Team & Advisory Board
Don CuperusCenter Director
Don Cuperus is the Center Director for South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions. He has spent his career working in the South Dakota manufacturing industry as a production engineering manager, engineering manager, process improvement manager, corporate trainer, and now as a business advisor. He specializes in helping companies with strategic planning, root cause analysis, cultural development, problem-solving and PDCA.
Keith DeibertBusiness Advisor
Keith Deibert is a Business Advisor for South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions providing consulting services for South Dakota's Manufacturers. Throughout his career he has been an electronic design engineer, plant manager, vice president of operations, Lean corporate director, and president. He has focused his efforts in helping organization become Lean enterprises.
Trevor WeinrichBusiness Advisor
Trevor Weinrich is a Business Advisor for South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions. Trevor has spent his career working in the manufacturing industry as a manufacturing engineer and production manager. Trevor specializes in helping organizations identify opportunities, develop sustainable processes, and create a strong culture of problem solvers.
Kellie EckerBusiness Advisor
Kellie Ecker 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.
Brad FischerBusiness 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.
Travis ThiexAutomation Expert
Travis Thiex is the TAP Robotics Business Advisor for South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions. His primary role is to assist manufacturers and companies with implementing strategic automation into their facilities. He brings a wealth of robotic welding and automated control experience to the team as well as experience in consulting and managing. Before joining the team, he served in a variety of different roles including operations supervisor, industrial engineer, and president of Impact Engineering Solutions.
Jackie RungeBusiness Operations Administrator
Jackie Runge is the Business Operations Administrator for South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions. She has extensive knowledge in administrative duties and is a great asset to the team. Her role helps keep everyone organized and informed. Throughout her career, Jackie has worked in both the private and public sector. She loves building relationships with clients and connecting people to valuable resources. With an enthusiastic and genuinely friendly attitude, Jackie continues to ‘make things happen’ and add value to the organization.
Sara WevikMarketing Specialist
Sara Wevik's focus at South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions is marketing. She is responsible for maintaining the company’s social media platforms, promoting events, and building client relationships. In this role, she is also responsible for managing the “What’s So Cool about Manufacturing?” student video contest. Sara loves the variety of each day brings as well as the meaningful relationships she builds.
Advisory Board Members
Bart Brost, Showplace Wood Products
Jack Finger, Sioux Corporation
Dean Johnson, Prairie Industries
Mark Moffatt, Moffatt Products
Tim Hanigan, Banner Engineering
Scott Reisenauer, B9 Creations
Eric Hansen, Sioux Corporation
Gary Larson, Electronic Systems, Inc.
Dean Jensen, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Steve Hauck, Lake Area Technical Institute
Venky Venkatachalam, University of South Dakota
Mark Slade, South Dakota Small Business Development Center