes that provide scalable growth opportunities. One of the things that I like most about my job is that it requires a strong knowledge of all processes related to data centers and allows me and my team to develop highly efficient ways of executing those tasks.
GC: I’m a Critical Engineering Technician with a specialty in Telecommunications infrastructure at Stream’s PHX1 campus in Phoenix — the largest data center campus in the region. That means I conduct extensive hands-on operations and maintenance work, including installation, repair, and maintenance of critical electrical, mechanical, and plumbing/piping equipment, machinery, and controls. I also monitor the buildings cabling infrastructure between telecom rooms and incoming ISP connections; like circuit extensions and dark fiber cross-connects.
How and why did you enter the data center industry? What brought you to Stream?
JDA: For several years I was a journeyman electrician and oversaw electrical projects in hospitals and data centers (before data centers were what they are today). While overseeing a data center project in 2011, I was offered the opportunity to work for the data center itself as a data center technician, where I eventually moved up to Chief Engineer.
I was first introduced to the Stream Team by a former colleague that asked me to come meet the team for an interview. When I met the team and had the opportunity to talk to the partners, I saw that the company not only spoke to their core values of Smart, Honest, Nice, and Passionate, but they also lived by these values. After touring the site in Houston, I saw the detail that they put into their product and how reliable the infrastructure was, and I was sold.
GC: I’ve been in the Telecommunications field since 2003 and started infrastructure build-outs for data centers while working for IES in 2006. Eventually, Stream was recommended to me by Jacob Martinez, Critical Facilities Manager — and I never looked back.
What is a lesson you’ve learned from your career that you’d like to pass on?
JDA: I’ve learned that the only limit to your career goals in this industry are the limits that you place on yourself. The best advice that I was ever given was to never stop asking questions and never stop learning. This industry is ever-evolving and has become a critical part of our everyday lives, and it will only continue to grow as we become a more data-focused society.
GC: Golden rule, baby! You will meet a ton of people in this industry, and it is important that you can not only get along with anyone, but that you can also work with anybody even though you may not always agree with them. Treating others as you would like to be treated is simple, but it goes a long way.
In your words, why is diverse cultural representation so crucial for both this industry and for those that work within it?
JDA: I feel that diverse cultural representation is crucial to our industry because it brings people together and helps form new ideas through multiple unique perspectives. It also allows the younger generation to have role models to look up to that are of the same cultural influence in which they share commonalities.
GC: Having different perspectives from different cultures is a strong benefit because it is more of a representation of our current culture in the world. Having group discussions about operations and procedures helps bring more ideas to the table, and it helps everyone learn how our minds work and think together. I find that all our ideas and opinions are welcomed on our team, and that’s an indispensable trait.
What is Hispanic Heritage Month about to you? What does it represent and how do you celebrate it?
JDA: Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize all the Latinos that paved the way (or are paving the way currently) for future generations. With my family being of Cuban descent, HHM represents families like mine that made the decision to come to a new country — a journey that would allow prosperity and freedom.
GC: Any month that highlights accomplishments and/or achievements by ANY culture is cool to me. I appreciate the stories and experiences that have been passed on from people in our community and learning about another culture makes you realize that most of the time we all have something in common. When it comes to HHM though, I must admit that the food is my favorite.
Of course, this only scratches the surface of the depth and wealth of knowledge, insight, distinctiveness and identity that are abundant across the many unique cultures and backgrounds we see every day. Holding space for diverse individualism and advocating for inclusion both in and out of the workplace only leads to progress and innovation — and who doesn’t want that?
“Stream is highly focused on employing people from many different cultures, and in my time at Stream, I have had the pleasure of meeting many different people that have shared their cultural experiences. Stream advocates for diversity in the workplace by bringing employees together to volunteer in giving back to many different communities as well.”
“I know Stream is always working on increasing their inclusion of all types of cultures. It’s apparent during our Teams calls how much diversity there is at all of our sites.”
In closing, the comments above are other things Jerome and George had to say about our fine company. And here’s what we say about them:
“We love you guys!”
There’s always work to be done, but as global perspectives continue to evolve we look forward to welcoming as many more new stories.