Applied Connective celebrates 15 years in business as company continues to evolve

ALBION, Nebr. – May 2019 – Applied Connective Technologies is celebrating their fifteenth year in business this month. Originally starting out as a two-man operation focused primarily on IT and communication solutions, Applied Connective has evolved tremendously in the decade and a half since their inception.

Today, the 23-employee business operates as a full-service MTSP, providing customers with expert managed IT, voice, cyber security, physical security, surveillance, audio/video and high-speed wireless Internet solutions. Coming off of what was their best year yet in 2018, the group is well on their way to a year of exciting new developments, bigger office spaces and even higher goals.

Following his college graduation in 2002, Ed Knott worked as an IT professional in Lincoln, Nebr., for a couple of years but was itching to escape the urban environment to settle down in a small town. At the same time, two hours away, Tom Krings, owner of Krings Communication, Inc., was in search of a business partner with technical experience. A mutual acquaintance, knowing both parties’ strengths and long-term aspirations, introduced the two in late 2003, and soon, Tom and Ed began making plans to join forces. Ed moved to Albion in April of 2004, and he and Krings established Applied Connective Technologies in May of that same year, enjoying 11 years of success together before Tom’s retirement in 2015.

“I owe a lot to Tom both as a former business partner and a mentor,” says Applied Connective co-founder and president Ed Knott.

Fast forward a few years, and a picture of Knott assembling a growing team of IT, infrastructure and technical specialists starts to take focus. Little by little, new talent joined the company, and their service offering blossomed from a small shop to a one-touchpoint contact for all of their customers’ technical needs. Due in large part to word of mouth reviews and references from their rapidly growing list of clients, the group has stayed extremely busy.

In the past two years, Applied Connective has seen its staff add ten more employees (and still hiring), one new office in Columbus (in addition to their Fullerton and Albion locations) and countless new customers from all over the Midwest. The group has been recognized twice for outstanding performance in the industry in 2018 and will be moving from their current main office into a new, much bigger office space in Albion before year-end.

“I grew up in a very small town,” says the Taylor, Nebr., native. “And I loved that kind of true Nebraska upbringing. You learn respect and hard work. You develop important character traits much more quickly, and you figure out how to work and interact with a wide range of personalities. Most of our employees are small-town natives themselves as well, so we’re passionate about serving our friends and neighbors in rural Nebraska and beyond. I attribute our success to the skill and dedication each of our employees brings to the table.”

Applied Connective may have some firmly planted roots, but they’re also extremely mobile. Billed as the “technology group that goes the extra mile” on their website, the group certainly travels far and wide to deliver that “Nebraskan” level of personal service to their customers. As if to serve as a metaphor for the company’s evolution—starting in a singular space and expanding into multiple areas—company vehicles take off every day from headquarters in separate directions bound for consultations, on-site work, customer training and installations.

“On a given day, the majority of us typically start out in the Albion office, and within about half an hour, we disperse and scatter. By mid-morning, there aren’t too many bodies left in the office. Everybody’s out delivering personal service.”

In Applied Connective’s early years, customers were mostly localized to Boone County. Today, the company serves customers from Albion to Valentine and Yankton to Utica. And while most of the services they provide are geared toward businesses and organizations, they’ve also found an unexpected niche in providing high-speed wireless Internet to residential customers.

“High-speed wireless Internet certainly didn’t start our as our flagship service here,” mentions Knott. “But high demand in rural communities that have been neglected by larger service providers has kept us busy with installations. We now bring high-speed wireless to hundreds of households from Atkinson to Newman Grove, Albion to Duncan and Fullerton to Petersburg.”

At this 15-year milestone, Knott looks back on all the growth and change they’ve enjoyed but marks the importance of focusing on the future. “I am very grateful for the incredible customers we have and the talented, hard-working group we’ve assembled here at Applied. It’s a dream to be able to live and raise my family here in small-town Nebraska doing what I love,” he reflects.

“I’m very proud of where we’ve come from as a business, but I’m even more excited about where we’re going this year and beyond. We may have had a record year last year, but now our sights are even higher.”

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Kory Bourek

IT Support Specialist

Kyle Oldenkamp

Relationship Manager

Shelby James

IT Support Specialist in the Panhandle

Mandy Luettel

Director of Growth & Development

Noah Burwell

IT Support Specialist

Chase Gragg

IT Support Specialist

Vaughn Finkral

IT Support Specialist

Ron Leimser

IT Support Specialist

Jill Petsche

IT Support Specialist

Nevan Hoffman

IT Support Specialist

Lacey Henn

Administrative Assistant

Andrew Grupp

IT Support Specialist

Heath Murray

IT Support Specialist

Will Frey

AVS Technician

Konnor Gibson

IT Systems Specialist

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned soup
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned stew
  • Canned fish
  • Canned chicken
  • Canned beans
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Rice
  • Applesauce
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Powdered milk
  • Boxed meals
  • Cooking oils
  • Crackers
  • Granola bars
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Detergent
  • Hand soap
  • And any other food, hygiene, or household product that is unused, unopened, and unexpired.

Kenley Silhacek

Senior IT Systems Engineer

Mason Uhing

IT Support Specialist

Faith Nunn

IT Support Specialist

Kara Frey

Administrative Assistant

Brandi Lueninghoener

IT Support Specialist

“Lakeview Community Schools has enjoyed our partnership with Applied Connective. They have been incredibly responsive, knowledgeable, and cooperative as we have worked together. Applied Connective has provided a team-like atmosphere in their service!”

Aaron Plas, Superintendent

Lakeview Community Schools

“We have been very pleased with their communication, efficiency, and customer service over the course of the last few years. We would highly recommend ACT to any other schools out there looking for a reliable partner for your technology needs.”

Brandon Detlefsen, Technology Director

Central City Public Schools

“Their service is always reliable and timely, and the staff are very knowledgeable and friendly. Our needs are their #1 priority! Boone Central is beyond grateful to have top-of-the line technology services and customer support.”

Nicole Hardwick, Superintendent

Boone Central Public Schools

“They’ve been with us every step of the way as we implemented phone systems, security cameras, and keypad doors. Their customer service is second to none, and their business knowledge is outstanding.”

Ronda Weber, Technology Coordinator

Burwell Public School

Applied Connective did an amazing job with our school security cameras. They were very professional and easy to work with. [They’re] patient with our questions and quickly respond when we need some direction. The cameras work great and are very easy to access. Thank you for a job well done!”

Amy Sokol, Principal

St. Anthony's School

Lance Bain

Voice Technician

Brigitte Burbach

HR Manager

Clay Anderson

IT Support Specialist

Brandon Petersen

Relationship Manager & IT Engineer

Relationship Manager/IT Engineer – I work side by side with our clients to ensure they are receiving the best value from our products and services, offer insights to improve their workflows, and resolve any issues that may arise as fast as possible.

Logan Niewohner

IT Systems Specialist

Justin Borgmann

Level 1 IT Technician

As a level 1 IT Technician, I assist customers in their daily IT needs, and respond to any issues that may arise.

Bryce Molt

Level 1 IT Technician

As a Level 1 IT Technician, I provide general help desk support for clients.

Weston Ray


Casey Schalk

AVS Technician

My role as a general technician at Applied Connective is primarily to work with the AVS crew to install and configure surveillance, internet, security, and voice technologies.

Grady Higgins

IT Support Specialist

Eric Beckman

AVS Project Foreman

Kris Wright

General Technician

My role as General Technician includes installation and troubleshooting of door access and camera security systems.

Mikki Mangus

General Accountant

Some of my duties as General Accountant include payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable and reconciliation. I am happy that I am part of the Applied Connective Team.

Heidi Kahlo

IT Technician

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Eric Petsche

General Technician

My role as a general technician at Applied Connective is primarily to work with the AVS crew to install and configure surveillance, security, Internet, and voice technologies.

Kelsi Funk

IT Systems Specialist

Chase Thieman

AVS Technician

My role as an AVS technician at Applied Connective is to work with the AVS team to install and configure surveillance, security, internet, and voice technologies.

Cody Banzhaf

IT Manager

Eric Henn

Voice Technician

My job is to do whatever Ed tells me to. Just kidding…sort of. I am part of the voice group.

Alex Herstedt

Telecom / IT Technician

As a Telecom/IT Technician, I work with traditional and hosted phone systems.

Scott Whaley

Level 2 IT Technician

I’m part of the IT team at Applied Connective, so my days are spent setting up new PCs for customers; troubleshooting broken PCs, printers, etc., and installing new hardware.  

Jessi Larson

Creative & Marketing

I’m in charge of creative content development and marketing here at Applied Connective—advertising, design, copywriting, website management, PR, and social media as well as coordinating philanthropy efforts.

Matt Childress

Relationship Manager

Sara Rasmussen

IT Service Manager

Nathan Niewohner

IT Project Manager

Justin Niewohner

AVS Project Manager

I install surveillance, security, Internet, phone, and audio systems to fit our customers’ needs.

Ryan Robinson

AVS Service Technician

I provide and coordinate technical services and support for infrastructure, access control, surveillance, and audio/video solutions.

Jarod Dendinger

VP of Business Development

My role here at Applied Connective centers on business development, so that involves assisting our team in focusing on value-added processes as well as leveraging technology to provide solutions for our business partners that support them in continued success and growth.

Will Zoucha

VP of Operations

Ed Knott


As President at Applied Connective, I am responsible for organizational direction and general oversight of all product/service areas.