CEO Avner Papouchado Discusses Chicago’s Cloud, Network & Infrastructure in Upcoming Panel

by Jul 15, 2020




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  • What challenges and expansion strategies for data centers are unique to Chicago and the greater Midwest region? How do they compare to the national market?
  • As the expansion of the cloud and demand continues, what actions are being taken to support this growth? Is Chicago truly the next edge location?
  • What are the key demand-drivers for the Chicago and greater Midwest market today?
  • Chicago is the third largest data center market in the U.S. and is still expanding. How is the Chicago infrastructure expected to develop moving forward?
  • How is data being optimized during this surge?


The Midwest has historically been a consistently growing market, now further fueled by economic incentive programs in both Indiana and Illinois. As one of the top three data center markets in the US, Chicago has continues to be an ideal market for development and expansion. And while the pandemic has been a use case for how data center expansion and demand can evolve quickly, this vibrant ecosystem will likely remain at the top of the list of desired US markets.

With roughly 34 MW of data centers being built in Chicago, questions around how infrastructure will evolve, in what ways will data optimization take hold, how the cloud will further expand and how this market will stack up against others will continue to be asked.

Join us as we welcome Avner Papouchado, CEO of Serverfarm, Phill Lawson-Shanks, chief innovation officer of Aligned Energy and member of the board of directors for Netrality Data Centers, Ian McClarty, CEO of phoenixNAP, and Timothy Doherty, CEO of Digital Fortress, for a discussion on the expanding Chicago and greater Midwest data center market, and how recent changes are evolving the landscape.



Avner Papouchado

CEO, Serverfarm

Avner Papouchado has been the guiding force behind Serverfarm since its inception. Known for his intense business acumen, Papouchado has a proven track record of successful real estate investments. He has served as Red Sea Group’s North American CEO since 1993 and is an active member of the executive management team responsible for the company’s worldwide investment strategy. A certified pilot, Papouchado received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the New School for Social Research in New York.




Phill Lawson-Shanks

Board of Directors,  Netrality Data Centers

Phill Lawson-Shanks has more than 25 years of experience identifying new opportunities for further growth of leading data center infrastructure, network architecture, and cloud solutions in the U.S. and abroad. As Chief Development Officer at Aligned Energy, Phill is responsible for the management of revenue generation and profitability objectives, as well as championing key marketing and communications activities aimed at maximizing new business development. Prior to joining Aligned Energy, Phill served as Chief Innovation Officer at EdgeConneX, where he was instrumental in driving strategies focused on creating the next generation of network edge-based data centers for the digital content ecosystem. Throughout his career, Phill has also served in numerous senior executive level positions at Virtacore, Alcatel-Lucent, Savvis (now CenturyLink Technology Solutions), and MCI (now Verizon Digital Media Services). He currently holds eight active technology patents.



Ian McClarty

CEO phoenixNAP

Ian McClarty Accomplished senior executive with extensive experience in information technology and computer networking fields. Proven track record in relationship building, vendor management, network operations, colocation and datacenter administration, along with project methodology and processes, both at strategic and tactical levels. Instrumental in transitioning start-up organizations into highly successful and profitable corporations while maintaining high client satisfaction levels. Strong management and leadership skills complemented by an ability to motivate and engage all levels of an organization to maximize productivity and drive positive results. Excellent communicator with special emphasis on building solid vendor, client and employee relationships.




Timothy Doherty

CEO, Digital Fortress

Timothy Hoherty







Adam Knobloch

Global Director – Data Centers, Bisnow Media

​Adam Knobloch (EMCEE) Born and raised in Westchester, NY, Adam Knobloch joined Bisnow as the Director of Data Centers after having led event sales and strategy efforts in the CRE space for nearly a decade. Since 2012, he has found a significant passion for the Data Center and Technology sectors, while building a network of active followers across numerous asset classes in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland. In his role, Adam leads Bisnow’s event and media strategy for the Data Center sector, expanding its event offerings to 15 markets. Adam also previously sat on the Telecom Exchange (TEX) Advisory Board, collaborating on content, speaker recommendations and event strategy. In his past life, Adam was a musician having toured the east coast, and was a frequent member of the NYC folk/indie rock music scene as the drummer for The Gantry. Adam earned his Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration at American University’s Kogod School of Business, with a focus on Marketing and Public Relations.

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