In an industry like ours, to stand still would be to fall behind. VCE’s inception was the result of true innovation, as leaders from our three investor companies came together in a joint venture designed to disrupt the market and provide customers with a solution that truly fits their needs. More than four years later, we’d say this venture has been extremely successful, but we haven’t forgotten our roots. VCE is dedicated to recognizing the innovative individuals within the company that are moving VCE forward. To honor the people that are truly making a difference, VCE recently introduced its Distinguished Engineers Program and announced its inaugural honoree, Dan Butzer.The VCE Distinguished Engineers Program gives the company the ability to recognize engineers who have gone above and beyond what they do on a daily basis. Through a formal nomination process, these exceptional technical leaders are identified for having helped define and develop technology that solves customer challenges. This group will contain some of the best and brightest employees in the company that have directly contributed to its success.A VCE Distinguished Engineer not only demonstrates great technical skill, but also displays great leadership qualities, freely sharing their knowledge and wisdom for the betterment of those around them and the company at large. A Distinguished Engineer inspires those around them to put their best ideas forward. They are the “go-to” people for solutions and ideas.As a member of the program, Distinguished Engineers are given opportunities for further skills development, as well as greater access to key VCE executives. The program is focused on cross-business collaboration, giving participants a glimpse into things beyond their usual day-to-day activities. The goal of the program is to then create a highly technical and innovative group that looks at VCE across its lines of business.As such, I cannot think of a more deserving first inductee to the program than my colleague, Dan Butzer, senior principal vArchitect. Dan is a “change agent” for VCE – continuously setting the pace for innovation at the company. His dedication to the company stretches far beyond a single region, with Dan lending his expertise globally, across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) regions to help ensure the various teams are armed with any and all information needed to address customers’ needs.Dan is highly solution oriented, and is able to approach situations from unique perspectives to provide a solution that is not just acceptable, but exceptional. He is a trusted adviser who is generous with his knowledge and time, bringing those he works with up to a higher level of knowledge and understanding. As one of his colleagues wrote, “When it comes to the data centers of today, I live by the rule that if Dan doesn’t know ‘it’ or know who knows ‘it’, ‘it’ is probably not worth knowing.” For these reasons (and many more), Dan has earned his place as a Distinguished Engineer.Not only has Dan been my right hand for more than three years, he’s become a dear friend. Dan’s dedication to the enablement of VCE staff, customers, and partners would overwhelm most people. Dan always finds time to help, always teaches and shares his extensive knowledge. Dan amazes us all daily!I want to personally thank Dan for his contributions to VCE, its customers and his fellow employees. Dan, and his future fellow Distinguished Engineers, will no doubt do some remarkable things for the company. VCE prides itself on having a culture of innovation, and it is because of every employee here who throws the status quo out the window and gets their hands dirty. We are poised for a big year ahead, and with contributions and leadership from Dan and our Distinguished Engineer honorees, I can guarantee that no one will catch us standing still.