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Getting to Know: Brian Edleman

As Sales Engineer II, Brian Edleman acts as a technical liaison between sales, engineering, and operations. He also manages DQE’s off-net access vendor relationships.

Before working at DQE, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

As an intern in college, I worked in the HR department for the company that invented snowboarding. They were in the process of rolling out a new CRM system. My role was to interview executive-level management to quantify their employees’ skill sets properly. Sounds boring, right? In hindsight, I was 20 years old, sitting down with those directly responsible for bringing snowboarding to the mainstream. It ended up being an awesome gig.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

This spring, I will participate in my ninth marathon in eight years. I am scheduled to run number ten in Chicago this fall if all goes well.

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

  1. Learn to accept change – it’s not going anywhere.
  2. Be patient and learn to see the bigger picture/opportunity. The work exists for a reason – have faith.
  3. Never wrestle with a pig, the pig loves it, and all you get is dirty.

What are your hopes for our industry?

The pandemic exposed the digital divide in parts of rural America and, to some degree, lower-income sections of urban areas. I hope that both large and small telecommunications companies will bring digital equality to those in underserved areas.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my mind, I like to spend my free time skiing, biking, fly-fishing, and running – all things that I enjoy. In reality, I can usually be found entertaining my kids or out walking the pandemic puppy around Highland Park – you know, the puppy everyone promised to walk.

What does true leadership mean to you?

Leadership is the act of creating a culture that drives people to want to be the best version of themselves while also allowing them to be themselves without fear of retribution.

What drew you to DQE initially?

Who doesn’t want to play for the home team, right? I am a Pittsburgh guy. Before DQE, I spent most of my career in Wholesale Sales selling domestic and international access services to global carriers. It was a lot of pricing tables, spreadsheets, and faceless individuals. Anything that I sold was installed a world away with little fanfare. It was thankless. DQE offered the opportunity to make Telecommunications valuable right here in Pittsburgh.