Don Deibert and Jeff Jacobson recognized a demand in the U.S. industrial metal fabrication market thanks to years of working the night shift at Daktronics.
Deibert began working at Daktronics in 1984 as a manufacturing manager on the night shift. There he met co-worker Jeff Jacobson, who was employed in 1987 in the metal fab department. While both men were working in manufacturing, they noticed production was moving faster than the supplies they had on hand.
“While I was employed with Daktronics, the company was growing rapidly, and the metal shop couldn’t keep up. One of my roles was finding metal vendors that would do work for us,” explained Deibert. “Jeff actually helped me search for some of those vendors.”
The pair decided they could be the ones to fulfill Daktronics’ need. They founded Counterpart, Inc., a full-line precision metal fabricator, in 1995 in Brookings, South Dakota. Counterpart quickly became a supplier for Daktronics that same year.
“We started because we understood that there was a need in the industry,” Jacobson explained. “We also understood that Daktronics was continuously growing, and we knew we could grow with them as a company.”
“Daktronics was supportive from the day we told them,” said Deibert. “And throughout the years, we have been able to grow and change with them.”
Deciding to partner with Daktronics was an easy decision, the pair explained.
“Daktronics is definitely a company we wanted to work for,” said Jacobson. “Not just because we recognized there was a need there, but because the company’s core values match up to ours which is critical in a long-term business relationship.”
Both men left Daktronics in 1996 to fulfill full-time positions at Counterpart. Their company, which started out in a 2,400 square foot building, has grown into a fully integrated greenfield site with more than 80,000 square feet under one roof. They currently have 75 employees and serve a wide range of markets, including component parts and/or assemblies of construction equipment manufacturers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, and electrical cabinets and enclosures for various industries.
Currently owned by Jeff and Tom Jacobson, Counterpart is located down the street from Daktronics’ global headquarters and makes deliveries daily. In the future, they say their goal as vendors is to use their experience and resources to provide high quality, competitive products and services that helps Daktronics maintain their position as the industry leader in electronic displays.
We’re sharing the stories of our suppliers and our people during our 50th anniversary celebration with our #Dak50 storytelling series. Watch other stories, from current and retired employees, on our YouTube channel.
This story is by Megan Teppo
in Employee Communications.