Dr. Aelred J. Kurtenbach is cofounder of Daktronics, Inc. and recently retired after 45 years as chairman of its Board of Directors. Dr. Kurtenbach is a native of South Dakota and was twice named South Dakota’s Small Businessman of the Year. He was also inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1992. He served on the Education Committee for the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry, as Chair of the South Dakota State Junior Achievement Program, and as Chair of the South Dakota EPSCoR Committee. He currently serves on the boards of the South Dakota Enterprise Institute, the Growth Partnership, and the National Association of Manufacturers.
Ms. Melissa Werner is the Director of Operations of the Brookings Innovation Center. In her role as Director of Operations, she focuses on business development, facility management, and market research of early stage technologies. Melissa graduated from South Dakota State University in 2011 with a bachelors degree from the College of Education & Human Sciences. She is involved in the Brookings Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board for Brookings Area Crime Stoppers.