Meet Ivan Castillo, the Director of Data Center Operations at Direct Line Global, who helps oversee the day-to-day operations of data center facilities, which is a critical part of a company’s IT infrastructure. Ivan has been with the company for 12 years, starting as a Project Manager and working his way up to his current position. In this blog, we’ll get to know Ivan and learn about his career path, what he loves about his job, and surprising facts about him.
How long have you been with Direct Line Global?
I started my career at Direct Line about 12 years ago as an apprentice, I knew nothing about data centers. When I started, I was drilling anchor holes, cutting struts, and threaded rods. As I learned I moved into a technician role, I naturally started leading small teams with tight timelines in high-pressure environments. Then, an opportunity came to travel with a Networking team doing POP deployments across the US and I took it, doing that for two years. The lead I was working for was taking a step up and I had the opportunity to apply for the lead role. I then took part in de-commissioning and building new suites in the Santa Clara region. After some time, I had built my team to the point where I was no longer needed. I then took a big step into being a Project Manager running projects across the country and even some outside of the country and after almost six years, I moved up to my current role as Director of Data Center Operations.
Why did you join this organization?
I got a call from my cousin and asked if I wanted to help him build data centers.
How do you achieve success in your role?
Patience, preparation, hard work, and determination. I’m always taking advantage of an opportunity, Timing is everything! Finding people, you believe in, investing in them, and setting them up for success. Find A leader you can stand behind and believe in!
What is the best advice/compliment you’ve ever received?
I once helped a customer get out of a leased space over a weekend, and (2) high-level executives from the company gifted me an iPad with a handwritten thank-you card. That meant a lot.
Do you have a mentor? If so, tell us about him/her.
I have a lot of them. I consider a lot of the people I work with or have worked with mentors. I learn from everyone and implement what I can.
Tell us about your career path in Direct Line Global.
I started from the bottom, worked my way through the ranks waiting for an opportunity, and made sure I was prepared when the time came. I never worried about putting in extra effort. Always made sure I would never be outworked!
What do you love most about what you do?
What makes what I do special is that I did not know I wanted to do this growing up. I had an idea, I liked building things, and I liked leading projects, but the fact that I got pulled into the data center industry and loved the art of cabling is what makes it all so cool to me. Being involved with my clients early on in my career was a monumental part of my success. I cannot thank them enough for the exposure to the cutting-edge installations I was involved in as a contractor.
Do you want to share any personal experiences/stories within the company?
I have truly seen the company grow up, and I have been able to grow up with it. It’s been a great ride! I could not have done it without all the great people around me. Direct Line has always pushed me to have A vision and execute, not to depend on others and drive results. Most of not to be afraid to fail!
What advice would you like to give to someone interested in joining Direct Line?
If you are someone looking to be challenged, grow, and put the work in, Direct Line is a great place to work. The opportunity and ability to make an impact is huge here. Whether is direct interaction with the executive team or being recognized and taking a step up in your career. You will be challenged, you will grow, and people will listen when it comes to where you want to go with your career. When I was a Project Manager I told our CEO, Bill Nelligan, that I wanted to learn all aspects of the business; his response was “careful what you ask for”, in a playful tone. Now here I am involved in a lot of behind-the-scenes decisions and really looking forward to my next challenge. The homework-life balance is respected and extremely important.
Tell us a surprising or fun fact about you.
I can read, write, and speak Spanish; I love cars and I played all sports growing up. Also, my father, uncle, and grandfather are in construction. I enjoy fishing, cooking, building things, and golfing.
Ivan Castillo’s story is a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and taking opportunities as they arise. With over a decade of experience at Direct Line, Ivan has proven to be a valuable member of the team, bringing his skills and passion for building and leading projects to his role as Director of Data Center Operations, without jeopardizing his duties as a proud father of a 4-year-old boy, a 2-year-old daughter, and two 7-months-old identical twin girls.
At Direct Line, we prioritize the development and well-being of our employees as a key aspect of our organizational values. We recognize and appreciate their dedication and motivation toward achieving shared success. To this end, we continually invest in their professional growth and career advancement through comprehensive training programs and certification opportunities, enabling them to enhance their competencies and expertise.
We appreciate Ivan’s disposition for allowing us to know a part of his life! And who knows, maybe one day he’ll cook up something special for the team at work! Learn more about our incredible members, their role, the impact of Direct Line on their lives, and some fun facts about them in our segment: A Day in The Life Of.