(605) 696-5600 | 2301 Research Park Way, Suite 146 | Brookings, SD 57006


Jay Bender
Mr. Jay Bender, Chairman of South Dakota State University Growth Partnership, is the President of Falcon Plastics Incorporated.  Falcon Plastics is a family owned business that provides injection molding, blow molding, finished good assembly, tool design and building, rapid prototyping and engineering.  He is also the past chair of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Brookings Economic Development Corporation.

Barry Dunn
Dr. Barry Dunn is the President of South Dakota State University.  Dunn received a bachelor’s degree in biology at SDSU in 1975 and subsequently completed two graduate degrees in animal science—a master’s in 1977 and a Ph.D. in 2000—at the Brookings campus. He became the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences in 2010. He also served as director of SDSU Extension and as a professor of animal science. Dunn has a rich academic background, was a successful rancher and farm operator and is a published author and researcher. He is a nationally recognized expert in beef production and ranching systems, and is a member of several professional organizations, including the Society for Range Management, the American Society of Animal Science, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Kevin Tetzlaff
Mr. Kevin Tetzlaff is the President/CEO of First Bank & Trust Brookings.  Kevin joined Fishback Financial Corporation as a college intern in 1991, and upon graduation from South Dakota State University, has been with the organization since.  He has served in various roles within the organization, including a nine year stint as President/CEO of First Bank & Trust Milbank; and he returned to Brookings in his current capacity in 2008.  Mr. Tetzlaff currently serves on the SDSU Foundation Board of Trustees, serves as Chairman of both the Brookings Economic Development Corporation and the SDSU Jackrabbit Advocates and he is also a Past-Chairman of the South Dakota Bankers Association.  

Aelred Kurtenbach

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.

Jim Morgan
Jim Morgan retired in 2013 after 12 years as president and CEO of Daktronics, concluding a four-decade career at the Brookings-based electronics manufacturer, which is the world’s industry leader in designing and manufacturing electronic scoreboards, programmable display systems, and large-screen video displays. He joined Daktronics in the company’s first year of operation as its first design engineer, while still a college student. He remains on the company’s board of directors. Morgan is a graduate of South Dakota State University, where he earned both his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in electrical engineering.

Larry Tidemann
Senator Larry Tidemann is a member of the South Dakota State Senate.  He previously served as a member of the South Dakota State House of Representatives from 2004-2010.  Senator Tidemann is a graduate of South Dakota State University and is a retired Director, Associate Dean and Agriculture Program Leader. He also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is the Chair of the Government Operations and Audit Committee and the Retirement Laws Committee.

Ryan Krogman
Mr. Ryan Krogman is licensed real estate broker in the State of South Dakota for 18 years and a broker/owner of Century 21 Gustafson Krogman and Assoc. since 2001. Born and raised in Brookings and current resident of Brookings County, Ryan has a Bachelors Degree in Business Economics from South Dakota State University and was a four year letter winner in baseball. Ryan was recently elected to a second term to the Brookings County Commission.

Dwaine Chapel
Mr. Dwaine Chapel is the Executive Director of the Research Park at South Dakota State University.  Mr. Chapel previously served as the Executive Director of the Madison-based Lake Area Improvement Corporation since 2006, where he worked closely with state legislators, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and members of South Dakota’s congressional delegation on economic development and growth in the area.  Dwaine is a South Dakota State University graduate, with a master’s degree in Industrial Management from the College of Engineering.

Melissa Werner

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.