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WHO WE ARE

Meet our team!

CodaBears is not just a company, it is a group of experts available to help you. Each of the individuals below is a valued member of the CodaBears’ family. Each brings their own experience and insight to solving your issue.

Click on a team member’s name to read more about the person.

Calvin Dekker

Calvin Dekker has been working with the Epicor ERP software in its various incarnations since 1994. Yes, way back then, and that company is still a customer of CodaBears!

After getting DCD implemented, he started working with other companies to help them implement and use the software as well. Eventually forming a consulting group that would help install, implement, and customize the ERP software. Along the way he helped form the user group system in 1995 and still moderates the Epicor Midwest User Group in Chicagoland. He has been instrumental in starting up many other user groups around the country, organizing a User for User conference in 2000, and has presented at Insights several times.

Being an advocate for the customer is something he continues to champion. The customer should have a voice in the development and maintenance of software they utilize for their business. With any partnership, both the parties need to be engaged.

Calvin has a wide variety of knowledge in the manufacturing industry. His family has owned several manufacturing businesses and he was intimately acquainted with running each of them. He looks for ways to improve how business runs, not just how to use software. That improvement may be implementing a module, training users how to use the system better, acquiring a different software, or even how to change something on the shop floor to improve efficiencies. He is not limited to looking strictly at what the software can or can’t do. Sometimes processes and people must change to become more efficient and Calvin has a knack for finding those potential changes and improving business all around. This philosophy is the foundation behind our Business Process Review to help clients find gaps in their software usage and processes.

Besides a deep interest in customers and software, Calvin is also multilingual; speaking 13 languages including English, Spanish, German, Dutch, Japanese, and ASL.

Calvin has a wide variety of interests outside of work: theater, current events, astronomy, knitting, pottery, travel, motorcycles, and family.

Epicor Certifications

  • Financials Level 1

Fred Zelhart

Fred has been programming professionally for over 30 years and has seen many changes in the software industry over that time. He started out writing educational applications to teach basic math and reading skills and transitioned to developing advanced math tutoring systems and contact management software. He was Chief Scientist for a medical charting company leading and architecting their windows client/server development as well as coordinating beta testing for that application. Next on his path Fred become a consultant specializing in windows and web applications including e-Commerce applications for B2B and B2C applications. This experience carried over into being the Lead Systems Architect at an insurance corporation building a consumer portal allowing salespeople and customers access to quotes and applying online for coverages in various states. This portal led the way in insurance for handling state-specific rules and forms over the web and pioneered e-sign processes via the web for legal documents. Fred then worked with a financial company to develop a goals-based online savings website designed to encourage and teach younger consumers to save.

The variety of industries and complexity of programming requirements that Fred managed served Fred well when he joined forces with Calvin Dekker in creating CodaBears, Inc. They partnered to combine Calvin’s experience with Epicor and Fred’s programming knowledge for the ideal foundation to support the Epicor Community. Fred and Calvin anticipated the direction that Epicor was taking with SQL Server and advanced customizations. Fred’s diverse experience in programming gives him the ability to quickly engineer a solution using the Epicor software as well as other native .NET calls, 3rd party tools, and other libraries.

Having designed databases for several of the applications described above, Fred is very familiar with SQL database design and development. He has also managed several database servers during the life-cycle of the above software give him battlefield knowledge of how to manage and run servers that is beyond what one finds in a book.

Throughout his career Fred has placed an emphasis on information sharing and education. CodaBears believes the only way people improve is by developing their skills. To that end, Fred created training programs and weekly learning sessions to foster the skills development in those with whom he worked. That education emphasis continues with CodaBears in their Lunch & Learn programs and the C#, SQL, and SSRS classes offered by CodaBears. Fred continues to develop custom interfaces, applications, websites and education courses while at CodaBears.

Microsoft Certifications

  • Microsoft Certified Database Administrator
  • Microsoft Certified Application Developer
  • Microsoft Certified Professional

Epicor Certifications

  • Tools Management Certified
  • Tools Level 1, 2 & 3
  • Financials Level 1 & 2
  • Installation Level 1 & 2

Education

  • BA Computer Science and German majors, Math minor – University of Northern Iowa
  • MA Computer Science Education – University of Northern Iowa

Angela Strope

Angela began her career in finance at an early age. After finishing college, she joined an industrial lighting company as a Purchasing Agent and Inventory Specialist.

When that company moved out of state, Angela went back to school to pursue an advanced degree, and to take time to decide where her career path should go. She worked in the hospitality industry as a back-office trainer, teaching accounting departments of a large vacation-resorts company how to use the hospitality financial software efficiently and conducting audits for them along the way.

Angela enjoyed the teaching aspect of her job so much that once again she returned to school. She earned her teaching certificate after a few years, and tutors in Math for a local school district.

Angela joined CodaBears in 2013, as a part-time bookkeeper. Her position with CodaBears has grown over the years, and she remains with us today as the Human Resources and Accounting specialist.

Epicor Certifications

  • Financials Levels 1 & 2

Other Certifications

  • CPA since 2018
  • SHRM-SCP Senior Certified HR Professional since 2018
  • M.Ed with Math Specialist Endorsement – Lewis University

Education

  • MBA Accounting & Finance major, Forestry minor – Northern Illinois University
  • M.Ed with Math Specialist Endorsement – Lewis University
  • BS Environmental Science – Northern Illinois University
  • BS Physics major, Particle Physics minor – Northern Illinois University

Bill Golis

Bill has been working in Information Technology and Manufacturing for over 25 years. He brings a unique perspective to the table having held senior management positions in Production, Quality Assurance & Purchasing in addition to Information Technology. Having been the IT Director during an accelerated implementation of Epicor Vantage at a mid-size manufacturing company, Bill lead a successful install & implementation to go-live in just 5 months while simultaneously maintaining the company’s business systems and results. Bill’s manufacturing experience includes managing multi-year projects with Fortune 100 companies as well as small one-and-done efforts with family owned concerns immersing him in a wide breadth of cultures and organizational structures.

Bill’s path lead to him to CodaBears in 2011 as the company’s third full-time consultant. He excels at implementation fieldwork as well as business process design, system troubleshooting and testing. His philosophy that business results must drive the Information Technology process was instilled during his graduate school work and “boots-on-the-ground” experience. One of Bill’s signature quotes is “No one plans to fail, they just fail to plan”. He brings this methodical data driven mindset to bear on all his consultation and management work.

Outside of work Bill is an avid traveler, cyclist, and swimmer.

Epicor Certifications

  • Financials Level 1

Education

  • Master of Business Administration in Operations – DePaul University, Chicago
  • Bachelor of Science in Technical Packaging – Michigan State University

Chris Calato

Chris’s tech career started in 2001 as a lowly help desk technician supporting an order entry system and its assorted backend applications. He was soon one of the supervisors of the help desk and eventually worked his way into development where he started with VB6 and VB.Net working on the same applications he supported at the help desk. For over 10 years he has worked primarily as a C# developer with occasional forays into other technologies that have proved useful along the way like HTML, JavaScript, SQL, Java, and Xamarin.

In his free time, he has helped to produce 3 offspring and raise them into their teens, so far. He seems to enjoy cycling, snapping the occasional photograph, car maintenance, and listening to music. He also enjoys cooking, baking, and curing his own meats and sausages. He spends many of his weekends in ice rinks supporting his son’s hockey teams and being the team photographer. He tries to live a science-based life, using reason and critical thinking to navigate the world, constantly aware of our cognitive foibles. That predilection to logic and reason helped lead him to the world of programing and development and makes him a lot of fun to be around.

Frank Jones

Frank graduated with a degree in Chemistry (yes, Chemistry) and has taken a long winding path through Quality Control and On-Site Technical Services, moving into Industrial Sales working in factory lubricants, metalworking fluids, CMS program at Ford Motor Company, .as well as plating/ metal finishing markets.

All of this led to being the Midwest Sales Manager for Memex and OEE machine monitoring software in 2014. In 2018, Frank connected with Calvin and Fred and the partnership between CodaBears and Memex was born.

In early 2022, Frank joined the Sales team at CodaBears and brings his 35 years of sales and industrial application experience to assist clients utilize Epicor and CodaBears arsenal of knowledge to the fullest.

Frank is an avid soccer fan, especially the Premier League in England and is a long-time fan of Liverpool. He enjoys his growing family (two grandsons), traveling and what the next chapter holds.

Joe Johnson

Joe's experiences include: serial control of devices via proprietary programming languages, cable management, cable termination, and strong understanding of cabling standards. He has extensive on-site customer facing experience dealing with a variety of situations ranging from sales opportunities, servicing critical systems, and installation of new equipment. He worked as a Project Manager with projects ranging from millions to thousands of dollars and created documentation for installs including block diagrams, IP tables, programming notes, and training documentation. Joe likes to educate clients on new technologies and services.

Karen’s first interest in computers was in high school, where she took classes in school and after hours at a business. She has worked in the information technology area for over 25 years, working mostly with the software products but also in the hardware areas. In addition to the information technology area, she has experience working in accounts receivable. She held positions that include Accounts Receivable Manager, Information Technology Manager, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Specialist and now Information Technology Consultant. She started in accounting, while working in the computer area along the way. A short time later, she became a full time information technology employee. She has worked with several manufacturing software systems and several EDI software systems along with value added networks (VANs). The varied programming skills she had from college and her on-the-job skills have allowed her to be very useful to her previous employers and now for CodaBears, Inc.

Karen came to CodaBears, Inc. with deep knowledge in Service Connect and EDI and a great working knowledge of the Epicor Software. She has increased her skills and Epicor knowledge by self-training, internal training and working on many Epicor customer-based projects. Since then, additional skills enhancements have been achieved in programming languages (C#, VB.net), in her query skills (SQL and Business Activity Queries), report writing skills (Crystal and SSRS reports) and many other technical areas of the Epicor software. Traveling on-site to clients and encountering new business scenarios has increased her knowledge in practical business functions. Working with the team at CodaBears has been a benefit in both directions.

Karen’s skills in other areas also transferred to CodaBears such as Advanced Print Management, Bartender software, customizations and dashboards. She has developed customized projects for additional EDI options that include sending EDI to vendors and creating pack slips using EDI data.

Karen is known internally to be exceptional at documenting and training clients for many of the tools used in the Epicor software. She has presented several Lunch & Learn programs, along with internal training sessions. Recently, she has been going on client visits for implementing the newer versions of Epicor software. This experience allows her to give a different perspective and also learn from the clients about new ways to use the software.

Outside her professional career, Karen enjoys crafts, riding motorcycles and attending charity events.

Epicor Certifications

  • Manufacturing and Distribution Level 1
  • Manufacturing Level 2 & 3
  • Tools Level 1, 2 & 3
  • Financial Level 1 & 2
  • DocStar Document Management - DocStar ECM CSE Partner Certification 2018-2019

Other Certifications and Honors

  • Intermediate certificate of knowledge in Excel and MS Access
  • Top Walker for the American Heart Association in past years

Education

  • Associate Degree in Business Data Processing – Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Continuing Education class in Project Management – Waukesha County Technical College
  • Ongoing classes for Epicor Certification and additional classes at Epicor Insights

Kay Repika

Kay began her career as an Insurance Agent. Her drive to help her customers plan for their future while still enjoying the present made her successful. Kay developed excellent people skills during this time.

Kay made the tough decision to leave her professional life to be a stay-at-home mom when her children were born. She wanted to be sure that she could give her 100% to whichever path she chose, and of course, family comes first.

Kay returned to the workforce as a document custodian for a high-profile home loan corporation, where her responsibilities included accurate review of each loan, mortgage, and flood/hazard claim, and archiving all documents, while offering outstanding customer service to the homeowners. Her compassion and outgoing personality added to her success.

Kay joined CodaBears in 2016 as a customer service representative. Her background in customer relations, and her ability to connect with the customers proved to be a winning combination! Her role with CodaBears has evolved over the years to include sales assistance, scheduling, and project management. She continues to assist our family of customers in a warm, and understanding way, and she continues to have a drive for excellence in her own role, as well as that of CodaBears.

Kevin Mulanix

Kevin has been working in IT for nearly a decade now. He started small as a helpdesk technician where he focused on sharping his skills with both hardware and software. Eventually he was able to move to desktop support and handle more advanced technical issues. He was able to slowly transition to more and more complicated tasks and discovered a desire to become a network administrator. Today Kevin is currently focusing on learning more and more about network administration and is always looking for ways to improve his knowledge pool. He specializes in windows administration, networking, and virtualization. Kevin enjoys a good challenge and doesn’t like to leave work unfinished.

Kevin likes working with puzzles and brain teasers. Combining that with an interest in IT only came natural with the consistent evolving climate that technology demands. A computer is just like a puzzle. All you need is the right pieces in the right places and the solution comes together.

© 2022 CodaBears, Inc.