Dan Tonelli Celebrates 35 Years

  • Dan in Master Control
  • Dan and Truck

“I look forward to coming into work, I don’t dread it.” Dan Tonelli, Engineering and Operations Manager at TeleProductions, said this the day his co-workers celebrated his 35th year with the company. After 35 years at the same place, Dan still enjoys waking up to come to work everyday.

Thirty-five years ago, Dan started working with TeleProductions as a high school student repairing televisions in the residence hall lounges. After he graduated, he went on to attend Kent State and continue his work with TeleProductions.

Throughout the Years

He moved from Television Technician Helper to Cable Technician, then Master Control Operation, Remote Operations Engineer, Operations manager and now to Engineering and Operations Manager.

In the 80’s, he had the opportunity to work on a memorable PBS documentary with TeleProductions. Back then, a lot of documentaries were produced here, and were mostly played throughout the region. This nationally run documentary was about the Holocaust. Dan worked with the director to edit the project.

Working With the Best Team Yet

As Dan moved up to his various positions at TeleProductions, this became a place he loved to be. While he loved the job, he also finds great value in working with the students. He believes that this is valuable to their education at Kent State, saying “They can’t learn in the classroom what they learn in the environment…[I like] to work with, and share our knowledge with students.”

One thing that keeps him coming back every day is knowing that the work he does with the students is what eventually gets them good jobs in the industry. Co-worker, Jason Forbes says, “One of the things that I respect most about Dan is the relationships that he has created across the campus with many different departments, and people and the care he has for sharing his knowledge of the video business with others on the staff and the students that we work with.” 

Dan loves sharing what he knows about this business, and it’s been a big part of his time with TeleProductions, and time in the industry after 35 years. The other part is the people he has the opportunity to work with. “I’ve worked with some great, really talented people…these people are so versatile and there’s not a thing I’d be afraid to take on because they’re that good.”

One of those people Dan works with is Jim Hurguy. Dan played a big part in bringing Hurguy to TeleProductions. Hurguy, currently with TeleProductions, is now the lead designer for many projects, and works with the athletic department to make many of their motion graphics. Jim and Dan had run into each other working with the Library for a few years.

When TeleProductions lost a few people to a web design and distance-learning project, they found themselves needing to fill a hole. Jim began working part time, and eventually, Dan asked him to come over full-time.

Although they don’t work together regularly, Hurguy makes it a point to thank Dan at least once a year for bringing him over. Both praised the team they work with, and appreciate the hard work and talent that comes from every department, and the way that everyone can work as a team.

Although Dan praises his coworkers for their knowledge and talent, Dan too has shown his intelligence and drive as he created a piece of what TeleProductions is today.

Production Truck

Building the Production/Satellite Uplink truck was a long process. It started out with Dan designing a production package called a fly-pack, and eventually rose to a full-scale production truck with satellite uplink. Dan designed the truck, found the products, and worked with a company to fit everything into the truck. It was completed in April 2010, and Dan drove out to Chicago to pick it up.

This left TeleProductions with some unique production opportunities, now that they owned the equipment. After the truck was built, TeleProductions went to Columbus to broadcast football, New Jersey to cover a senator’s race, Washington D.C. to cover a political satirist show, and to various universities in the region to cover football games for ESPN3.

“I wish I had 35 more years…”

From fixing TV’s to designing a production truck, Dan’s 35 years have been memorable and invaluable to TeleProductions. Dan looks forward to more years in this field saying, “I’m not ready to sit in a rocking chair some where. I’ve got a lot of gas in the tank.” It’s easy to not want to stop; especially when he loves so much what he does with the people here. Even after 35 years of work, Dan says, “I wish I had 35 more.”

  • Dan in the Van
  • Dan and Teleproductions
  • Dan and the man
  • Dan and the Van
POSTED: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 10:35am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 12:29pm
Lauren O'Kane