Meet Our Team

Vernon Smith CAT Squared
Vernon Smith, President / CEO

Vernon grew up on a family-owned poultry farm in South Africa and has extensive experience in the poultry industry. He earned Bachelor of Commerce degrees in computer science and business economics as well as an Honors degree in computer science. Before co-founding CAT2, Vernon worked as a food-industry process control specialist.

Stefan Schoeman CAT Squared
Stefan Schoeman, Vice President / CTO

Stefan was educated in South Africa where he earned a National Diploma in electronic engineering and a Diploma in data metrics. Before co-founding CAT2, Stefan worked as an electronics engineer and process control specialist for the metal industry. He now serves as CAT2's vice president and process control specialist; he also designs and develops all of CAT2's plant-floor data collection and process control applications.

Kathy Barbeire-Bruton, Marketing Manager

Kathy came to CAT Squared in 2015 with more than a decade’s worth of experience in web development, graphic design, and building strategic partnerships. Kathy graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional and technical writing and a double minor in sociology and information technology. She then returned to UALR and completed the MBA program. She worked as a project manager at Ken Hubbell and Associates for five years managing communications and strategic planning projects for the firm’s clients including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the University of Namibia’s Northern Campus. She then worked at Our House, a shelter for the working homeless. There, she built systems to track clients’ progress through the shelter’s programs and built strategic partnerships to expand the shelter’s adult education programs. She then served as director of marketing and public relations for The Salvation Army’s Central Arkansas Area Command for over five years before joining CAT Squared.

Aristides Urdaneta, Project Lead / Technical Sales

Aristides (Art) Urdaneta holds a BA in computer science and business, and a MA in finance. Aristides has applied his expansive educational background to the food industry for over 25 years. With experience spanning customer support, software design and development, accounting, and project management, Art has implemented our systems over several countries and multiple US states. Since arriving in the United States with his family in 2003, Art has merged his unique knowledge of the Latin American food industry with CAT²’s diverse international offerings. Art continues to be a vital player here at CAT2, employing his fluency in English, Spanish,  and Portuguese, and his knowledge in multiple systems to provide a great support experience to our customers.

Jeremiah Moon Senior Software Engineer CAT Squared
Jeremiah Moon, Sr. Software Engineer / Team Lead

Jeremiah graduated from the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree with a minor in management information systems. He has served the CAT2 team for over a decade and is now our senior software engineer and team lead. In this position, Jeremiah is responsible for project management, software development, documenting technical specifications & requirements, customer support, and managing one of our software development teams.

Mark Bowden CAT Squared
Mark Bowden, Research & Development Manager

Prior to joining CAT2 in 2006, Mark was a lead developer and senior project analyst for General Electric's medical software division. Mark now oversees the design and development of the next generation of CAT² software tools, which incorporate the latest Microsoft technologies including .NET Framework and Reporting Services. He also uses his experience in developing cutting-edge integrated software suites to provide high-quality, feature-rich applications to our customers.

Karen Lambert CAT Squared
Karen Lambert, Development Manager

Karen graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management information systems, with an emphasis in programming and analysis, and upon graduation was selected by the College of Business Administration to receive the Outstanding Graduate in Management Information Systems award. She minored in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies as a graduate from the UCA Honors College. Before joining CAT2, she lived and studied in California after receiving an Honors College grant to work as an intern at the C.S. Lewis Foundation, a non-profit organization. She joined CAT2 in 2003 and has served in many different positions over the years, from office manager to team lead to customer support manager, and most recently serving as CAT²'s development manager using her expertise in software design and development to contribute to CAT2's innovative software solutions.

Joseph Ganann, Senior Customer Support Manager

Joseph joined CAT Squared in 2019 as customer support manager. Prior to joining the CAT Squared team, Joseph earned a B.S. in accounting from the University of Central Arkansas and transitioned from accounting to software development in 2013. Joseph is skilled in business finance, communication, strategy and design, project management, and project scope development. Joseph is a huge baseball fanatic and enjoys BBQing and cooking for friends and family.

Donna Henderson, Finance & Administration Manager

Donna Henderson came to CAT2 in 2011 with 25 years of experience in purchasing, project management, and logistics. She studied business administration at Mountain View College in Dallas, TX. As finance & administration manager, Donna manages all aspects of project accounting, purchasing equipment, materials management, and logistics. In her spare time, Donna loves to camp, hike, and spend time with her family.

Arturo Nito, Implementation Specialist / Senior Manager of CAT2 Mexican Office

Since 2005, Arturo has been implementing and supporting CAT2 solutions for various food processing companies in Latin and Central America, Turkey, and the United States. He earned his degree as a computer systems engineer from the Instituto Tecnológico de Celaya (ITC) and has over 20 years of experience in IT with troubleshooting and improving technical processes. Prior to coming to CAT2 he worked for General Electric, supervising and coordinating the installation of electric turbines.

Barbaros Ulker
Barbaros Ulker, Technical Sales - Eastern Europe & Middle East

Barbaros joined the CAT Squared team in January 2019 and is responsible for technical sales and implementations for Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East regions. Barbaros holds a degree in mechanical engineering, and, before joining CAT Squared, he worked for one of the largest poultry and beef producers in Turkey for 25 years as a technical manager. In his spare time, Barbaros enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter.

Corey Wright
Corey Wright, Software Engineer

I graduated from Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s in Industrial Technology and worked for 5 years as an Aerospace Manufacturing Engineer, where I began dabbling in software development to automate processes around the factory. After realizing I had a passion for telling computers how to do things, I left the world of manufacturing to pursue a career in software development, and I enjoy it today as much as I did when I began. I grew up in a town with a population just under 300, where there were literally more cows than people.

Cory Fortson, Automation Engineer

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electronic and computer engineering technology in the spring of 2018. I enjoy challenging tasks that allow me to grow stronger and push further. I believe success is in teamwork and look forward to a long-term career with the CAT Squared team. In my spare time I can be found hunting, fishing, or spending time with my wife and two children.

Damian Clegg, Implementation Specialist

Damian Joined CAT Squared in September 2019 as an implementation specialist in Hereford, UK. Previously, Damian worked for Cargill Meats Europe (CME) for over 15 years where he was an operations data analyst, prior to this he was a manager for CME's retail chicken business. Damian has extensive knowledge of the food industry and the manufacturing supply chain. Outside of the office, Damian is a big family man and loves to spend time with his wife and three children. He also likes to ride his motorcycle around the UK.

Dede Gifford
Dede Gifford, Purchasing and Shipping Coordinator

Previously served CAT Squared as office manager from 2005 to 2011 and returned to CAT Squared in 2019 as the purchasing and shipping coordinator with 15 years of experience in accounting, purchasing, logistics, project management, office management, and accounts payable. Studied accounting and business management at Arkansas State University. As purchasing and shipping coordinator, I’m in charge of the purchasing, logistics, equipment and materials, and accounting involved with projects and customer orders. I like the constant action in the office, the camaraderie of the CAT Squared team, and the opportunity to support the team and customers daily. Things I enjoy in my free time are camping, boating, walking, dancing, music, and spending time with family, pets, and friends.

Mike Hodge, Senior Automation Engineer

Prior to joining the CAT Squared team, Mike worked for Caterpillar NAMG for five years in North Little Rock, Arkansas and was responsible for PLC programming, robotics, automation and controls factory-wide. He was involved in developing five existing conveyor systems, ensuring increased productivity and more operator-friendly user controls. His work led to functionality improvement within robotic cells, productivity increases through manual controls and human interface.

Mike was born and raised in New Zealand and received his formal education in New Zealand, Australia and the United States with a broad skill set in mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering. He has been involved in forestry in New Zealand, mining in Australia and heavy manufacturing in the United States.

Mike has traveled extensively throughout the US and Canada, lived in Denver, Colorado and settled in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mike is a New Zealand citizen and has been a resident in the US for 22 years. He is married to Tracey, has two daughters and two sons and lives at the foothills of the Ozarks.

Mike is an outdoorsman and likes mountain biking, extreme kayaking, whitewater rafting, motorcycles, aviation, camping and fishing.

Eduardo Rodríguez, Software Developer

Eduardo joined CAT Squared as a software developer in December 2018. He studied Computer Systems Engineering at the Instituto Tecnológico de Celaya and is currently seeking a master's degree in Web Technologies and Mobile Devices. He began his career as a software developer (web, desktop and reporting) and supporting the main production system in a manufacturing plant. In his spare time, Eduardo loves playing the ukulele, reading and spending time with his family, friends and dogs.

Elvis DeAbreu
Elvis DeAbreu, Software Engineer

Elvis joined the CAT Squared team in 2016. "I really like working at CAT Squared because my coworkers are so nice, and I love what I do. I really enjoy working with our customers and seeing the value we bring to their companies. I love binge-watching TV with my wife. We have a list of 100+ shows that we want to watch (more than 5000 episodes), hopefully we will be able to watch all of them in this life time."

Enrique Espinoza, Software Engineer

Enrique joined the CAT Squared team in 2016 as computer systems engineer in our Mexican office. "I'm finishing my Masters in Engineering of Distributed Software. I've enjoyed studying technology since I was 12 years old and knew I wanted to pursue a career in that field. I'm very excited to be working at CAT Squared. This is an opportunity for me to test my abilities and become part of a great team. On a personal note, I like video games and consider myself a gamer. I also like movies and reading about new technology."

Ethan McKee, Software Engineer [Intern]

Ethan joined CAT Squared as an intern in 2019. "I love the challenging and friendly environment. My wife and two daughters are very excited to see me dive into a career I'm passionate about. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next."

Hector Barron Valle, Process Automation Specialist

Hector is a process automation specialist with nearly two decades of experience in the food industry.

"I am a specialist in process automation and implementation and my job is to define, together with the plant and administrative staff, the strategic measurement points for obtaining yields and efficiencies, identifying improvements to the processes to achieve better performance in the different departments. , which is why most of the time is to be in the plants implementing and training. I really like my job. Working at CAT Squared is like having a ticket open to the world, and, thanks to this, I have been able to experience many places and people. I especially enjoy working with our clients. In addition to having a working relationship, we often maintain a friendship, which is very valuable for both of us."

Jack Teague, Implementation Specialist

Jack graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in biological and agricultural engineering and performed graduate research in food science. He has a variety of food plant experience in peach processing, egg production, and instant and frozen rice production. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, watching basketball, and hanging out with his wife and two dogs.

Javier Jimenez, Sales Manager - Latin America

Javier joined the CAT Squared team in 2019 and brings with him 28 years of experience in the food processing industry in various capacities. Javier's experience includes heading quality assurance at a Pilgrims Pride processing plant and becoming a corporate project manager (1991 to 1995); he went on to become a site project manager for Cantrell/Meyn - Latina America (1996 - 2000); In 2001, he started selling food processing equipment from Dapec, Stork and Foodmate. His education includes a BA Northeastern Illinois University (Applied Math) and certificates in production and inventory control (DePaul University) and total quality management (Crosby Institute).

Jazmín Hernández, Software Engineer

Jazmín joined CAT Squared's team in 2019 and works in our Mexico office supporting our PPTS applications. She graduated from the Instituto Tecnologico de Celaya specializing in information technologies. "Working for CAT Squared is big opportunity for me to enhance my skills. I've learned a lot from my coworkers while supporting our customers. Being a part of a multi-cultural team has been a great experience."

Jeremy McKee, Software Developer

Jeremy McKee graduated from Pulaski Technical College in 2011 with an Associate of Science degree. After graduation, he began building a career in .NET development, primarily working in the healthcare and food service industries. At CAT Squared, his responsibilities center around mobile applications development, services, and web applications. Jeremy also coordinates with the R&D team bringing with him his experience developing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

Joe Hilton, Software Developer

Joe joined the CAT Squared team after an internship while attending the University of Central Arkansas, where he graduated summa cum laude in computer science. He's now a software engineer on the Research and Development Team. "I really enjoy working with the lively crew at CAT Squared to come up with innovative solutions that meet what our customers expect. When I am not creating solutions at CAT Squared, I am usually hanging out with my wife and two guinea pigs. I also really enjoy travelling and have been to nine countries."

Joe Wendell, Business Development Manager

Joe grew up in the manufacturing industry working in the family business building custom commercial cabinetry. He then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business before starting in the food industry. "I started at Cargill in 2005 as a customer service representative. Over the next 10 years, I worked hard to move up through the company, being promoted into positions such as regional router, pork procurement regulatory manager, scheduling manager, and data automation manager. While at Cargill, I won awards for innovation and process improvement and was runner up for the employee of the year award. In 2015, I became a livestock procurement manager for Smithfield Foods where I served for two years before transitioning to CAT Squared."

Joseph Davidson, Software Developer

Joseph joined CAT Squared in 2015 and has become a key resource developing new functionality for CAT Squared's Clarion applications. Most recently, Joseph developed a new hold systems for our FSQM module.

Jossie Stephen, Project Billing Coordinator

"I am from Chile and moved to the United States in 2001. I attended UACCM (University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton). Upon completion, I opened and ran a family business in 2013. In 2017, I had the wonderful opportunity to join the CAT Squared team. I enjoy exercising, hiking, reading, shopping, outdoor activities, and spending time with my husband."

Karime Esparza, Software Developer

Karime joined CAT Squared in 2016 as a computer systems engineer in our Mexican office. "I am from Durango, Mexico. I'm very curious and enjoy studying a variety of topics. When I was 19, I played the violin in a philharmonic orchestra, but now, I only play guitar in my spare time. I enjoy reading about technology (new, old... anything). I like music, but programming is in my blood. I also like playing video games, especially the strategy genre."

Kevin Martin, Continuous Improvement Specialist

Kevin joined CAT Squared in 2015 working in our accounting department. After completing his degree at UCA, he became a business analyst helping CAT Squared and our customers develop real-time reporting tools with Power BI.

Kirby Shrable, Software Engineer

Kirby graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway with a bachelor's degree in computer science in August 2017 and joined the CAT Squared team in December that year. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to learn and grow in the programming career-space. In my spare time, I enjoy movies (cheesy or not), music, games, and the odd book."

Lyle Helton, Implementations & Project Manager

Lyle started with CAT Squared in November 2016 as a plant subject-matter expert with 26+ years of experience in pork processing. His career began as a line employee in 1990 and progressed into management roles in QA, operations, and customer service. Lyle was instrumental in implementing HAT / FSQM in operations and safety programs at the facility. He is experienced with HACCP, process improvement, third-party auditing, and understands the daily challenges for processing facilities. In his spare time, Lyle enjoys spending time with grandchildren, family / friends, and grilling / smoking pork. When time allows, he can be found somewhere fishing, which typically results in at least catching bottle bass from a cooler!

Meredith Mattingly Software Engineer
Meredith Mattingly, Software Developer

I grew up on a tiny island off the coast of Maine and went to high school in Bar Harbor, ME. I started my career at a small point-of-sale company based in Portland, ME in 2002. They taught me the Clarion programming language, and I started developing software for them shortly after. I continued working for them until 2019 when I left to join the CAT Squared team.

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling and sometimes being a couch potato with my better half. I am an avid baseball fan and follow the Boston Red Sox closely.

Michelle Jimenez, Software Developer

Michelle is a Software Developer in CAT Squared's Mexico Office where she develops and supports .NET projects including LIMS. "CAT Squared is a great company to work for with an amazing team. I really enjoy supporting our customers and seeing how we bring unique value to their operations."

Raul Cornejo, QA Tester

Raul joined the CAT Squared team as a quality-assurance tester in 2018. He works out of our Mexico office testing and assessing the quality of our applications, creating technical documentation, translating documentation for customers, and analyzing customer business problems to be addressed with our software changes. In his spare time, Raul plays soccer and enjoys gaming.

Remington Hicks, Sr Web Applications Engineer

Remington Hicks joined the R&D team at CAT Squared in April of 2020. He has spent the last six years helping farmers reach their sustainability goals with easy-to-use, intuitive web applications. In his free time, he attempts to write and share his thoughts on functional programming and domain-driven design, when he is not playing with Lego.

Sinhue Baez, Software Development Manager

Sinhue is a software development manager for the CAT Squared office in Mexico. He leads the design of our system integration tools used by customers around the world and oversees the support of our .NET applications. Prior to joining CAT Squared, Sinhue served in software development roles maintaining applications, leading B2B integration projects and standardizing development practices and procedures with TATA, Bachoco and the federal government in Mexico.

Somkiat Kulklom, Implementation & Support Specialist

Somkiat joined the CAT Squared team in 2017 and supports our projects in Thailand. He has a bachelor's degree in computer science and 18 years of experience in information technology. Prior to joining CAT Squared, Somkiat worked for nine years in the poultry industry for Cargill Meat Thailand. In his spare time, he likes to play badminton, and he enjoys travelling.

Tanner Sullivan, Technical Writer

Tanner joined CAT Squared in 2016 as an intern and was officially hired as a full-time employee in January 2018 after officially graduating from UA Little Rock in the fall of 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional and technical writing and a minor in information technology. Tanner is pursuing a Master of Arts in professional and technical writing and plans to finish his thesis in the fall of 2019. "I enjoy traveling, cooking, and getting to chow down on some good food. I have focused a lot of my education on learning about new technology and innovation. I hope that, by working with CAT Squared, I am able to continue that education and improve myself professionally."

Tyler Carroll, Technical Project Manager

Tyler joined CAT Squared in 2012 as our implementation specialist before being promoted to technical project manager in 2016. He now uses his experience to lead project implementations. Prior to joining the CAT Squared team, Tyler earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management information systems from the University of Central Arkansas. Tyler is skilled in business intelligence, software implementation, project management, communication, and project scope development. Outside of the office he enjoys travel and the great outdoors.

Val Dychok, Software Developer

Val joined the CAT Squared team in November 2014 after studying as an international student at the University of Central Arkansas where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management information systems and a Master of Science degree in applied computing. Val supports the development of our handheld applications. He is also fluent in three languages: English, Russian, and Ukranian.

Will (Mingyang) Yu, Implementation Specialist

Will joined CAT Squared in 2019 as a member of the implementation team. He started college in China majoring computer networking. He then transferred to the University of Central Arkansas and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. He has experience with web development, IT support, supply chain management, and the food industry.

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