AFCOM has announced the finalists for its annual “Data Center Manager of the Year” award. The 2013 finalists are Tate Cantrell, chief technology officer for Verne Global; Donna Manley, senior IT director, computer operations at the University of Pennsylvania; and David Shaw, senior vice president of IO. These IT professionals have all been recognized for outstanding leadership and excellence in the field of data center management. The Data Center Manager of the Year winner will be announced on May 1 during a special reception at 2013 Spring Data Center World

AFCOM’s Leonard Eckhaus Data Center Manager of the Year Award recognizes outstanding leadership and excellence in the field of data center and facilities management. Award recipients are effective leaders who run highly efficient data centers, giving their company an edge in the industry. The award embodies innovation, organization, versatility and ambition in data center management.

“We received many submissions this year for the DCMY award and like in the past the selection was difficult. These three individuals stood out at as leaders for their companies and have shown a high level of commitment to the Data Center industry,” said Tom Roberts, president of AFCOM and chairperson of Data Center World.  “Their methods, innovations and contributions inspire all of us to keep moving forward toward continual improvement.”

Tate Cantrell, chief technology officer at Verne Global

Notable Achievement: Verne Global’s Icelandic campus is the industry’s first efficient, sustainable, recyclable, zero emission data center.                                  

 Cantrell is responsible for product design and development, and data center operations. Cantrell has overseen the build-out and operations of some the largest and most sophisticated data centers in the industry.

  •  Fifteen plus years’ experience
  • Twenty-five staff members
  •  Innovative designs utilizing geothermal and hydroelectric energy for power and cooling
  • ISO 27001 Certification Standard for Information Security

Donna Manley, senior IT director at the University of Pennsylvania

Notable Achievement: University of Pennsylvania is the only Ivy League University Data Center with ISO 9001:2008 certification and HIPAA, PCI, and FISMA compliancy.

Manley is a senior IT director at the University of Pennsylvania's Information Systems and Computing (ISC) Systems Engineering and Operations organization. Manley evaluates evolving technologies and the changing demands of the Penn community, finding creative ways to prolong the life of the existing data center well beyond the expected capacity limits. Despite several additions to the computer operations’ services portfolio, process reengineering and workflow automation strategies have resulted in sustained staffing and budget levels over an eight year period.

  • Twenty-five plus years’ experience data center management in various industry verticals
  • Twenty-eight staff members
  • IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) V2 and V3 Certified – Foundations
  • President – AFCOM Mid-Atlantic Chapter (6 years)

David Shaw, senior vice president at IO

Notable Achievement: Manages over 1.5 million square feet of data center capacity, including the world’s largest modular data center.

As senior vice president at IO,  Shaw is responsible for IO’s global Data Center as a Service (DCaaS™). . Shaw oversaw the opening of the world’s largest modular data center, IO.New Jersey, in Edison, New Jersey, and ensured that the data center was 100% operational during Hurricane Sandy and in its aftermath in late 2012.

  • Four U.S. data centers and currently implementing new data center in Singapore
  • Fifty staff members
  • Twenty-five years of global data center operations, engineering management & information technology experience
  • Certified specialist in Information Technology Infrastructure (ITIL)

More detailed bios on the Data Center Manager of the Year Finalists can be found at