In this fascinating #NomadFuturist podcast, recorded at Data Center World in Orlando, Florida, Phil and Nabeel learn about the extraordinary journey of Bill Kleyman, Master of Ceremonies for the event and EVP of Digital Solutions at Switch Data Centers.
This journey about technology, life, determination, and optimism starts with a small boy in the Ukraine whose first experience of tech was learning telegraphy from his older brother.
“That was the first time, can you imagine me saying that as a millennial, that I was introduced to the concept of connecting people together, through a telegraph in the former Soviet Union!”
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, an eight-year-old Kleyman arrived in New York City with his family, a backpack, a few tin soldiers and a sense of wonder and curiosity that never left him.
Kleyman immediately grasped the unlimited possibilities of tech, taking AP courses in computer engineering and math while in high school. An avid and fearless learner, he went on to obtain a degree in network engineering, followed by an MBA in business and marketing and a master’s in information systems security. Kleyman encourages folks in the tech space to go to business school so that they can understand the language of business.
“I started in tech really young, this childhood naivete and willingness to learn really propelled me not to be afraid to make a mistake, fail fast and get up even faster. As a result, I wasn’t afraid to speak to executives, see them as human beings, exchange ideas.”
This fearlessness and ability to connect with others propelled Kleyman’s career. In addition, he recounts how his experience as an immigrant has contributed to his success.
“You’ve got to work your way all the way up and that’s really the kind of ethic that I’ve had my entire life. But also, try to surround yourself with people who know more, who you can ask questions and not be afraid to look silly.”
In addition to making his way in the US, Kleyman found a way to stay connected to his cultural roots. Until his early twenties, he and his brother performed in KVN “The Club for the Happy and the Lucky,” a Slavic comedy improv show appearing in multiple cities throughout the US.
As a leader and manager, Kleyman is insightful, generous, and compassionate in his approach. He talks about the characteristic psychologies of different generations and the strategies he uses to help employees grow and succeed.
Kleyman’s advice to the young:
“Start with a vision and follow your passion and just continue to grow. Never ever lose your childhood sense of wonder…keep playing…keep imagining. And honestly, just be humble and kind. That’s the secret sauce!”
Bill Kleyman brings more than 15 years of experience to his role as Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions at Switch. Using the latest innovations, such as AI, machine learning, data center design, DevOps, cloud, and advanced technologies, Mr. Kleyman delivers solutions to customers that help them achieve their business goals and remain competitive in their market. An active member in the technology industry, he was ranked #16 globally in the Onalytica study that reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape and #4 in another Onalytica study, which reviewed the industry’s top Data Security Experts.
Prior to joining Switch, Kleyman was the CTO at MTM Technologies where he worked with new designs around virtualization, data center architecture, and cloud design. He was also a leader in the cloud and DevOps practice at EPAM Systems. Kleyman is currently an Advisory Board Member at MTM Technologies and an Advisory Board Council Member at Infrastructure Masons (iMasons) where he chairs the IM Millennials/GenZ Member Resource Group; focused on inspiring and bringing young people into the technology industry.
Kleyman enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues about everything related to technology. His work can be seen within thousands of articles, blogs, chapters in various books, white papers, journals, and more. Kleyman is a regularly featured keynote presenter and speaker at major industry events.