December 27, 2016
Mike Kappel, Chief Executive Officer
Michael J. Kappel is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Patriot Software Company and its subsidiaries. Upon earning his Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Ohio University in 1980, Mr. Kappel worked in the Nuclear Equipment Division at Babcock & Wilcox, a publicly traded company that focuses on advanced energy and environmental technologies and services. During his tenure at Babcock & Wilcox, Mr. Kappel was often promoted where he spent two years in intensive training at the nuclear manufacturing facility and went on to lead many major computer systems projects. In 1986, Mr. Kappel saw unlimited potential in the relatively young software industry so he left the corporate world to start Patriot Software Company and its five successful subsidiaries: Synergy Data Systems, LLC (1986); Top Echelon Network, LLC (1988); Top Echelon Contracting, LLC (1992); Career Marketplace, LLC (1995); and, Patriot Software, LLC (2002). With more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and small business owner, Mr. Kappel is passionate about small business and its profound impact on the American economy.
Michael Wheeler, Chief Legal Officer
Michael A. Wheeler is the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) of Patriot Software Company and serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors. In his role as CLO, Mr. Wheeler has a deep understanding of the Company and handles all executive-level matters as Chief Compliance Officer, Investor Relations Officer, and he oversees Patriot’s legal, compliance and human resources departments as General Counsel for the Company. Mr. Wheeler has been with Patriot Software Company for ten years in roles such as General Counsel, Corporate Counsel and President and Corporate Acquisitions Director. In addition to his business experience as President of a Patriot subsidiary, he is a licensed attorney and has experience in corporate restructuring, M&A, contractual matters, employment law, insurance, real estate and governmental compliance. Mr. Wheeler holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Legal Studies from the University of Mount Union and a Juris Doctorate from The University of Akron School of Law. Mr. Wheeler serves on the Finance and Property Committee for the Greater Stark County YMCA Board of Directors and is active with various professional and civic associations. Prior to coming to Patriot Software Company in 2006, Mr. Wheeler worked at LexisNexis.
Senior Management Team
Todd Schmitt, Controller
Todd B. Schmitt is a CPA and serves as Controller for the Patriot Software Companies. Working with the Patriot companies for more than eleven years now, Todd actively manages the day-to-day operations of the accounting department, provides financial analysis and reporting for management, consults on software development projects, and supervises various payroll and HR functions. His main goal is to assure management of the integrity of the financial data and the safety of corporate assets used to run the Patriot businesses daily.
Prior to coming to Patriot, Todd accumulated 21 years of public accounting experience while working for Hall, Kistler & Company, LLP, concentrating on corporate audit and taxation matters for a myriad of closely-held businesses. This analytical, financial background provided a solid foundation for his transition into the private accounting world at the Patriot companies.
Upon graduating from Malone University with a BA in Accounting and Business Administration, Todd took up permanent residence in Canton in 1982. He has been married to his wife 32 years, and has a son earning his Master’s Degree in college, and a 14 year-old daughter. Todd serves his church as a Board Member and Treasurer, as well as a Sunday School teacher and worship team member. For fun, he enjoys anything with the family, sports, reading and travel.
Paul Bailey, Chief Technology Officer
Paul Bailey serves as Chief Technology Officer for the Patriot companies and he is the President of Synergy Data Systems. Paul has worked for Patriot since 1991. He began as an intern while earning his degree from Stark State College.
Back in our early startup days, before the modern-day internet existed, Paul wrote our applicant tracking software in the FoxPro programming language for executive recruiters. The software ran on desktop computers and could only be updated with 5 ¼-inch floppy disks. In the mid-90s, he retooled his team and began writing web-based software for job seekers and recruiters using HTML 2.0 and Visual Basic 3. In 2001, Paul led Patriot’s leap into the new millennium with the launch of our first cloud-based applicant tracking software for recruiters, Big Biller.
Today, Paul manages the day-to-day efforts of Synergy Data Systems. He and his team keep many aspects of the Patriot companies running smoothly, from system design and hardware infrastructure to software development and lead generation.
On a personal note, Paul has savored over two decades of wedded bliss with his high school sweetheart, and they are raising 4 teenage children together. He has enjoyed coaching youth basketball for the past 15 years and spends the rest of his (very little) free time exercising, playing video games, and going on weekly dates with his wife.
Mark Demaree, President of Top Echelon, LLC
Mark Demaree is President of Top Echelon, LLC. He has been in the recruiting and staffing industry since 1999. He also has 10 years of experience as an Engineer and Marketing Manager in the high-performance racing industry through BF Goodrich and Michelin Tire Company.
As President of Top Echelon, Mark is responsible for the vision, direction, and overall performance of the company and the services it provides, including the following: Top Echelon Network, the leading split placement network, which has over 400 of the top executive recruiting agencies in the United States; the Big Biller applicant tracking recruiting software, designed to streamline and organize the daily activities for the small to medium-sized recruiting firm; and the Hiring Hook website and job board creative design service.
Mark holds a Business Administration and a Chemistry degree from Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. He is blessed to be married to a wonderful wife, and has four incredible children. On his days off, Mark enjoys watching his kids play sports, DIY woodworking projects around the house, and baking goodies to satisfy his sweet tooth.
Debbie Fledderjohann, Vice President of Top Echelon, LLC
Debbie Fledderjohann is Vice President of Top Echelon, LLC. She has 21 years of experience in the contract staffing industry. She also has 17 years of experience in Information Technology and Engineering applications through Babcock and Wilcox, McDermott International.
Debbie is a Contract Staffing expert. She has positioned Top Echelon as the nation’s premier “back-office” for executive recruiters to handle all aspects of employment, including being the W-2 employer, legal contracts, payroll, timesheets, invoicing, taxes, insurance, collections, Worker’s Compensation, background checks, ACA-compliant benefits, etc.
Debbie has played a critical role in helping direct (perm) recruiters add contract staffing to their business models and place over 15,000 technical, professional, and healthcare contractor employees across the USA.
Debbie was responsible for securing and fulfilling a 12-year, $45 million government staffing contract with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Her team received one of the highest ratings a government contractor is capable of achieving.
In addition to responsibilities as Vice President of Top Echelon, Debbie has been training recruiters on contract staffing at conferences like NAPS, CSP and Top Echelon Network since 1993. She is a monthly writing contributor for several recruiting industry publications.
Debbie holds an Information Technology degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Walsh University in Canton, Ohio. She is married and has two stepchildren and six grandchildren. For fun, she enjoys traveling, building and remodeling projects, and anything to do with boating or the water.
Diane Marzec, Director of Human Resources
Diane Marzec is a certified Human Resources professional serving as Director of Human Resources for Patriot Software Company and its subsidiaries. Diane has worked for the Patriot companies since 2006. As a senior professional in Human Resources, Diane focuses on the big picture and has ultimate accountability in the HR department. Her depth of knowledge in HR disciplines and her ability to understand the business beyond HR, makes her a valuable asset to this organization.
Diane’s role includes strategic and tactical responsibilities for organizational planning, policy development, compensation and benefits design, recruiting and talent management, employee relations, and safety and risk management. Overall, she provides leadership, guidance and counsel to the Executive and HR team on policies and procedures and ethical business practices.
Diane holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications/Public Relations from Southern Illinois University and a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification since 2005. Her experience includes designing and implementing new policy to comply with the ACA, U.S., State and Local laws and regulations, EEO investigations, federal contract compliance, budget management, business acquisition, due diligence & integration. Before joining Patriot Software, her previous experience included HR and Management positions in both the staffing & recruiting industry, and software development for state and local government.
Diane’s greatest blessings in life are her two grown sons. In her spare time she is either volunteering at her church or organizing social events for her ski club. Diane loves to travel and be outdoors. In the summer you can find her on the bike trails or golf course, and in the winter on the ski slopes.
Diane’s aspirations for life can be summed up in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty… to find the best in others… to give of one’s self … to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived … this is to have succeeded!