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Management Team

Tom McDougall :: High Point Networks

Throughout high school, I took on various sales activities in order to have spending money, and I hated it, so I knew I didn’t want to ever be in sales. That was also during the time of infancy of the personal computer, which I never did like, and thought was a fad. In college, the only class I took involving a computer was a required basic programming class. So, it stands to reason that my first real job after graduating college was selling computers!

Honestly, I thought it would be a short term gig, as I had other plans, but they didn’t work out. At that time, I decided to actually really try, and as it turned out, I enjoyed helping others with their technology needs. After a couple years, I was recruited by a Fortune 100 company as an Area Account Manager. Two years later, I was asked to move to a different state, declined the offer, and was hired by a technology firm in Minneapolis to open a branch for them in the Fargo area. Upon achieving marginal success, we started to grow the branch by adding engineering and account management talent, and after a fantastic 10 year run, we decided to part ways, purchased the assets we had created, and in October, 2003, High Point Networks was born.

Today, some people think all I do is work, and others think all I do is play. The truth falls somewhere in between. I truly love what we do at High Point Networks, and I would not trade the relationships we have built with our clients, staff and vendor partners for anything. I do, however, enjoy opportunities to get away where I can pursue quality time with my family. Some of my other major interests include big game hunting, just about anything we can do outdoors, and flying.

In the early 90s, it became evident that most people knew they would need to embrace technology, but had no idea what would be the best investment, nor did they have the knowledge or experience to know how to make the most use of their investment. It caused them to often have equipment lying around not used or underutilized. Our thought was that if we spent more time learning exactly what our customers needed, and if our account managers understood what they were selling, customers would be in a position to fully use what they purchased, and put us in a better position to become trusted advisors rather than sales people. This philosophy has carried forward for nearly two decades, and is the backbone of our entire company.

High Point Networks has quickly become one of the premier technology companies in the upper Midwest, mostly because of our focus on the customer. We understand that technology purchases must provide a measurable return on investment, and our mission is to provide that with every project. Our clients trust us to do what is right for them, solve their challenges quickly, correctly, and in a professional manner. Mistakes happen, and when they do, it’s our job to make it right. These are our promises to you, and it would be our pleasure to prove it!

Justin Fetsch :: High Point Networks

When I was in high school, I took a few computer classes, but didn’t give a career in technology a further thought until a guidance counselor pointed me in the direction of computer science. They told me that technology is something that will never go away, and they were right. Technology is more prevalent in day-to-life now than ever before, and it’s evident I chose the right field, because I love being a part of it.

Now, I have been in the technology industry for over 14 years and have had the privilege of moving from a customer to a vendor. I met Tom while working as a computer intern in Grand Forks when our company worked with him on a few projects. Since I was very young and interested in learning as much as possible, I broke things often, and Tom was always able to help me fix them. During one of our phone calls for help, Tom asked me if I’d be interested in taking what I’d learned with my current employer to companies across the Midwest, and that’s how I started in the field of technology sales. This transition allowed me to learn what customers expect from a vendor. I think more like an engineer, and that is how I was taught to sell solutions to customers. I believe that selling technology isn’t always having the right answer or being the “yes” man; it’s about building a partnership with a customer to provide solutions that solve challenges in their organization.

Technology continues to evolve every day, and you expect a vendor to become a valued partner that can bring you solutions that solve real challenges. Our mission statement is something we use in our business everyday: “Solve real world challenges with a measureable return on investment.” Our goal as an organization is to become an extension of your IT team. We want to present you with products and solutions that are right for your business and that are meaningful and needed, not just the “flavor of the week.” I want you at the end of a project to call me and say “You have great products, great solutions, most of all, great people, and now I need assistance with our next project.” Our engineers are experts at one solution or another, and if they are not an expert in that area, they will bring another team member who is. As a value added reseller we know what solutions we can bring to your organization, but we are also not afraid to walk away if it’s something we aren’t experts in. My goal is to build a long-lasting relationship with customers by making sure every opportunity we have to do business with you is done right the first time.

I’m a North Dakota native, born and raise about as close to the Canadian border as you can get. I was raised to respect people, property, to be honest and always be humble. I love the Midwest, the people who live here, and especially those that I’ve had the privilege of doing business with. Outside of work, I enjoy hunting, fishing, racquetball, boating, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, friends, beagles and most of all my family.

Brad Rutten :: High Point Networks

Early in life, it was clear that I had a heightened mechanical aptitude. I was frequently found dismantling electronic devices and motors to satisfy my curiosity for how things operated - some even continued working after I was done! This healthy desire to understand ramped up when I was fortunate enough to have access to a UNIX system. I later became immersed in the early days of personal computing and learning the uniqueness of multiple platforms available at the time. This talent gave my grandfather the confidence to put a Mac in my teenage hands, instructing me to “make it work” when he decided he wanted to automate the family farm using computers.

I began independently selling computers as a way to make some money during college while studying for a degree in Electronics and later switching to Computer Science. It also gave me the opportunity to play with the newest hardware. At the time, I did not realize how important these customer experiences were, as they provided a strong foundation in technology. Understanding how technology worked from the component level and how it integrated with the software sparked the entrepreneur within.

After college, I was fortunate to work for a large systems integrator obtaining a number of industry certifications and found my passion of helping people utilize technology. Today, with over two decades of experience in the technology industry at corporations of all sizes, I continue to have the same drive and passion.

When we hire new High Point Networks team members, we look for people who will be a great culture-fit for our company. Yes, we want them to be the best in their field, but we also want to enjoy working and interacting with them every day. The team we have is like a family, and that’s what I love about what we do at HPN. By providing best-in-class solutions, High Point Networks has truly become a leader in our industry with many satisfied clients and some of the most skilled engineers I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

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