Infrastructure Masons (iMasons), a global non-profit association for digital infrastructure professionals, has appointed technology executive Charisse Richards to the iMasons Advisory Council. In addition, Richards has accepted the position of co-chair of iMasons Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
“The iMasons Advisory Council is made up of seasoned industry leaders who are passionate about expanding and improving our community.” said Dean Nelson, iMasons Founder and Chairman. “Charisse has extensive full-stack experience in her role as CIO at three different companies. In addition to her technical expertise, she also graciously accepted the position of co-chair of our D&I committee. The board and I are confident that Charisse will add invaluable perspective to our technical and cultural efforts.”
The iMasons Advisory council consists of executives from colocation companies, global equipment suppliers, and hyper-scaler executives that manage some of largest portfolios in the world. The Advisory Council quarterly meetings and annual End User Summit provide critical insight to help guide iMason’s vision and strategic initiatives.
“I sincerely see iMasons as a leading force for good in the digital infrastructure industry. It’s what made me join almost 4 years ago, and continues to keep me engaged.” said Charisse Richards, CIO for the Judicial branch of Arizona in Maricopa County. “A few months ago Dean published an open letter to the iMasons community, and I felt compelled to respond. This resulted in Dean and I having a series of honest and provocative conversations about privilege and how it manifests itself in our industry. I applaud iMason’s efforts to bring new faces and voices into our industry and am pleased to help support that work.”
Charisse Richards has 25+ years of infrastructure and operations experience and has held various senior leadership roles in the Data Center, Hospitality, and Government industries. She is currently the Chief Information Officer for the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County, the country’s 4th largest court system. Prior to her current role, Charisse has served as CIO/Vice President of IT and Integration – Global Data Centers with Iron Mountain. She has also held positions as Chief Information Officer, Chief of Staff, and Vice President of Global Initiatives at IO Data Centers. Charisse served as Senior Director and Director of Systems and Database Administration at Choice Hotels International, where she and her team developed the infrastructure for ChoiceADVANTAGE©, the hospitality industry’s first cloud-based property management system in 2001.
Charisse is a frequent speaker on topics such as diversity in STEM, leadership, and recruiting and retaining women in the data center industry, and has collaborated with Google on several related workshops and events. She’s a former AFCOM panelist on Women in Data Center and has frequently participated panels on hybrid infrastructure and service platforms. In 2018, Charisse was identified as TOP 5 Most Influential Women in Data Center, and was keynote speaker and guest mentor for the southwest’s largest Women’s Hackathon sponsored by her alma mater, University of Arizona, where she studied Chemical Engineering.
Charisse holds a Master of Business Administration, with concentration on Supply Chain Management, from Arizona State University, and aspires to teach digital infrastructure management and philosophy at the collegiate level.
“We are grateful that Charisse will add her advice and experience to that of the other industry leaders on the Advisory Council.” stated Maricel Cerutti, iMasons Board Treasurer, and D&I Executive Sponsor. “It is also fantastic that she’s doubling down to support our D&I efforts.”
Charisse joins Hannah Ormondroyd as co-chair of the iMasons D&I Committee. In 2019 iMasons launched Member Resource Groups (MRGs) to provide a platform to attract and retain underrepresented talent in our industry, including IM Women, Millennial/GenZ, Hispanic/LatinX, and Veterans, with more groups to come.
“As a senior people leader in the digital infrastructure industry, I am very focused on D&I as a strategic priority.” said Hannah Ormondroyd, Co-Chair of iMasons Diversity and Inclusion Committee. “Charisse brings a unique perspective from her extensive experience and passion to drive positive change.”
ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE MASONS
Infrastructure Masons (iMasons) is a non-profit, professional association of technology and business leaders who represent over $150Bn in infrastructure projects in over 130 countries. The organization is guided by an Advisory Council comprised of global leaders who manage some of the largest digital infrastructure portfolios in the world. The iMasons vision is to Unite the Builders of the Digital Age by enabling our global membership to Connect, Grow, and Give Back. Members leave their companies at the door and connect as individuals. IMasons has four strategic industry priorities – increase Awareness, enhance Education opportunities, champion Diversity & Inclusion, and inspire Sustainability through deep member engagement. Visit the website at www.imasons.org.