Skybox Unboxed featuring Chris Williams
THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2021
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.
“Military veterans have continued to stand out in the mission critical sector and Chris is a great example why. He has readily adapted his critical eye from the Navy’s aircraft to our data centers, and Skybox is better off today because of that.” – Rob Morris, CEO
How did you get into data center operations?
While my family line was in carpentry, I started my own career as a welder for a steel fabrication company. I then decided my next place to learn was in military service, joining the United States Navy. For a majority of my time in the Navy, my job was focused on the maintenance of aircraft and their hangars to ensure the highest standards for safety and security. It was important work, some of it on smaller Navy Gulfstream jets transporting generals, admirals, and senior Pentagon staff. A few aircraft I was responsible for flew the Secretary of the Navy and the Commandant of the US Marine Corps. After a military detachment in Afghanistan, I decided to make the transition from military to civilian life. I was able to get an associate degree in business during my time in the military and later received an associate degree in HVAC systems while I worked for an electrical company. During that time, an old high school friend and Skybox’s Facilities Technician, Bill Jordan, reached out and mentioned Skybox was looking for another Critical Facilities Technician. I applied for the position in 2020 and joined the team not long after.
How has your military background prepared you for this role?
More than anything, the military instilled in me the importance of steadfastness. It seems increasingly common in our culture today to jump ship when things get hard but thankfully, the military taught me the opposite. It taught me small movements and adjustments every day toward a goal ensures the job will get done to completion and done well. Giving up or even apathy was not an option. So much of my work in the Navy was motivated by my responsibility to the people who would be transported on the aircraft I supported. Similarly, the motivation for making every round and checking every system in our data center is motivated by their importance to our customers. Staying consistent and committed to data center surveillance and maintenance is of the utmost importance.
What is one thing we don’t know about you?
I really enjoy classical music, but not through typical classical instruments. I transcribe classical scores to play on my electric guitar. Composers like Paganini have inspired me since I was ten years old. I taught myself how to play by way of magazines and YouTube. It’s been a great creative outlet for me. I’m also the first person in my family to go to college. I’m currently working to earn my bachelor’s degree in business in my free time.
What makes working for Skybox different?
What stands out to me is how thorough our operating procedures are. Because of my background working on military aircraft, high procedural standards were a way of life. Skybox has that same level of expectation for excellence in the performance of our operations team. Our team endeavors to do everything the right way, despite the additional preparation, time and energy that entails. I really respect that about our team.
What is your favorite way to spend your time off?
My time off is almost always spent with my wife Adriana, who I’ve been married to for five years. Prior to the pandemic we enjoyed working out together at the gym, trying new seafood restaurants, and regularly traveling to Mississippi to visit with family. Nowadays, we find ourselves working out in our home gym, experimenting with new recipes in our kitchen, and spending time with our long distance family via Zoom. All good for me, because it’s still time with Adriana!