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Name: Graham Beynon
Hometown: Brandon, SD
Job title: Software Engineering Manager
What brought you to Sioux Falls?
I grew up in the surrounding Sioux Falls area, so I've always considered Sioux Falls home. After pursuing an education at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and SDSU, I returned to Sioux Falls because it is a great community with expansive opportunities.
What keeps you in Sioux Falls?
The short answer is family, friends, and community. Most of my family reside in Sioux Falls as well as some lifelong friends. The community is a great place to raise a family with many entertainment options. It’s been fascinating watching Sioux Falls grow and evolve into the city it is today; particularly the downtown area.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
The people and the projects. I lead a small team of software engineers in an environment in which everyone is comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. This comfort level and degree of engagement extend beyond my team throughout the entire organization where cross-functional teams are empowered to drive innovation. The projects I'm involved with touch a wide variety of technologies and departments providing a framework for continuous learning and growth. The sense of accomplishment that comes from solving complex problems across multiple departments with creative solutions is very rewarding.
How did you get connected to your industry?
I've been drawn to math and science since I was a young boy, so the field of engineering was always in the cards for me. I changed majors from Electrical Engineering to Computer Science in my second year of college while taking an intro to computer programming course taught by Professor Hamer at SDSU. The course content and his brilliant way of delivering it was the fork in the road that drew me to computers and software development.
Describe SDN Communications in three words.
Serve, Connect, Challenge
What is something someone might be surprised to learn about you?
My son teaches me how to do his kindergarten homework. My son is enrolled in the Spanish immersion program at Sonia Sotomayor where the curriculum is taught entirely in Spanish.
I'm not fluent in Spanish, in fact, I don't know much more than some colors, counting to ten, and a few common expressions. My son (Jaxon) will tell anyone willing to listen that he is "smarter than his dad in Spanish".
What’s your favorite way to give back to your community?
SDN provides a wide range of opportunities to give back to the community. From building houses for Habitat for Humanity and serving meals at The Banquet to adopting a highway and donating blood for the blood drive. My favorite way to give back involves children.
Before Covid, my team and I would participate in Lowell Elementary's computer science immersion program. We had multiple opportunities throughout the school year to interact with the children and celebrate their projects
What’s one business you’d like to see in Sioux Falls that isn’t here now?
A couple that come to mind involve dining and entertainment. A dedicated comedy club capable of bringing some national acts as well as Copeland's of New Orleans southern cuisine.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Being proficient in Spanish and leading digital transformation efforts directly through hands-on technical expertise as well as indirectly through leadership and mentoring.