James Patrignelli

Director of Sales, Northeast, Liquid Technology Inc.

After studying business administration and technology at the University of Connecticut, James Patrignelli started his career in the finance industry. However, not long after taking his first job out of college, he recognized that he wanted to find a position that involved information systems and technology.

Patrignelli soon found a job working for an information technology asset disposition (ITAD) company in 2005. He says ITAD was steadily becoming a more mature segment of the recycling industry around that time, so he felt fortunate to develop his career when he did. In the past decade, he has worked to advise chief information officers, chief technology officers and data center managers on best practices for IT asset management.

Currently, Patrignelli is director of sales for the Northeast region at New York City-based Liquid Technology Inc. In this position, he works with executives to develop and implement end-of-life IT asset management programs with a focus on data security and maximizing the return on IT hardware.

Recycling Today (RT): What are some unique experiences you have had in the ITAD industry?

James Patrignelli (JP): I think I’ve been able to see some interesting trends in technology hardware over the last 10 to 15 years. You’ve seen the advent of smart devices. The iPhone wasn’t around when I started in the industry, and then five years later everybody’s using them and now they’re replacing BlackBerrys. You’ve seen the speed and agility of servers just absolutely take over in the financial industry and also with research and health care. So, you get to see technology grow itself and then watch how it powers industry as well.

RT:Data security is a big concern. What would you say are some of the biggest data security risks that companies face today and why?

JP: A lot of people are afraid of going to the cloud because they kind of lose that physical ownership of their media and their security. But there are going to be data breaches and data risks everywhere; people are going to try to access your system.

“In our industry, we’re always preaching data at rest is data at risk.”

So, whether you have your own owned facility with your own network infrastructure or you’re in the cloud, you have to be mindful of who you’re giving access to, who actually has their hands on your hardware or who’s accessing your network.

In our industry, we’re always preaching data at rest is data at risk. So, if you’ve already powered down a system and you have your technology hardware, you have to be mindful of who has access to that medium. Partner with a company that provides a superior chain of custody to make sure that at every point when that hardware moves that there’s a transfer of ownership.

RT: What do you see as some of the biggest issues in electronics recycling and ITAD today and why?

JP: I think countries like China drive the marketplace for different types of commodities. Like right now they’re banning plastics. Items that you might have been able to sell overseas a couple of years ago, you really can’t do today. So, you have to be able to find those resources here domestically.

So, I think that’s probably one of the bigger roadblocks that needs to be addressed in our industry today—finding really good domestic downstream partners for all streams of recycling.