She has 13 years of prior experience with SDN in other positions and five years in sales jobs with other companies.
Sage returned to SDN in November to become part of the company’s wholesale services team. She and JJ Anderson work with regional and national carriers as well as with SDN member companies. They report to Ryan Punt, vice president of sales.
"If you’re not keeping up with the need for speed and capacity, you’re done. SDN is more cutting edge than anyone else in our footprint.”
The wholesale team helps national and regional telecoms in ways such as providing connections to destinations the companies might not otherwise be able to reach.
Sage has always felt at home with SDN, so she was happy to return. SDN is a nice-sized company – not too big, not too small – and it has a great staff, she says.
In addition, Sioux Falls-based SDN always has been ahead of the game in building fiber optic connections, she says, and the company is quick in coming up with effective solutions to meet the evolving telecommunications needs of business and institutional customers.
“If you’re slow or not reliable, you’re going to suffer in this industry. If you’re not keeping up with the need for speed and capacity, you’re done,” she says. “SDN is more cutting edge than anyone else in our footprint.”
Sage was born and raised in Hull, Iowa; she moved to Sioux Falls after high school. She worked part time for a financial service company and for a chiropractor while attending Southeast Technical Institute, where she earned an associate’s degree in business administration, management and operations.
While with SDN, she took advantage of a tuition-reimbursement program to earn a bachelor’s degree in business management at the University of Sioux Falls.
She first started working for SDN in 1999 as a receptionist, was promoted to a pricing and sales support position, and then became a network account executive. She has experience helping telecommunications customers with everything from broadband connectivity to managed services and equipment.
In addition, stints with a company in in pharmaceutical sales and with another communications company gave her insights about customer service from an outside perspective.
Her new position with SDN exposes her to a different side of the company’s operations, which is an opportunity she welcomes. Like SDN sales executives with other areas of specialty, she usually is in learning mode. But her varied experience in sales and telecommunications gives her a strong base of expertise to call upon to help wholesale clients.
“It’s a different challenge. You’re sometimes dealing with large, Fortune 500 companies. It’s fast-paced. You have to do a lot of critical thinking and strategizing,” she says.
The telecommunications industry and business needs have changed a lot in recent years and continue to evolve, Sage says. Demands are particularly high for wireless providers.
“Businesses are generating and moving more data all the time, and they need to be able to transport it quickly and efficiently,” she says. “Everything keeps getting faster. Everybody wants everything right now. No one wants to wait. We do our best to help.”
Sage maintains a busy pace in her off hours, too. She and her husband, Ryan, have a 5-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter. So, caring for their young children takes up much of their time. Sage also enjoys running, working out and volunteering.
She welcomes the opportunity and challenge of helping wholesale clients with their needs. You can email her or reach her at 605-978-7131.