SKYBOX UNBOXED | Employee Spotlight
The basis for Skybox’s success lies in the hard work and achievement of our employees. We are highlighting each of our team members from various departments to share their impact on Skybox and what makes them the heartbeat of our organization.
“Kellerman has always been the killer combination of tenacity and ingenuity. He won’t stop until the right solution has been developed for every challenge thrown his way.”
– Rob Morris, CEO
How did you get into the data center industry?
I went to SMU in Dallas and during an internship after my junior year, I realized I really enjoyed commercial real estate. Upon graduation, I worked for JP Morgan as a securities analyst. I kept coming back to my internship in real estate and decided to interview at Cassidy Turley. I found myself sitting across from now Skybox’s CEO Rob Morris. He said they were building a tenant rep team for clients needing space for their computers. Mind you, this was ten years ago, when colocation data centers were still not widely understood in the real estate industry. But a light bulb went off in my head. I recalled sitting in my mom’s office 20 years ago when she worked as a director of technology at our school. Two bulky computer racks sat in the corner blinking away and emitting heat. They looked completely out of place at the time, so it was easy to understand now how they needed a special place of their own. Rob hired me on his team as one of the founding members of Cassidy Turley’s US Data Center Solutions Group. Not long after, Rob invited me to join his new company, Skybox Datacenters, and the rest is history.
What is one thing we don’t know about you?
I started a pedicab company as a side business with some friends while working full time. We had eight rickshaws and (thankfully) made all the money we invested back. We sold the company in 2015 to Loanstar Pedicabs – one of the largest pedicab owners and operators in Texas. It was fun trying something new and different: we were vehicles for everyone from brides and grooms, to Uptown bar hoppers, to parading Santa Claus around at the annual Denton Christmas festival.
What makes working for Skybox different?
Whether you’re the CEO, head of security, or sales, everyone is empowered to be an owner. Because we’re a smaller organization, you see the fruit of your labor (both good and bad!) more than you would at a typical company. This translates to built-in accountability, which generates a great team dynamic and trust in each other to get the job done. Skybox has a unique culture. I genuinely enjoy my coworkers. We have good communication. We can be honest and transparent with one another which makes us all better as individuals and as an organization. Our group has a heartbeat, which can be hard to find these days. Trust and relationships are the fuel for our team.
How has your job changed during the pandemic?
In the sales and marketing role, end users need a tangible experience in order to make a significant transaction or decision. In light of COVID-19, in-person meetings and tours are now virtual. We have to be more detailed and provide even more context than before to show them exactly what services and benefits we provide. This goes beyond just revamping collateral. We need to work harder and think smarter today to communicate who we are, beyond their screen, and how we can be trusted with the future of their business.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on? What is an important lesson you’ve learned from it?
My favorite project has been Skybox Houston in its entirety. Our first personally branded project, and our hardest earned. I learned perseverance, how to get traction, and how to trust the steps and processes. Time, energy and effort…our blood, sweat and tears. I had the unique opportunity along the way to make great friendships and contacts among employees, vendors and customers. Through Skybox Houston, we built a great team, externally and internally, that we can rely on and trust. It’s been a fun and rewarding project for me. Data centers can have long sale cycles. Global events, catastrophic weather, the stock market, and politics are only a handful of factors that can impact the build and sale process, and they are only consistent across all projects in their variability for each project. Keeping the faith and trusting the bigger picture, no matter what the world looks like, has kept my head steady.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really wouldn’t call what I do at Skybox “work”. I know it may sound cliché, but I truly get to do what I love every day, and I have fun doing it. I like the challenge of putting on different hats - sales, marketing, and site selection to name a few. My favorite part is connecting and collaborating with the capable people I get to work with regularly at Skybox. Not just those inside our organization, but those outside including our architects, engineers, project managers, investors, contractors, vendors, and of course our great customers.
What is your favorite way to spend your time off?
Fishing and hunting are some favorite activities, but I was born and raised in Baltimore Maryland, so I love to cook seafood. Crab cakes are my specialty (if you’re reading this, ask me for my crab cake recipe!). My fiancé Kaitlin and I love the adventure of learning about new ingredients and creating something for a great seafood dinner we haven’t tried before.