OLLU feeds Rackspace with tech savvy and brain power

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2013

 Barb Maldonado
There were no racks of servers humming in a major San Antonio data center when Barb Maldonado attended Our Lady of the Lake University. There was no local company known as a leader in cloud computing. There was no Rackspace. 

 Walter Robertson
When Maldonado earned her accounting degree from OLLU in 1997, the company that evolved into Rackspace operated out of a garage apartment in San Antonio. And yet, all these years later, Maldonado credits the Lake for preparing her to serve as the IT compliance manager for Rackspace.

“That’s the beauty of the Lake,” says Maldonado, who is responsible for keeping Rackspace in compliance with federal regulations. “I was taught to be diverse and learned so many skills that were cross functional. 

“Our skills could be used in multiple business areas and functions. I had to take IT classes, business law classes. I had to be prepared to think in different areas, which gave me the opportunity to be flexible and do compliance regulatory audits.” 

 Andrew Guerra
Founded in 1998, Rackspace delivers hosting services to busi 
nesses around the world. The company enjoys a strong relationship with OLLU, having donated money and equipment to the University in 2011 for a cybersecurity computer lab. One Racker, director of products Ziad Sawalha, serves on the OLLU Board of Trustees. The company employs at least 17 Lake alumni. 

 Trey Hoehne
They include Window Systems Administrator II Walter Robertson (BBA Computer Information Systems ‘00); Pricing Analyst II Andrew Guerra (MBA Accounting/Finance ‘10); cloud evangelist Trey Hoehne (BS Electronic Commerce/Information Systems ‘07); Web Developer III Eddy Hernandez (BBA ‘09); and senior product manager Michael Galan (MBA Electronic Commerce ‘01). 

Hernandez has been a Racker since 2010. “I love it here,” Hernandez says. “It’s a very fun environment. I get to do something I’m good at and I get to do it day in and day out. It doesn’t feel like work.” 

Maldonado agrees: “I love waking up each morning, knowing I’m going to
work with really talented folks on technologies that are going to change the way the world works.” 

 Michael Galan
 Eddy Hernandez
A Lake connection opened the door to Rackspace for Maldonado. Several years ago, Mike Galan and Maldonado worked together at KCI. They remained friends after Galan left for Rackspace. When Galan learned about the IT compliance manager opening, he phoned Maldonado. “He asked me to apply and recommended me for the job,” Maldonado says. 

She remains ever grateful. “I’m glad Mike got me into Rackspace,” she says. “It’s really a great fit for me. It’s awesome.”