Meet the Team: Brandon Johnson
Brandon Johnson, a Sales Director at Everyone Counts, is no newcomer when it comes to the election industry. With his ability to wear many leadership hats, Brandon has served as both the Help America Vote Act Coordinator and the Director of Elections for the South Dakota Secretary of State. His previous experience has given him a unique professional perspective that allows him to really understand the needs of Everyone Counts’ customers.
Q: When deciding to attend North Dakota State University to study Business Administration, what were your career ambitions at the time?
A: Well, when I first started at NDSU, I wanted to be an architect. I still do in some regards. Long story short, I switched to business at the beginning of my third year. Oh, how things have changed!
Q: How did you get involved with the Help America Vote Act and the Secretary of State?
A: After 10 years at an international logistics company doing the same, mundane work, I decided that I wanted something different. I was visiting with my wife’s uncle and he knew the person that was just hired as the Election Director in South Dakota and there was an open position for the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Coordinator so I decided to apply.
Q: Was the transition from Director of Elections to Sales Director new territory, or did your previous experience help you excel in the sales role with Everyone Counts?
A: It was a tough transition for me at first. I knew the industry and I had the relationships at the state level, but I didn’t know many people at the county level throughout the country. I also wanted to make sure that the relationships I did have were not affected by my transition to the vendor side.
I didn’t have much sales experience at the time, so I had to learn sales in some regards. All in all, it took me a good six months to really settle into the role. With our current focus on voter registration and my experience, I feel completely at home in my role.
Q: In your previous role as Director of Elections you were tasked with procuring a Voter Registration System for the State of South Dakota. What specifically about this major task helps you empathize with other states and counties who may realize it is time to upgrade their systems?
A: Well to start, the fact that the State and the counties had to log into five different systems to access information was a clue! It just seemed so much harder than it actually needed to be. It took me one week at that job to realize that it was definitely time to upgrade.
Q: Do you feel that your success as a Sales Director can be credited to the fact that you’ve been in the shoes of a Voter Registration System customer?
A: Yeah, absolutely—I know exactly how they feel. It’s frustrating to do tasks that could be so much more simple. Elections always seem to be on the back burner for funding and it’s hard to work with outdated equipment when threats and challenges are current.
Q: What led you to Everyone Counts? What sets them apart from other election vendors?
A: The overall culture of the company is phenomenal. Everyone Counts’ team are innovators who are always looking at the elections industry from a higher perspective. I knew that I could really make a difference in the elections industry and help bring elections into the 21st century.
Q: Curious minds would like to know, what activities or attractions would you recommend to a visitor or South Dakota?
A: Obviously Mount Rushmore is the number one tourist attraction in South Dakota. I highly recommend attending. For anyone that enjoys the outdoors, the Black Hills and the Badlands are outstanding areas to enjoy. There are actually all sorts of activities to do in South Dakota! I would recommend going to Deadwood, the historical resting place of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane.