When Loudoun County Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer began his tenure in 2007, Twitter had only been founded the year before and Facebook had just opened its platform to the general public. Now the web traffic from those tech giants, along with Amazon, Netflix, Google and a host of other consumer tech, are driving the need for even more data centers.
Loudoun County’s “Data Center Alley” — which is ground zero for the data center industry — has gone from a handful of buildings housing banks of servers in 2007 to more than 75 facilities hosting 3,000 tech companies today, Economic Development officials said. For his work with the centers, the Washingtonian magazine has named Rizer one of the 2017 Tech Titans.
Rizer is credited by the publication for making Loudoun County the world’s top location for data centers, through which an estimated 70 percent of global internet traffic now flows. However, he stresses that while he’s being awarded, making Loudoun a technology hub was a group effort.
“It really is about the community, the Board’s support of Economic Development and the amazing tech force we have here,” Rizer said. “It takes a lot of things going right to get to where we are.”
Every year the Washingtonian recognizes influential and interesting people in the local tech scene of all stages through surveys conducted twice a year. The magazine looks for people who are not only shaping the future of technology but potentially the DC metro area itself.
“It’s extremely humbling and gratifying to be named to a list that includes tech legends with connections to Loudoun such as AOL alums Steve Case and Ted Leonsis, Orbital ATK’s David Thompson, venture capitalist Fred Schaufeld and tech stars heading up billion-dollar ventures in the nation’s capital,” Rizer said in a release.
Loudoun Economic Development has helped to bring in more than $6 billion in business investment and 5,000 jobs to the county over the last three years. Loudoun has been recognized as having the No. 1 economic development organization in America for counties of its size and was reported to be No. 3 in job growth in the U.S. by the Department of Labor, according to Economic Development officials.
Washingtonian will celebrate Rizer and the other 2017 Tech Titans at a reception May 24.