Since Anthony Hatzenbuehler last spoke with American Builders Quarterly in 2017, the Navy veteran and leader has continued to think bigger. In 2019, Hatzenbuehler was promoted to senior vice president of data center operations at CoreSite, his fifth promotion since coming to the organization in 2009. When the company merged facilities, operations, security, and other field-related roles in its extensive network of data centers throughout the US, they all rolled up under Hatzenbuehler.
“That was really the first step down the path toward developing our own operational excellence program,” Hatzenbuehler explains. “We were specifically focused on making sure we were communicating appropriately with our customers and our colleagues. That resilience, the core of what we do, really came to the forefront and we built a program around driving that excellence every day.”
CoreSite operates 28 centers all over the US at present, some 4.7 million square feet in 10 strategic markets across the US. Unlike data centers of the past, you know a CoreSite building when you see it.
“The data center industry started off with clients who didn’t want anyone to know where they were located for security reasons,” Hatzenbuehler explains. “In many ways, it’s still that way. You rarely see advertising on the building; it would just be these big, giant warehouses, so you could drive by one every day and never know.
“But CoreSite is proud of its role in the industry,” he continues. “It’s that still-vital physical part of the internet. Inside our doors, companies are connecting to each other and to the cloud.”
Hatzenbuehler’s SVP promotion came just prior to the onset of the pandemic in 2020. The executive and his team had to figure out how to allow operations to continue while ensuring the safety of staff and clients alike. It may be hard to remember now, but there was a time when it seemed like a new guideline or procedure was being issued every day from health organizations and local, state, and federal agencies.
As critical infrastructure, CoreSite employees remained on-site throughout the pandemic. Maybe more than any time in Hatzenbuehler’s career, the executive says he became especially aware that opinions about what to do were always in surplus, but that the buck needed to stop with him.
“I think it takes a true leader to work through all sides of a complicated issue and lead through that process,” the SVP says. “It’s easier for me to make those decisions, and I think my military experience sort of exercised that muscle for me early in my career.”
The very nature of CoreSite’s colocation business means that different clients from different organizations may be on-site at any given time. Some businesses may occupy multiple rooms, or sometimes entire sections, and those clients can range from entertainment to banking to tech. It’s up to Hatzenbuehler and his team to ensure that clients are educated in data center operations and efficiency.
Hatzenbuehler’s team has created on-site trainings as well as YouTube instructional series to illustrate best practices for ensuring optimal airflow in an industry that where temperature is critical.
“Our hope is to align wherever our customers might be on an educational level and help them understand why we’re so focused on energy efficiency and all the ways they can be mindful about how to accomplish that,” he says.
“Anthony is a true industry leader and his commitment to integrity, honesty, loyalty, and his stellar reputation have been pivotal in shaping CoreSite and RC Power,” says Ron Godinez, president of RC Power. ”His guidance, wisdom, and ethical conduct have been instrumental in our success over the past 18 years. I extend my heartfelt congratulations on his exceptional contributions.”
“Anthony is a visionary in data center operations,” agrees Bill Glass, president of Klass Electric Co. ”His crucial role in the day-to-day operations has made a tremendous impact on the security and seamless completion of projects. His strong leadership has fostered a positive and productive environment for all stakeholders.”
Building Future Leaders
That’s not the only successful training program CoreSite has built out. Hatzenbuehler is especially proud of the training programs implemented to help employees who may have come to their role from a variety of different industries and perspectives to be successful in the world of data centers.
The SVP points to a security guard at one of the CoreSite locations who had taken the job to support his medical education, but soon realized he wanted to pivot careers.
“He’s now a leader and is training others,” Hatzenbuehler says. “I love the idea of folks coming here and growing into something new. I love to be able to give them that opportunity to grow into a new field and be successful on their own terms. I believe anyone can be successful in this industry if you’ve got aptitude and a drive to continue improving yourself.”
The SVP says feeding that “fire in the belly” is what makes life so interesting, and it’s by identifying gaps and working to fill them in that has been responsible for so much of his own success in the field.
For Hatzenbuehler, that fire is as creative as it is strategic. The SVP is also a passionate painter. The time may be hard to come by, but Hatzenbuehler says any chance he has, he can be found working in a new medium or simply working on fine-detail work with a pencil and a sketchpad.
His work tends to skew more realistic than abstract, and that makes sense. Hatzenbuehler’s world is about putting the theoretical into practice, and making the abstract come alive.
Balch Petroleum Inc. is proud to work together with CoreSite and its leaders to build state-of-the-art data centers. Founded in the mid-1970s, Balch has decades of experience in all aspects of fuel systems. Balch provides both fuel system turnkey construction projects and maintenance services including environmental testing. We strive to have high levels of customer satisfaction and quality workmanship. Learn more about our expertise at balchpetroleum.com.
RC Power congratulates Anthony Hatzenbuehler on this well-deserved honor! We are proud to partner with Anthony and CoreSite.