Christian Belady, Vantage and Aligned Lead 5th Annual NVTC Data Center Award Winners

Feb. 26, 2024
Christian Belady, Vantage Data Centers, and Aligned Data Centers were among those honored as the Northern Virginia Technology Council recognized the industry’s accomplishments at its 2024 NVTC Data Center Awards.

Christian Belady, former VP and distinguished engineer at Microsoft and currently a senior advisor to DigitalBridge, was honored as the 2024 Data Center Industry Icon as the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) last week recognized the industry’s accomplishments and community impact at its fifth annual NVTC Data Center Awards. 

Vantage Data Centers and Aligned Data Centers were the leading corporate winners in the judging, while Mike Berman (AWS), Caroline Teitelbaum (CBRE) and Randy Brouckman (EdgeConneX) were among the individual recipients of the NVTC awards, which were presented in an awards ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg, Virginia.

Presented annually, the NVTC Data Center Awards celebrate Virginia's statewide business community and public sector leaders who contribute to the enormous growth of the state’s data center industry. As stated by NVTC, the awards "recognize the changemakers responsible for cementing Virginia as a dominant player in the data center industry and driving its growth and economic impact." 

Further, NVTC said this year’s awards recognized individuals and data center facilities that have embarked on innovative construction projects, energy-efficient practices and impactful community engagements. 

This year, an independent panel of business leaders selected the winners in six award categories, including the Community Champion Award; Construction Project Award; Global Data Center Award; Data Center Innovation Award; Rising Star Award, and Sustainable Champion Award.

The NVTC 2024 Virginia Data Center Award winners are as follows:

Data Center Icon Award

NVTC presented the 2024 Data Center Icon Award to Christian Belady. The Icon Award recognizes individuals who have significantly contributed to the data center community throughout their careers, playing a crucial role in advancing the industry and supporting the growth, prominence, and success of the global data center sector. A former vice president and distinguished engineer at Microsoft, among his long list of career accomplishments, Belady is credited with creating the power usage effectiveness (PUE) metric while at HP.

Community Champion Award

The judges recognized two winners in this category:

AFCOM Potomac Chapter

Mike Berman, AWS

Other finalists for the Community Champion Award included: 7 x 24 Exchange DC Chapter; Jack Bidlack, Northern Virginia Community College; Robert Hepler, Equinix; and Amber Tillman, Google.

Construction Project Award


Other finalists for the Construction Project Award included: QTS Data Centers and Yondr Group.

Global Data Center Award

Vantage Data Centers

Other finalists for the Global Data Center Award included: CyrusOne and EdgeConneX.

Data Center Innovation Award

Aligned Data Centers

Other finalists for the Data Center Innovation Award included: Equinix and TRAXyL.

Rising Star Award

Caroline Teitelbaum, CBRE

Other finalists for the Rising Star Award included: Gabrielle Bishop, DPR Construction; Anna Figueroa, CoreSite; Zack Jones, CPG; and Sara Wengrowski, Barge Design Solutions.

Sustainable Champion Award

Randy Brouckman, EdgeConneX

Other finalists for the Sustainable Champion Award included Dan Moore of CyrusOne.


Innovation and Collaboration in Expanding Virginia's Digital Economy

Commenting on the awards, NVTC President and CEO Jennifer Taylor said:

“Data centers are the major investment drivers in Virginia, with new and expanding data centers accounting for 92% of all new investments in 2023. This would not be possible without the innovation and collaboration among the full data center ecosystem including data centers themselves, construction companies, energy suppliers, regional EDAs, and more. 

And now with the gold rush of AI increasing the amount of data generated, our data centers play a vital role in expanding Virginia’s digital economy. Congratulations to all the companies and individuals who received awards this year, enabling Northern Virginia to be the largest data center market in the world.”

Consistently recognized in Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Data Center Market Comparison report as the largest data center market in the world, the Northern Virginia region is credited with more than 447 MW of absorption and a 0.9% vacancy rate. 

While Virginia’s data center market has been highly concentrated in Loudoun County for the past 17 years, NVTC notes that development and construction is now expanding to Manassas, Sterling, Herndon and Prince William and Henrico counties, as developers search for more access to available power and larger land sites.

According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), data centers are the major driver for investment in Virginia. Per VEDP data, in 2023, new and expanding data centers accounted for 92% ($45.9 billion) of all new investment in the Commonwealth. NVTC notes that one of the major benefits of data centers is they serve as major tax generators; in Loudoun County alone, officials predict that data center facilities infuse over $570 million in personal property taxes annually into the county’s coffers.

This year’s NVTC Data Center Awards were sponsored by Amazon Web Services, Falken Industries, Baldwin Risk Partners, Google, Meta, QTS, Equinix, Digital Realty, HITT, Magnum Economics, Northern Virginia Community College, E.E. Reed, Novec, Prince William County Department of Economic Development, Ricardo, Vantage Data Centers, CoreSite, Loudoun County Economic Development, Reston Limousine, CBRE, and InterGlobix.

Vinay Nagpal, Chair, NVTC Data Center and Cloud Community of Interest and CEO, InterGlobix, concluded:

“Data centers are the lifeblood of the digital economy. The NVTC Data Center Awards celebrate the data center industry and recognize the achievers and leaders advancing digital infrastructure. My heartiest congratulations to all the remarkable nominees and winners. The innovation and achievements of these stalwarts propel our industry forward, reaffirming the crucial role that data centers play in shaping the rapidly growing digital economy.”


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About the Author

Matt Vincent

A B2B technology journalist and editor with more than two decades of experience, Matt Vincent is Editor in Chief of Data Center Frontier.

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