Doremus to Retire After 18 Years of Service

Fred shares his Daktronics story with us as we congratulate him on his retirement.

Daktronics congratulates Fred Doremus on his retirement and thanks him for 18 years of service.

“Fred was one of the original Creative Services (Keyframe) account managers and over the years his passion for the work and this industry has never wavered,” said Trisha Schuver, Fred’s supervisor. “He has been trusted and relied upon by many and helped pave the way for a lot of the work that we do today.”

Trisha continued, “I truly appreciate the time that we have had together and all that I have learned from him over the years. He really does have some of the best stories, which you get a small taste of here. He will be missed but I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors!”

Fred shares his story with us:

I have been blessed in so many ways all my life. Good fortune has allowed me to grow up, meet, and ultimately work with some pretty famous, and some not-so-famous, entertainers, players, coaches, GM’s, owners and personalities.

However, I am getting ahead of myself because it all starts with education and the chance to intern while in college at some pretty amazing places. This opened my eyes to what might be possible after I graduated from DePauw University. From getting to walk the Capitol Underground at all hours to witnessing two joint sessions of Congress, including a State of the Union Address live while interning for a Congressman in Washington, D.C., to my Dad’s company where I managed and sold his syndicated radio show. In my final internship I spent time with the Chicago Bears where I was exposed to every facet of the organization; football and non-football. 

This led me to my passion and a quick understanding and appreciation for sports in general, football specifically. It is more than just blocking and tackling; there was a business side to sports that I could make a living at and in turn maybe be able to support my passion to stay involved in sports. In short, I wasn’t going to have to pour concrete to eat and put a roof over my head to stay alive. I realized that I could carve out a place for myself in sports and in football after my playing days were over. I didn’t have to ‘give up’ entirely what I enjoyed so much. Home Run!

Pre-Daktronics, I worked mostly for professional sports teams. Football in the ’80s and hockey in the ’90s. Along the way, I experienced three labor stoppages, maybe four. Two NFL Teams, an NHL expansion team, numerous Super Bowl and All-Star Games, and a couple of failed teams and leagues. I was also part of the team that opened the Ice Palace in Tampa, now Amalie Arena. I was one of the first PR guys to have to learn how to spell Arthroscopic while pounding out the press release on an IBM Selectra II typewriter—no cell phones, no computers. Marketing was a swear word in NFL circles in those days; things have changed in a big way since then. Departments that had three people then now have 50-100 people in these same niches of organizations.

My first video board install was at the old Tampa Stadium in the early ’90s. CRT was still the technology of the period. We learned a great deal about what did and did not work playing to captive fans. Unfortunately, too many bad broadcasts (:30 spots) were the preferred method used by sponsors to convey their message. Our owner wouldn’t spend the money on high-end broadcast gear. We instead put together a mash of new consumer recordable disc players that we played content on to feed the board and the show. These were made from plastic and springs and held together with bubble gum and paper clips to make the first year.

I didn’t learn of Daktronics until a few years later when LED came on the scene. I was introduced to the concept of the zipper effect by one of Daktronics’ former Sales managers in the ‘90s as we were looking to replace our Toshiba cubes at the time. I learned what a hoist was very quickly. Control System? How does that work? LED was in its infancy and we were all learning what could be done with this new, exciting medium.​​​​​​​

The business evolved and changed for the better of course, and we all got better as a result, too. The unfortunate current events that we are all experiencing now will pass also. We will all get to the other side. Wish Daktronics and all of you nothing but the best as you march to a billion.

There are too many to thank individually, so I appreciate this forum to thank everyone for all their help and patience over the years, trying to make me smarter so I was better able to represent Daktronics in the most favorable light possible. It has been a pleasure working with all of you to achieve our goal of making Daktronics the best and the brightest in the industry we all love.

My Mount Rushmore:

Best Owner: Don Dizney, USFL Orlando Renegades

Best Coach: Mike Ditka, NFL Chicago Bears

Biggest TV Star: Lee Corso, Renegades

Best GM: Phil Esposito, Tampa Bay Lightning

Best Player: Walter Payton, Bears

Craziest Players: Jim McMahon, Bears

Greatest Guy: Dan Hampton, Bears

Best Team Council: Rich McKay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Best Boss: Maj. General Bill Klein, retired (CFO for the Pentagon Joint Chiefs), Buccaneers

Best Idea: Started the first multi-channel music delivery system to residential cable customers—precursor to XM Radio. Worked with Bill Rasmussen (founder of ESPN) & Ed Taylor (Ted Turner’s brother-in-law who owned Satellite Syndicated Systems).

Worst Idea: Used florescent light boxes to create a backlit 14’ x 48’ billboard that displayed the team schedule.

Biggest Games I Directed: Lightning/Flyers Playoff Games at ThunderDome, now Tropicana Field

Best Halftime Promotion: Red Lobster Catch of the Day―halftime promotion where a fan had to catch a 40-yard punt from a Jugs machine to win a prize pack.

Best Game-Day Experience Pre-Game: Auburn

Best Game-Day Experience In-Game: Georgia

Smartest Boss and Best Company to Work For: Reece Kurtenbach and Daktronics

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