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Volume 21 No. 1
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What I Like: Jay Parker, Daktronics


What I Like …

An influential person in my career: Dr. Al Kurtenbach, co-founder of Daktronics. He had the vision, saw the need, and created an industry leader around serving customers.

An out-of-the-box idea: Need-based solutions created by Apple with their family of products. Staying connected for business and personal needs via social communications.

National Sales Manager,
Live Events,

Where I'm from: Hometown: Pierre, S.D. Current residence: Brookings, S.D.

Where I Went to School: Commercial economics, South Dakota State University; master’s in business administration, University of South Dakota.

My First Job: Worked at McDonald's as a cook.

A sports facility: Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Daktronics’ first indoor “Super System” installation with a uniquely designed center-hung display that has been replicated throughout our industry.

A sports event: March Madness captures the country and dominates the sports pages. There are always David vs. Goliath matchups, buzzer-beater games and Cinderella stories.

A trend: Information on demand, at our fingertips. Fans want scores, statistics and video on demand. Mobile devices, LED, IPTV and control technologies make that possible.

An innovation: Smartphones. The power in the hand-held device is amazing and the future is unlimited.

Xcel Energy Center
A hire: The recent hire of Urban Meyer. Can this move be a game-changer for the Ohio State University footballprogram and the rest of the Big Ten Conference?

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Performance-enhancing clothing (Under Armour/Nike).

A fantasy job: A successful football coach.

What I Like About …

Urban Meyer
My job: I am a true sports fan. I enjoy all levels of sport. My job allows me to stay very connected to the sports industry and the sports page.

Sports: It’s a reflection of real life: hard work, dedication, teamwork, discipline, accountability.

Sports technology: The integration of LED video, digital signage, scoring, stats, IPTV and control technologies in a truly integrated system … and the ability to paint or brand an entire facility with the touch of a button.

Competing: Makes you wake up and stay motivated.

What I’d Like To …

See: The economy getting out of the slump it is in.

See more of in sports: Fans getting more access to the athletes and the ability of the family of four to afford attending events on a regular basis.

See more of in sports business: Another Olympic Games on U.S. soil.

See less of in sports: Tattoos, long hair and trash talking. Athletes are role models for the youth of today and need to set good examples.

See less of in sports business: Colleges in the headlines for rules violations. Let’s all play by the rules … no one is above the rules.

See different: Purchase decisions based on price alone.

What I Don’t Like …

In general: I believe in the Golden Rule, but too many people believe it means “He who has the gold makes the rules.”
Pet peeve: Excessive touchdown celebrations. Act like you’ve been there before.

In sports: Free agency. I grew up where players stayed with the same team for many years. I miss player and fan loyalty. I like fantasy sports, but where did the loyalty to the team go?

In business: Politics. There is too much of it in the world today. It often gets in the way of making sound business decisions.

About sports fans: I love team loyalty, but all need to be respectful of visiting teams and their fans. Everyone should have fun at sporting events.


What I Like …

That would surprise those who know me: I am an “American Idol” fan. I cannot sing, but I really like professional karaoke.

About myself: I strive for work-life balance and work hard to juggle the busy business world and still have time for my family.

Heroes: Bear Bryant, Bud Grant, Tom Landry: Quality coaches who survived the test of time.

Players: Walter Payton, Jerry Rice.

Possession: My boat. I love to be on the water on a hot sunny summer day.

Memento: Framed photo from opening night for the Minnesota Wild given to me by a couple very special friends.

Books: “Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will” and “How to Be Like Coach Wooden.”

Authors: I follow Jeffrey Gitomer. He writes great selling books and articles.

iPad apps: Documents To Go, Keynote, TripIt.

Chores: Yardwork. Nice to get outside and enjoy the day.

Hobbies: Boating, watching my children’s events.

Trips: Trips with family and friends watching my son play college football.

Tim McGraw
Movies: “The Bourne Identity.”

TV: “SportsCenter” and “Suits.”

Concerts: Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks.

Artist: Terry Redlin.

Food: A great hamburger.

Dessert: Flaming bananas Foster. Wow, if done right, is to die for!

Drink: A cold beer, especially at a great game or on a hot summer day.

Vacation spots: Hawaii and Huntington Beach, Calif.

Cars: Chevy Suburban, the all-purpose machine for living in the upper Midwest.

Quote: “Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard,” and “You can’t expect change if you keep doing the same thing.”