May 24, 2016 Share

Google manager gives NACC commencement address

Mrs. Brenda Standridge

Mrs. Brenda Standridge, future site manager of Google’s Widows Creek Data Center

By Staff Reports

RAINSVILLE, Ala.—Mrs. Brenda Standridge, the future Site Manager for Google’s Widows Creek Data Center in Jackson County, gave those in attendance a look into the future with her commencement address for the college’s graduation ceremony held at the Rainsville Agri-Business Center on May 17, 2016.

“THE NEXT big thing is called the Internet of Things or IOT, which is the network of devices, vehicles, buildings and items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity,” Mrs. Standridge told the college’s 183 graduates, faculty and staff, and audience of more than 2500 attendees at the ceremony.   

“This will enable our physical world to integrate with computer based systems.  When we begin making things intelligent, it creates drivers for new products and services that will define the economy of the future.  Think about things like smart homes, self-driving cars, wearable devices, smart factories and smart cities,” Mrs. Standridge said.  

“It is exciting and scary to think about the future possibilities, but if we move forward responsibly, awesome innovations will improve the world,” she added.  

In her commencement address, Mrs. Standridge also advised students on the skills that they would need in the workplace of the future as well as providing insights that will be useful in helping them succeed.  She also described the technological innovations that have in recent years brought about rapid change in how people live.

Mrs. Standridge will serve as the Site Manager of the Widows Creek Data Center.  She currently serves as a Hardware Operations Manager with Google at the company’s data center in Oklahoma. The Widows Creek Data Center represents a 600 million dollar investment by Google and the facility is scheduled to open in late 2017 or early 2018.  Site preparation at the center is well under way.  When open, the data center will house state-of-the-art technology and will be served primarily by renewable energy power sources.  Google announced that the Jackson County site had been selected in 2015 and the news was greeted enthusiastically throughout Alabama as a breakthrough for the state in attracting centers for digital technology.  The Widows Creek Data Center will be only one of fifteen operated by Google in the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

“We were honored to have Mrs. Standridge as our Commencement Speaker,” stated NACC President Dr. David Campbell. “She is extremely knowledgeable and insightful and is so well aware that the innovations and work done by Google do indeed change the world.  Our graduates got a great look into the future from her remarks, as well as an understanding of the impact technology has had on Americans over the last several decades.  I know there are some outstanding commencement speeches given each year in the United States, but any would be hard-pressed to match the level of advice and insight that Mrs. Standridge provided.  Her time with us was a great indicator for what’s in store for our area with the arrival of Google.”

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