Dan Gabrielson has a fascinating work history, especially for someone with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Early in his career, he worked as a mechanic in a bicycle shop. He also has worked as fossil hunter who explored private land for dinosaur bones and other artifacts.
“I’ve had my share of interesting jobs,” he says.
Most of his work has been related to sales.
He knows the Rapid City area well because that’s where he went to elementary school, high school and college. It’s also the city where, in the years following his graduation from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1992, he started building an interesting resume.
Gabrielson, 45, was born in Virginia and also lived in Alabama. He moved to Rapid City in 1974 with his mother and two sisters. (His twin sister, Debbie, graduated with him from Rapid City Stevens High School and from SDSM&T. His older sister, Kellie, teaches in Rapid City.)
He’s married and has four, grown stepchildren and four grandchildren. His wife, Jacque, works at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Off the job, Gabrielson enjoys playing golf and running; he’s run in five half-marathons over the past seven or eight years.
Friendship led him to SDN
For a senior project in college, he helped design a mountain bike with front and rear suspensions. After college, the group of friends formed an LLC with plans to make and sell the bike. The business didn’t work out, however, so Gabrielson moved on to other ventures.
He had started working for a bike shop after college and stayed there, at least part-time, for several years. In 1997 he also started working for fossil company and transitioned into working full time in the fossil business.
While with the fossil company, he participated in digs in Wyoming and Colorado as well as South Dakota. The company preserved artifacts that it found and sold them to museums and collectors.
He stayed with the fossil company until 2002. That’s when he went to work for Golden West Technologies, a subsidiary of Golden West Telecommunications, which is one of SDN’s 17 member companies. He spent about five years with Golden West selling security systems, such as video surveillance and access-control equipment.
Then in 2008 he took a job with a Sioux Falls-based company and sold HVAC equipment to businesses in the Rapid City area.
He applied to work for SDN at the suggestion of a friend, JJ Anderson, an SDN employee who was moving from Rapid City to SDN’s headquarters in Sioux Falls. Anderson remains with the company in Sioux Falls.
Gabrielson got the Rapid City job and has been with SDN since November 2010. He shares the Rapid City office with two SDN colleagues: Paul Lowe, an outside plant engineer, and Scott Oyen, a network technician.
The most notable changes in the industry in recent years include declining prices for broadband services coupled with rising customer needs and expectations.
“Bandwidth needs keep going up. Customers that have 10 megabit service now might find in six months that they need to go to 20 megabits. A year from now, they might need even more because of new applications that are bandwidth intensive,” he says.
SDN is well positioned to serve companies with rising and scalable connectivity needs, he says.
“Everything hinges on uptime. Outages are a huge disruption for businesses. Fortunately, our network is one of the most stable around. People realize that,” Gabrielson says.
SDN’s network is up more than 99.9 percent of the time. That’s a level of uptime that’s hard to beat, he points out with pride.
Businesses and institutions in the Rapid City area who would like to discuss SDN services can email Gabrielson or reach him by calling 605-978-1049 (office) or 605-877-5898 (mobile).