Data Center Manager of the Year

AFCOM’s Data Center Manager of the Year Award

AFCOM’s Data Center Manager of the Year Award recognizes outstanding leadership and excellence in the field of data center and facilities management over the course of a career. The recipient of this award will have long-standing evidence of commitment to excellence, a proven history of innovation, commitment to superior customer service, proven leadership of a positive team environment, and a history of giving back to the overall data center community.


AFCOM is pleased to announce three finalists for this year’s Data Center Manager of the year award. In alphabetical order they are:

Dave L in DCDave Leonard  
Chief Data Center Officer, ViaWest





As Chief Data Center Officer, Dave Leonard directs the design and construction of new data centers and data center expansions, as well as defining the standards and practices for operation of ViaWest’s data centers. He is also responsible for strategy and positioning of the data center colocation product lines.

Prior to ViaWest, Leonard founded Critical Infrastructure Consulting LLC., and was the chief technology officer of Infocrossing for nine years. He was also the chief technology officer for (i)Structure, a division of Level(3) Communications which Infocrossing later acquired. Prior to that, Leonard was chief technology officer of Corporate Express, Inc. based in Broomfield, Colorado.

Leonard is also a Fellow at the Uptime Institute, the leading educational and standards organization in the data center industry, and is a judge for their annual Green IT awards in the Data Center Design category. Leonard holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Texas Christian University.

R McClary - PictureRobert McClary
Senior Vice President & General Manager, FORTRUST





Rob McClary joined FORTRUST in 2001, and continues to hold the critical role of building the company into the premier data center services provider and colocation facility that it is today. As Sr. VP & GM, he is responsible for the overall supervision of business operations, high-profile construction and the strategic technical direction of FORTRUST. Rob developed and implemented the process controls and procedures that support the continuous uptime and reliability that FORTRUST’s customers seek. Rob developed and honed his management philosophy, attention to detail and strict process standards during his 16-year tenure in the United States Navy serving in both enlisted and officer roles.  Rob completed over 25 service, engineering, technical, leadership and management schools and courses while in the United States Navy and is a graduate of Southern Illinois University. Additionally, Rob received designation as an Accredited Tier Specialist (ATS) by the Uptime Institute in 2010.

Jason-PfaffJason Pfaff
Vice President, North America DCaaS, IO





Mr. Pfaff brings over 15 years of related experience to the benefit of the data center industry, 12 of which have been directly managing data centers. He has been directly involved in the design, build, and operation of 1.5 million sq. ft. and 175MW of power. Since his time at IO, he has been Senior Vice President and a pivotal leader in the data center transformation from raised floors into the new age of modules.

Currently, Mr. Pfaff oversees all of North America for IO, which equates to 1.3 million sq. ft./four sites, and is specifically responsible for the successful construction, commission and delivery of a 12 MW dedicated data center suite in only 90 days.

Prior to joining IO, he worked for Sterling Network Exchange, where he and his team were at the forefront of innovation, as they were the first group to install Stulz plug fan technology in a data center in Arizona.


Award Reception

AFCOM’s Data Center Manager of the Year will be announced during a special luncheon at the Data Center World Conference on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 from 12:15–1:30pm at the Mirage Hotel, Casino and Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.


An elite panel of judges, including editors from industry publications, previous Data Center Manager of the Year Award recipients, and AFCOM executives will select the winner. In order to remain unbiased, the name and company of every nominee will be eliminated from submission materials before being sent to the judges. Judging will be based on a point system. The nominees with the top three scores will be named as finalists.


Three finalists will be notified, letting them know that they are in contention for the Data Center Manager of the Year award and will be recognized with their picture and short bio on the Data Center World website and in AFCOM’s newsletter, the Communique. AFCOM will provide a complimentary Standard Full Conference registration, one round-trip coach airline ticket* and hotel accommodations for one night for the three finalists to attend the event. During the award ceremony, Tom Roberts, President of AFCOM will reward each finalist with a framed certificate of recognition.


The winner of this prestigious award will be given an award with a name plate. He/she will be interviewed and highlighted in the Communique and the July/August issue of AFCOM’s official magazine, Data Center Management, and automatically placed on the panel of judges for next year’s Data Center Manager of the Year Award.

Submission Form

If you or someone you know would be an excellent candidate for AFCOM’s Data Center Manager of the Year Award, please fill out form below. Submissions will be accepted through February 17, 2014.


 * Airline tickets domestically within the United States not to exceed $500; special international considerations will be made at the discretion of AFCOM. 



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