INDUSTRY NEWS • ISSUE IV, MAY 2015Two Members Explain What 7X24
Means to Them
By Ravi Sastry and Sheila Molino
Ravi SastryFirst, the organization allows me to interact with other people in the industry who are experts in both managing a data center and who are involved in the mechanics and facilities of the data center. I come from a sales and marketing background, so 7
Second, the members of Carolinas 7X24 Exchange are really a great bunch of people. I like being around them. I like the social aspect of it. I like the discussions we have in the meetings. I get to meet people outside the industry who are guest speakers that I may not have exposure to.
Finally, the chapter has allowed me to become a better person in my company because I learn a lot from these folks. That’s made my job, my position in my company much better. I can speak with more intelligence to my customers and to people within Immedion because I’ve learned from these people. One example: The chapter has done a great job in establishing mission critical operations training in North Carolina, and they are starting to do apprenticeship programs to bring people in to the field. I’ve been able to learn from that. Now I’m talking to people at Greenville Technical College about doing a similar program here in South Carolina. I can speak with some experience because of what I’ve learned from the folks at 7X24.
I entered the mission critical facilities field late in my career. After 24 years in finance and accounting, I changed careers in 2009, joining Wells Fargo’s corporate real estate group as a relationship manager. My role involved ensuring that our corporate real estate objectives align with the strategies and needs of our technology and operations group. Not only was I new to the real estate world and it’s vocabulary, but I also needed to quickly learn about technology and data centers.
Since my work role is relationship based, it’s probably no surprise to learn that for me the most valuable aspect of membership is the people I meet and the relationships we develop. I find the networking opportunities incredibly helpful in learning about new technologies, new approaches, what other end users are doing, and, in general, what’s happening in mission critical facilities. I look forward to each meeting as a time to reconnect with friends and build new relationships.
Fortunately Bob Cashner hired me and took me under wing. Bob was an industry leader in mission critical for decades, building his knowledge as the industry evolved. He knew pretty much everyone and was the best networker I’ve met. He delighted in connecting people. In the first few months of working for Bob he encouraged me to join 7X24 Carolinas. The first event I attended was a combined Building Commissioning Association, 7X24 event in Charlotte. I wanted to get involved in the chapter, so I joined the thought leadership committee and have been working with this team since. A few years later, I was elected to serve on the board and was recently named executive vice president.
I’m really excited about a new focus group we’re developing that will provide additional networking opportunities specifically for our women members. Our chapter is in the 7X24 forefront with this initiative. We’ve also taken the lead in creating a national mission critical facilities operation certification program, and we have one of the highest ratios of end users to total membership. Our board, committee leaders, and membership comprise an amazing group of industry leaders. I’m proud of the work we do together and proud to be a part of this valuable organization.
Ravi Sastry is vice president of sales for Immedion and a board member of the Carolinas 7×24 Exchange.
Sheila Molino is retired from Wells Fargo and serves as executive vice president for Carolinas 7×24 Exchange
See Article 1: Mission Critical Operations Degree Program Set to Launch the Fall
See Article 3: Overheard at the Winter Meeting