In this Nomad Futurist podcast, Jeff Uphues, CEO of DC BLOX shares his enthusiasm for serving locally and connecting globally with Phil and Nabeel.

Over the last thirty years, Uphues has been involved with all facets of the communications industry from fiber to hosted applications to data centers and networks. All his experience in finance and in communications led him to where he is today, providing a network of data centers to previously underserved areas in the Southeastern US.

Uphues speaks with obvious delight about his experience doing business in the South. He shares how a typical business meeting entails fifty minutes of talk about college football, food, and the weather, leading to a final ten minutes in which the nuts and bolts of the deal can finally be discussed.

Uphues is passionate about bringing connectivity and functionality to smaller thriving cities. 

“When we look at markets, we really try to pick markets that are a million people or more in the greater metropolitan service area—cities like Greenville in South Carolina, and Huntsville in Alabama.”

Uphues discusses how the pandemic has generated additional demand for data centers and how his firm has been able to serve in local markets providing services for local enterprises, government, hospital systems and banking as well as for national firms like Netflix.

“It’s all about serving locally and connecting globally on behalf of underserved communities…and when you’re serving locally and using local contractors, it really means something.”

Uphues weighs in on the importance of data centers.

“Everything in communications, the communications infrastructure that is out there is all hosted…the cloud has four walls and it’s called a data center.” 

Uphues is optimistic about the future of the industry. He sees that with more broadband services being rolled out, there will be an ever-increasing need for interactive communication and for hosting applications close to where they will be consumed.

His advice to young people getting started in the industry:

“Well, number one, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and get your hands dirty.”

His parting words:

“It all comes down to people. If you’re willing to learn, willing to listen, and willing to embrace how customers are trying to solve problems, you’ll have a long, beneficial and financially rewarding career.”

Jeff Uphues has been leading DC BLOX as its CEO and board member since late 2016. DC BLOX is a leading provider of interconnected, multi-tenant, tier III data centers that deliver the infrastructure and connectivity essential to power today’s digital business. He is responsible for the company’s strategy and execution in supporting underserved growing markets in the Southeastern US. 

Prior to DC BLOX, Jeff has a 25-year track record in the communications, cloud, and data center industries, having held numerous C-suite leadership positions across sales, marketing and operations for Liquid Web, Cbeyond, Bandwidth, ACSI Network Technologies and MCI.

Jeff serves as an active board member in several technology firms. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School (AMP), Rice University’s Jones School of Business Executive Education Program in Finance and Accounting, and the University of Texas at Arlington. Jeff lives in Alpharetta, GA with his wife and two girls. When not working he is an active road cyclist or at a lacrosse field watching his youngest daughter play around the country.

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