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Jake VanDewater, Ryan Dutton promoted, take on new responsibilities

Jake VanDewater & Ryan Dutton
Jake VanDewater | Ryan Dutton

SDN Communications is growing its leadership internally and has promoted two experienced telecommunications employees. CEO Mark Shlanta and his executive team at the Sioux Falls-based company recently announced the promotions of Jake VanDewater and Ryan Dutton.

Dutton, a network account executive based in southern Minnesota, has an extensive background in telecommunications and consulting and was recently named the Commercial/Enterprise Sales Manager.

VanDewater, who has served as SDN’s Director of Network Operations for more than three years, was promoted to Vice President of Engineering, Operations and IT.

Jake VanDewater speaks on a panel with Chris Aeilts

VanDewater joined SDN in November 2015 as Director of Managed Services and CPE (customer premise equipment) and had more than a decade of experience in telecommunications and computer networking. He was later promoted to Director of Network Operations.

Prior to joining SDN, VanDewater was the Chief Operating Officer at Sioux Valley Wireless, where he worked for about five years. Before that, he was the Director of Network Operations and Engineering for DigitalBridge Communications in Ashburn, Va., and served as the Director of Internet Services for Teton Wireless in Idaho Falls.

VanDewater was born and raised in Hot Springs. He graduated from Northern State University in 2003 with a degree in management information systems.

In his VP role, he will lead the strategic direction for engineering, operations and IT at SDN. The heads of the three divisions will report to him and he will report to Shlanta.

“It’s a job that certainly comes with challenges, but they are challenges that I’m excited to take on and work through,” VanDewater said.

Ryan Dutton Speaking at a member event

Dutton, who also has national experience in telecommunications, joined SDN in November 2016 as a network account executive stationed in Blue Earth, Minn.

In Blue Earth, he focused on assisting SDN’s customers and member companies in southern Minnesota. The 2016 expansion of SDN’s South Dakota network now also links eight telecoms in southern Minnesota and one in northern Iowa.

In his new position, Dutton will split his time between Sioux Falls and Blue Earth and lead a team of account executives and support staff based in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Team members include Senior Account Executive David Fehrs, Network Account Executive Jon Clayborne, Network Account Executive Greg Robinson, and Service Delivery Coordinator Kelly Wieman.

Dutton will continue to report to Ryan Punt, vice president of sales.

Dutton grew up in Blue Earth. He’s worked in telecommunications since he graduated in 1998 from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., where he earned a degree in marketing management.

He began his career at BEVCOMM in Blue Earth, where he worked for seven years. After that, he spent 11 and a half years with Cronin Communications, a national business that provides consulting services to the rural telecom industry. He started at Cronin as the director of market research and training and advanced to executive director.

Going forward, he says he and the SDN sales team will be obsessive about staying in front of customers and prospects, especially businesses and organizations with multiple locations that need highly dependable, high-performance connectivity.

SDN Communications is a leader in providing business internet, private networking and cloud connectivity to businesses and organizations in communities such as Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Worthington and the surrounding areas.