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OSP, a telecommunications trade magazine reaching an international audience, has named SDN Communications CEO Mark Shlanta a Progressive Rural Network Evolutionary.

He and other honorees are featured on the cover of the print publication released this week.

The cover story promotes: “Read how four rural providers embraced the challenge of staying relevant by making network strides despite their size.”

Shlanta has been at SDN 17 years, 15 of those as CEO. Under his leadership the company has become one of the fastest growing South Dakota businesses. There were 14 employees when he started in 1998; today SDN has 185. Initially the company’s fiber was only in South Dakota, but today it reaches into seven other states – extending from Billings to Minneapolis and Fargo to Kansas City.

SDN is owned by 17 of South Dakota’s independent telephone companies. They are cooperatives, municipal, family and tribal-owned companies covering 80 percent of South Dakota’s geography. Together they’ve amassed a 30,000-mile fiber optic network touching every corner of the state and connecting businesses, schools, and government for Wide Area Networking, Internet and Managed IT Services.

Last year SDN announced that six Minnesota telephone companies and one Iowa company asked SDN to interconnect their networks to provide more business-to-business connectivity. That interconnectivity will be complete by the fourth quarter, expanding SDN’s fiber footprint to the Wisconsin border and from the Twin Cities into northern Iowa.

The OSP online story can be viewed at: http://www.ospmag.com/issue/article/Progressive-Rural-Network-Evolutionaries

Gene McGowan Sr. has joined the Board of Directors of Minneapolis-based Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. McGowan is the founder and chief executive of the McGowan Capital Group in Sioux Falls. Granite City Food & Brewery operates 32 restaurants in 13 states, including one in Sioux Falls. The company also operates five Cadillac Ranch All American Bar & Grill restaurants in five states.


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