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PRAIRIE PEOPLE: Week ending March 22

Kurtenbach named Distinguished Engineer

BROOKINGS, S.D. — Reece Kurtenbach, head of the world’s largest scoreboard and message board manufacturer and Brookings’ largest private employer, is this year’s Distinguished Engineer as chosen by the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at South Dakota State University.

A 54-year-old Brookings native, Kurtenbach has been president and CEO of Daktronics since 2013.

The 1982 Brookings High School graduate and 1987 South Dakota State graduate in electrical engineering will be honored at the April 24 Distinguished Engineers and Scholarship Banquet at Club 71 in the Dana Dykhouse Stadium.

Kurtenbach began his full-time career at Daktronics in January 1991 and became president and CEO in 2013. Under his leadership, sales have topped $500 million, a manufacturing plant was started in Shanghai and a production facility was purchased in Ireland as the international market has grown for this Brookings-based firm.

In fiscal year 2018, Daktronics had all-time highs in sales ($610 million) and gross profit ($146 million). It has 2,400 full-time employees and 300 part-time or student employees, with the majority of each category working in Brookings.


Ulteig names Farrell as new senior vice president

FARGO, N.D. – Mike Farrell has been named Ulteig’s senior vice president of civil and field services.

Farrell will oversee the civil business that serves public infrastructure clients, particularly those in the transportation and water sectors, as well as Ulteig’s project management and land services businesses.

Farrell has a 30-year career in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, most recently with the rank of colonel. Prior to joining Ulteig, he served as commander of a task force that managed and executed the $300 million Mosul Dam remediation project on behalf of the government of Iraq. He received numerous military awards and decorations across his career, including the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star awards.

Farrell earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Princeton University, a master’s degree in construction engineering from Cranfield University and a master’s degree in national resource strategy from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University.


Essentia Health hires physician assistant in Moorhead

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Physician Assistant Chelsea Reich has joined the Walk-In Care Department at the Essentia Health-Moorhead Clinic in Moorhead.

Reich earned a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.