Team & Advisory Board


  • Michelle Kakacek, CEcD
    Center Director

    Michelle is the Center Director for South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions. She brings an extensive background in business, economic, and workforce development and experience in sales. Prior to coming to MTS she served as the Executive Director for the Watertown Development Company. Michelle is no stranger to manufacturing. In addition to working with area manufacturers in her role with WDC she also worked in production planning and supply chain for a multi-national electronics manufacturer.

  • Brad Fischer Staff Picture
    Brad Fischer
    Senior Business Advisor

    Brad Fischer covers the western region of South Dakota. Prior to joining SDMTS as a business advisor, Brad served as a Plant Metallurgist, Quality Control Manager, Tool and Die Manager, Engineering Manager, Technical/ Sales and Marketing Director, Director of Operations and Regional Manager with nearly 30 years of experience in manufacturing.

  • Kellie Ecker website picture
    Kellie Ecker Kolb
    Senior Business Advisor
    Aberdeen & Watertown Office

    Kellie Ecker Kolb is a Business Advisor covering the northeastern part of the state. Throughout her career she has worked in the newspaper, healthcare and banking industry. Prior to MTS, she served as the executive director for a workforce training and corporate education organization. Kellie’s focus is in coaching, corporate training and development, Training Within Industry (TWI), Lean tools, Technology Driven Market Intelligence (TDMI), Technology Scouting, and Lean Leadership for Supervisors.

  • Pete Menke
    Business Advisor

    Pete Menke is a Business Advisor for South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions. Pete has spent his career working in the manufacturing industry, focusing on process improvement and scheduling process. Pete helps organizations identify opportunities, develop sustainable processes, and can also help uncover if automation makes sense for different parts of their processes.

Advisory Board Members

Tim Hanigan, Banner Engineering

Scott Reisenauer, B9 Creations

Eric Hansen, Sioux Corporation

Gary Larson, Electronic Systems, Inc.

James Girard, DeSCo Architectural

James Sebert, Dakota Pump

Dean Jensen, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Joe Fiala, South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development

Mark Slade, South Dakota Small Business Development Center