What is EdgeConneX Salutes 2022?
EdgeConneX, in partnership with Salute Mission Critical, helps veterans obtain the skills needed to be placed in key roles within the data center industry. Salute’s veterans deliver the same discipline and integrity to serving data center customers as they once brought to serving our country. EdgeConneX is proud to work with Salute and has partnered closely with Salute to hire from their skilled veteran workforce. To continue our mission of recognizing veterans, EdgeConneX is proud to share EdgeConneX Salutes 2022, where we will highlight several members of EdgeConneX who are also veterans. We look forward to you getting to know our veterans.
Dave Foss, Senior VP of Edge Data Center Operations at EdgeConneX and a Marine veteran, was interviewed to learn more about his military background and his experience in transitioning into a civilian role within the data center industry. Dave also shared what inspires him the most.
What are your job responsibilities now?
I began my career in technology in 2013 as a contractor. EdgeConneX was quickly becoming a well-known name in the data center industry and I was eager to work for a growing company. I was brought in as Head of Operations and have been able to see some amazing accomplishments happen for EdgeConneX including growing data center sites in the US substantially, expanding into the EU market, branching into South America, and recently, developing an APAC office and data center in Jakarta.
Currently, as Senior VP of Edge Data Center Operations, I run the day-to-day operations, manage security and customer support, and am also in charge of remote service for clients/vendors. I also lead a top-notch team of operations employees globally including contractors.
What geo are you in now?
I represent the fantastic region of Denver, CO.
Tell me about your background/why did you enter the military?
I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to pursue after high school. I knew the military provided an excellent way to grow your career. Therefore, I joined the Marines straight out of high school and served four years as an infantryman. I also did some reserve time. My time spent in the military eventually led me to college where I earned an engineering degree and a business degree. I always tell people that I learned so many things as a 20-year-old that I still use today.
What was your role/responsibility in the military?
I was deployed on ships from the east coast where we performed exercises in Lebanon. I was later assigned as a reservist in the first Gulf War. The military taught me many things that have benefited me in my career and in life. It taught me that hard work and teamwork pay off. It taught me discipline and leadership. The core values I learned back then carry over to what I do today in the business world.
I am always encouraged when I see former military who are now working in the technology industry and using the skills they learned to their benefit. Those who have spent time in the military understand when I say that getting things done is hard-wired into us. We also understand that it is almost always a team effort. If you don’t have a good team working towards a common goal, then your success and the success of the company may fall short.
Tell us a story from your military service. What did you learn from that experience?
It’s really a combination of different experiences in your life that shape who you are. In the military, you may get into a situation where you feel that you are unable to complete all the work you have to do. You may feel overloaded. This is true in the data center industry and the business world in general. I have learned over the years and through my experiences that you have to be able to prioritize and recognize what’s the most critical thing and create a work-life balance that allows you to get your job done without feeling overwhelmed.
I try and emphasize this with my team and hopefully, everyone has fun doing it and feels rewarded for their hard work. I know I am proud of my team and all of them are amazing at what they do.
How was your experience transitioning from the military to the civilian workplace?
After the military, I was a design engineer for General Electric and Westinghouse for seven years. I did a lot of interesting things while working for these great companies. I was able to learn a lot in regard to power systems. This experience gave me a lot of relevant technical experience that helps me in my job today. I also spent time in roles at various technology companies within operations and it reminded me of exactly what I love to do. I was always interested in technology even when I was in the military. The transition from the military to civilian life was pretty easy for me in regard to knowing what I wanted to do. I encourage anyone considering going into the military to use the time to their advantage. Get involved and find out what you love to do and start preparing for that type of career for when you enter the workforce.
What would you like to tell others that are thinking about a career in the data center industry?
The military has so many broad job classifications, including those in technology. There are also a significant amount of people out there that would be great for the data center world. Some of the things that will help someone who is thinking about a career in the data center industry should always be learning new skills – a characteristic of being driven that is looked at favorably.
They should also find companies that promote education. EdgeConneX for example provides additional training to its employees and always encourages them to take courses and learn new things.
When it comes to the actual skillset, it is a bonus if the veteran has some experience in power systems, security, etc but doesn’t have to as you can also start off in a smaller role that can teach you this as you grow. One should keep in mind that every role can lead to more advancement, so don’t give up.
I would also recommend they search for programs that help you make the transition. Salute Mission Critical is a great partner of EdgeConneX that can do just that!
What inspires you the most?
My son, daughter, and wife inspire me the most – I am most proud of my family. I am also inspired by my work and the ability it has provided me to have a good life for my family. I am honored to have built a great career at EdgeConneX. I have seen many amazing achievements at EdgeConneX and am grateful to be a part of that growth.
What does EdgeConneX culture of Customers, People, Planet mean to you?
Since I am customer-facing and support the sales team, I get the opportunity to interact with customers regularly. It is always top of my mind to support our customers – our people – our planet. We are doing a lot of things at EdgeConneX to promote green energy in our data centers. Some of the things we are actively working on include zero-landfill efforts, recycling back into the system, and carbon credits to offset the impact.
Top Tips for others making the same type of transition? I wish I had known…
One of the best tips is to always have a willingness to learn! You should also be willing to take entry-level positions with the opportunity to grow. You should remember that teamwork will help you succeed both personally and professionally and provide you with a smoother transition when you have others who support you and vice versa.
What are your hobbies/interests?
I love hiking, biking, amateurish woodworking, and working on cars. These are some of my favorite things to do outside of work
How can our readers follow you online?
Readers can follow me on LinkedIn.
Keep an eye on EdgeConneX career openings HERE.
If you are a veteran or military spouse looking for an exciting career in a growing industry, please contact Salute Mission Critical. The team can help train and put you on the path to success!