Click here to log in

Dr. Al Kurtenbach

Nominee ~ Class of 2018

First NameDr. Al
Last NameKurtenbach

Company NameDaktronics

Number of Golden Matrix Award Nominations: Over the past two decades, Daktronics was repeatedly nominated as Allied Member of the Year

Golden Matrix Awards Won: Daktronics was named Allied Member Achievement Award in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015

Achievements / Innovations: Founder of Daktronics; CEO and Chairman of the Board of Daktronics (retired). Leader in development of LED Video technology. Leader in development of Scoring and Timing technology.

Major Milestones:

  • Earned B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees all in electrical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the University of Nebraska and Purdue University 
  • Received honorary doctorates from SDSM&T, South Dakota State University and Purdue University 
  • Taught electrical engineering at South Dakota State University and Purdue University
  • Co-founded Daktronics in 1968  

Honors / Awards

  • South Dakota State University Distinguished Engineer Award in 1990
  • Inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1992
  • South Dakota Executive of the Year and the South Dakotan of the Year by the University of South Dakota School of Business in 1994
  • Daktronics named 1994 Entrepreneurial Success of the Year by the Small Business Administration for South Dakota and the Denver Region
  • Outstanding Alumni of the Year by South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 2000
  • South Dakota State University Family of the Year in 2000
  • Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 for manufacturing in a national competition
  • Purdue University Outstanding Electrical Engineer 2001
  • One of five selected as Sales and Marketing Executives International, Inc.'s Academy of Achievement Hall of Fame honorees
  • Daktronics chosen as the South Dakota Business of the Year in 1987, 1989, 1993 and 2000 by the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Daktronics won the top honor in the 2011 Best in Sports Technology category for its work in developing venue-wide digital display systems
  • In 2012 - 2016 Daktronics was recognized as one of “America’s Most Trustworthy Companies” according to Forbes

Industry Affiliations:

Way Nominee has Helped to Further the Industry

Years of IDEA Membership
Years in the Industry: 48

IDEA Leadership: Daktronics was recognized as a Golden Matrix Award Winner for the following: Allied Member Achievement Award in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015, President’s Award (Sarah Rose) in 2009, and the President's Award (Mark Eisenstadt) in 2013.

IDEA Role:

Character Beyond Reproach: In addition to his work with Daktronics, Dr. Kurtenbach currently serves on the boards of the South Dakota Enterprise Institute, the Growth Partnership and the National Association of Manufacturers. He is a member of the South Dakota State University and the South Dakota Community Foundations boards of trustees. He has also served on the Brookings School Board for twelve years, on the South Dakota Board of Regents from 1984-1986, and in the State Senate for the 2004 session. 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. 

Special Consideration: Al Kurtenbach has been instrumental in driving the entire LED video industry within sports since the first the first Daktronics install for Clemson baseball in 1997. He has adapted product offerings to meet the needs of sports venues and teams as his company grew in stride with the industry.

Nominated by: Mark Eisenstadt, Daktronics