Executive Team - SpecSys, Inc


Kevin Wald, CEO RITALKA, INC.

Kevin Wald, CEO RITALKA, INC.

Kevin was born in Rapid City and raised in Pierre, South Dakota. Growing up, he operated backhoes, front end loaders, forklifts, volumetric concrete trucks, and many types of construction and agriculture machinery.

Beginning his college career at the University of Minnesota-Morris, Kevin found the most important item a university could provide him, his wife of 36 years. This marriage has resulted with three children, a daughter and a son in-law, and 6 grandkids. Transferring to the “Main U” the following year, and graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1985 with a BS Degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics.

Upon graduation Kevin began his technical career in Los Angeles with the premier Aerospace company, TRW. Working for the next 5 years on ballistic missiles for land and submarine launch platforms. While at TRW, Kevin was most fortunate to work with the founders of the “Systems Engineering Processes”. Although technology advancements were important, nothing was more engrained than the importance of engineering development processes. As they said in the 90’s, speed is life, and Kevin has dedicated his career toward fast pace development of very advanced equipment.

Upon departing from the Aerospace industry, Kevin worked on asphalt, and then on agriculture equipment. Developments included feedback control loop systems, custom built circuits and programmed with C++, spraying hot asphalt and spreading fertilizer via GPS links and specific application maps.

After completing an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Kevin began his Contract Engineering and Manufacturing business in 1997. Based in west central Minnesota, from a humble beginning, Kevin and his wife now own 10 rural businesses, with nearly 300 employees, spread across 3 states, and covered by 750,000 square feet under roof. A fully integrated capability allows Kevin’s companies to achieve his life long goal of “fast pace development” of engineering and manufacturing projects.

To date, Kevin has his finger prints on more than 200,000 self-propelled vehicles in the market. Many with advanced automation, controls, electric over hydraulics powered by diesel technologies. Today Kevin’s company’s have projects under development on four continents, and his personal database of names include CEO’s, Senior Management, and Industry Leaders in multiple industries spread across the globe.

Kristine Wald, Senior Vice President of RITALKA, INC.

Kristine is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Moorhead with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Services Administration with a minor in Finance along with a nursing degree. She continued her education at the University of St. Thomas where she received her Executive MBA.

Kristine has been with RITALKA, INC. since 2015. She came to RITALKA, INC. after years in the healthcare industry. Kristine oversees the corporate team that supports the 10 companies in 3 states and 8 locations.

Outside of the workplace, Kristine enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children, and volunteering with the local gymnastics club.

Kristine Wald, Senior Vice President of RITALKA, INC.
Dave Gelhar, Executive Director

Dave Gelhar, Executive Director

David joined SpecSys, Inc. in 1999, when we were just a group of 5! David’s role in the early years focused on building a manufacturing operation that supported our customers with prototype services to complement our Engineering Services. As the company grew, so did the need for robust systems and processes that would allow for successful management and execution complex projects. Much of the systems & processes we use today have their origins in what was set-up 20 years ago. David served as President of SpecSys, Inc. from spring of 2006 through fall of 2017. Currently, David’s role of Director of Sales & Marketing has him much more outward focused on client and business development.

Prior to SpecSys, Inc. David held positions in both Product Development and Sales and Marketing for Tyler Industries / CASE IH. In this role David was part of a small team working to transfer technologies used in agriculture equipment to maintenance equipment used by airports and DOT’s. Upon modest growth and successful product refinement, this product line was eventually spun out and sold by CASE IH.

David attended the University of North Dakota where he studied Industrial Technology and Engineering.

Jon Wald, Executive Director

Jon graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, with a major in mechanical engineering.

Jon brings 30 years of engineering and project management experience. He enjoys working with the company team, involvement of technical details, overseeing projects and accounts, leading multiple company initiatives and programs, along with interacting / coordinating with our clients and customers to provide successful projects. Jon is responsible for program management and is currently the acting Vice President of Engineering.

Jon has a loving wife and four teenage children, one in college and the other three not far behind. He enjoys travel, golf and fishing and most of all spending time with family.

Jon Wald, Executive Director
Tallen Wald, Senior Vice President of SpecSys, INC.

Tallen Wald, Senior Vice President of SpecSys, INC.

Tallen graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a minor in coaching. He continued his education at the University of St. Thomas where he received his Executive MBA.

Tallen joined SpecSys, Inc. in 2012 after a 7 year hiatus from when he worked on the shop floor in the Granite Falls location during college. Tallen joined SpecSys, Inc. as the Plant Manager of the New Ulm location when the company expanded. Tallen now oversees the operation that includes Project Management, Supply Chain Management, Plant Operations, and Manufacturing Engineering across 4 locations.

Outside of the workplace, Tallen enjoys spending time at the lake with his wife and 3 children, and volunteering with the local wrestling team.

Mark Jaspersen, VP of Account Management

Mark is a graduate of Moorhead State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Business Administration.

Mark has been with SpecSys since April of 2013. His first role was in operations with the SpecSys team based out of our Granite Falls location and then project management with the RVI group in Redwood Falls. In January of 2015, he moved over to the Account Management. Prior to his career with SpecSys he spent five years working in the banking industry as a loan officer and from 1992 to 2004 he worked as General Manager of a convenience store chain and in 2004 he purchased ten convenience stores and operated them until the spring of 2013.

In his free time, he enjoys golfing adventures throughout the Midwest with his friends, smoking a brisket or pork shoulder.

Mark Jaspersen, VP of Account Management
Kayla Ruikkie, Senior Attorney of RITALKA, Inc.

Kayla Ruikkie, Senior Attorney of RITALKA, Inc.

Kayla graduated from the college of Saint Benedict with a Bachelor’s degree in management. She continued her education at the University of South Dakota where she received a Juris Doctor degree.

Kayla joined us in April of 2019 in the role of Legal Counsel. Prior to joining us she spent 7 years at a railway maintenance company, holding numerous jobs there within HR, ending as Director of Compensation, Benefits, and Training. Kayla is not only the Senior Attorney, handling all legal matters for RITALKA, she also heads up our Human Relations department.

In her free time Kayla enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys. They enjoy traveling and try to visit a new country every year.

Cody Dyshaw, VP of Operations

Cody graduated from Concordia with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He continued his education at Southwest Minnesota State University where he received his Executive MBA.

Cody joined us in 2014 in Project Management, and also has overseen the Project Management group as a team leader. Prior to joining us he spent time working with Edward Jones as a financial advisor and Western Coop Transport gaining valuable experience in management and communication. As Vice President of Operations Cody now oversees Plant Operations in Granite Falls as well as Specials Project Management across 4 locations.

Outside of the workplace, Cody enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, and spending time hunting and fishing in the great outdoors.

Cody Dyshaw, VP of Operations