Robinson has been a network account executive for SDN since April 2018. He’s also a 30-year, working resident of the Rapid City area.
COVID-19 brought challenges to the community, as it has to other regional hub cities. But as Robinson notes, the pandemic has not erased past business growth nor diminished the city’s promising future.
Prospects for the community and the company are bright, he said.
“I consider myself blessed to be here during this stage of SDN’s growth cycle,” he said.
Reasons for his optimism about business growth include a recent federal grant that SDN received to improve broadband connectivity in the Nemo, Rochford and Silver City areas of the rural Black Hills. Another grant, which would improve services in the northern Black Hills, is being pursued.
In the meantime, existing companies in the Rapid City area are consuming increasingly more bandwidth and more business growth is expected, Robinson said.
“It’s only going to get bigger with the new bombers coming to Ellsworth,” he said.
Ellsworth Air Force Base, which is near Rapid City, has been designated as an initial host site for the U.S. military’s coming B-21 bombers. The next-generation aircraft are expected to bring new airmen and support personnel as well as demand for new construction and buildings to the Rapid City area.
Meanwhile, adjusting to pandemic life continues. The easily spread illness has slowed leisure travel across the United States and could temporarily hurt Rapid City because the area depends heavily on tourism for its economic well-being. However, Robinson is beginning to see some seasonal tourists in the city.
“COVID-19 has definitely changed the way we conduct and do business in all aspects of life,” he said. Like many people in the business world, he has been working out of his home in recent months.
Ironically, the pandemic has actually increased local businesses’ needs for bandwidth and telecommunications services related to private networking and security.
Normally, Robinson would share an office with three other SDN employees based in Rapid City: Scott Oyen, lead network operations technician; James Nash, a network technician; and Paul Lowe, an outside plant engineer.
Robinson reports remotely to Ryan Dutton, commercial and enterprise sales manager. He works with a team of SDN colleagues that also includes Dave Fehrs, senior account executive; Jon Clayborne, network account executive; Ryan Punt, vice president of sales; and Kelly Wieman, service delivery coordinator.
Robinson has a wide mix of working experiences and a record of adaptability that serves him well in the continuously evolving world of telecommunications. He also knows the Rapid City area well, which helps him assist customers.
He was born and raised in eastern Montana and moved to Bismarck, N.D., where he met his wife, Sue. They’ve been married for 31 years and have two children who are in their 20s.
Robinson moved to Rapid City in 1990 to become a sales manager for Combined Insurance. After working there for about six years, he became a territory manager for KFM, a food-brokerage company. In 2000, he became a youth pastor and is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. He has served several local churches and continues to occasionally officiate weddings. He’s also taught and coached at Rapid City Christian School.
After he decided to get back into business, he took a job as a residential sales representative for a telecommunications company and a few months later took advantage of an opportunity to join SDN.
Another plus for his resume’ is that he’s scheduled to graduate from the Leadership South Dakota program in August 2020.
His variety of work experiences has helped him learn to read and understand people and their needs.
“In all those positions that I’ve had, one of the key skill sets you need is to be good at listening. That’s the same with my role now,” he said.
He covers an extensive sales territory for Sioux Falls-based SDN. His market area essentially includes all of western South Dakota, plus the capital city of Pierre. When the need arises, he will also work with SDN member companies in the region to help meet customers’ needs.
Businesses in the Rapid City area that would like to consult with Robinson may call him at 605-978-7140 or reach out directly through the form on his bio page.
SDN 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.