Employee Directory

Executive Staff

Amy Preator

Director of Human Resources

As Director of Human Resources, Amy Preator manages employee benefits and compensation, maintains consistency among policies and procedures, and oversees recruitment, hiring and employee development and training. 

Vernon Brown

Vice President of Marketing & Community Relations

Vernon Brown manages SDN Communications’ brand through the marketing, sponsorships, events, special projects and community relations.

Mitch Elfstrand

Vice President of Engineering and Operations

As Vice President of Network Engineering and Operations, Mitch Elfstrand oversees the day-to-day development and growth of SDN's network, as well as heading up a team of highly skilled Engineering and Operations staff that architect and maintain all of SDN’s Products and Services on a daily basis.

Bill Heaston

Vice President of Legal and Regulatory

CEO Mark Shlanta says, "as our in-house counsel, Bill keeps all of us out of trouble and brings a higher level of legal, HR, and telecom thinking to SDN."

These days, he spends a lot of his time working on business contracts with wireless carriers. He jokes that his wife, Dorris, won’t let him stop working.

Nick Kortan

Vice President of Corporate Operations

As SDN's Vice President of Corporate Operations (CFO), Nick directs and oversees all aspects of the finance, accounting and credit functions.

Dennis Cromwell

Vice President of Sales

Dennis Cromwell has been a member of the SDN Team since 2006 and enjoys working with customers, learning about their unique business challenges and working toward making their businesses run more efficiently.

Sales Staff

Melanie Sage

Network Account Executive

Melanie has special expertise in assisting customers with Internet solutions and MPLS, a high-performance, data-transporting method. She can also offer a full range of products and services including networking equipment and managed services.

Ryan Punt

Wholesale Carrier Relations

Ryan Punt, who has been in the business since 1999, sells wholesale/carrier services to companies across the nation. He and JJ Anderson are working together to assist you on any wholesale account needs. 

Dan Gabrielson

Network Account Executive - West River, Rapid City, Pierre

Dan Gabrielson’s interesting work history includes stints as a bicycle mechanic and as a fossil hunter. 

He joined SDN’s staff in November 2010 and specializes in selling broadband Ethernet and Internet connectivity.

Dean Putnam

Technical Sales Engineer, CPE

Dean Putnam has been with SDN Communications for 11 years and helps clients build large communications networks that include computers and telephony.

Mark Olson

Phone Systems and Network Equipment Sales

Mark Olson is a senior account executive with more than ten years consulting experience within the technical field. He loves the outdoors, especially hunting and boating in the summer, and uses his musical talents to play the drums for his church's worship team.

Dave Fehrs

Phone Systems and Network Equipment Sales

Dave specializes in selling phone systems, networking equipment, network configuration solutions, servers and data storage, and information security solutions.

Eric Erickson

Senior Account Executive

Eric spent his first five years in the telecom industry in Brookings with Swiftel Communications, which is one of SDN’s 17 member companies. He also worked for 13 years for companies in Phoenix and Sioux Falls before joining SDN.

Dale Buehler

Senior Account Executive

Dale offers customers a full spectrum of telecommunications services: broadband connectivity, premise-based equipment and managed services. He says today's communications features allow even small companies to feel and act like big companies.

Eric Sahly

Senior Account Executive

Sahly enjoys the opportunity to offer business clients a full range of telecommunications services, including broadband connectivity, phone systems and managed services to move, store and protect data.