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What makes us SMART.

It’s the people. We’re a tech staffing company made up of a crew of people that really care about how to make sure we find the right fit for your company or career. 

Who is SMART?

Purpose/Vision:  To positively impact the world through our work.

Smart Solutions was founded in 1996 by Jackie Mortell and Joel Fangmann.  At the core of the company’s beginning was a desire to help people be successful.  We started as a small shop that throughout the years has grown to a team of 100+ consultants.

Today Brent Mitchell is the sole owner and President of Smart Solutions.  That original desire to help people is still at the forefront of everything we do as we strive each day to fulfill our purpose/vision. 

Smart’s Mission:  To provide our clients with world class people and tools to help them reach their goals.

We partner with start-ups, mid-size businesses, Fortune 500 companies and exceptional IT talent in the greater Madison metropolitan area and beyond.  We work to identify business needs, understand a company’s culture, and ultimately connect the right talent to the right opportunity.

Smart is proud of our culture which is built on a set of Core Values.  These values serve to guide our team in the execution of our mission and define who we are as a company.

Core Values:  Do the Right Thing, Strive for Excellence, Keep Learning, Be a Team Player, Move IT Forward.

Meet the Team

Brent Mitchell

Brent Mitchell, President and Owner of Smart Solutions, has over 30 years of IT experience and has been in many roles including developer, trainer, project manager, technical resource manager, account manager, Vice President and CEO.  His goal at every opportunity is to add value and help others achieve success, whether they are the client or consultant. His broad background brings depth and understanding to his relationships. He is passionate about running a people first business that focuses on connecting companies and people for success!

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family (as well as he should since he has nine children.) drinking fine tea, reading and playing music.

Brent Mitchell

President/Owner

Brent has over 30 years of IT experience and has held many roles, including Developer, Trainer, Project Manager, Technical Resource Manager, Account Manager, Vice President, and CEO. He has a developer background, including software architecture and design. Brent’s team wrote an ERP/MRP system from the ground up. He also believes in agile organizations and utilizes kanban to organize key projects. 

 

Brent has started and sold three businesses and bought his fourth business with Smart Solutions. He says, “I love working ON a business, not just IN it.” His goal at every opportunity is to add value and help others achieve success, whether they are the client or consultant. His broad background brings depth and understanding to his relationships. He is passionate about running a people-first business that focuses on connecting companies and people for success!

 

Brent enjoys spending time with his family, drinking fine tea, reading, and playing music in his free time. He even has an apiary (honey bee farm). Brent gardens but doesn’t enjoy it, so he’s automated as much as possible and employs child labor to take care of the rest (he has nine children!).

 

Connect with Brent on LinkedIn

Mandy Basham

Director of Administration

Mandy’s background includes work in the logistics and healthcare fields with experience in benefits, recruiting, and employee relations. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, along with a minor in communication. She strives to balance the company and its employees’ needs and goals, maintain consistent employee engagement, and serve as a Strategic Partner by bringing HR knowledge, HR strategy, ideas, and innovations to Smart Solutions. Mandy is also involved in the Greater Madison Area SHRM chapter.

 

Mandy enjoys spending time with her family and friends outside of work, reading, crafting, and baking delicious treats. Her two boys also keep her on her toes and busy! 

 

 

Connect with Mandy on LinkedIn 

Kirk Dennison

Operations Manager

Kirk has 8+ years of analytics, consulting, and operations experience in the Madison area. He thrives on creating greater operational efficiencies and helping others be more successful. His industry experience includes healthcare, IT, and consumer products. Kirk has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from John Brown University.

 

Outside of work, Kirk loves spending time with his wife and two kids, playing (and creating) board games, and playing tennis.

 

Connect with Kirk on LinkedIn

Mary Jo Solowicz

Senior Account Manager

Mary Jo has a passion for connecting people for success. As a Sr. Account Manager with SMART, she collaborates with IT and business leaders from the area’s top employers, helping them solve today’s Information Technology challenges by delivering the right technical resources to get things done. 

 

Mary Jo has spent her entire career in Staffing and Consulting and joined SMART in 2012. She offers expertise in IT Staffing, Resource Management, HR, and Business Management. Mary Jo is also the Project Manager for the SMART IMPACT Project, where we are providing the tools and training to help our consultants be world-class contributors. 

 

Outside of work, it is family first and friends a close second. She enjoys spending her time with her favorite people. She also has a love for travel, both near and far, which includes exploring the local restaurants and wines. She also appreciates a good day at home, trying new recipes, or tackling a home improvement project.

 

Connect with Mary Jo on LinkedIn

Paula Holden

Senior Account Manager

Paula joined Smart Solutions in 2016 and brings over 25 years of experience in technology consulting sales, recruiting, resource management, and marketing. She has spent all of her technology consulting career in the Madison market and strongly believes in relationship-based sales. Her industry experience includes utilities, telecom, financial services, insurance, healthcare, and consumer products. Paula partners with her hiring managers to find various candidates who specialize in project management, change management, business analysis, software development, and more! 


Paula holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from UW-Whitewater and a Master’s degree in Human Resources from Marquette University. Paula enjoys yoga, standup paddleboarding, hiking, reading, and relaxing at her cabin in the Northwoods in her spare time.


Connect with Paula on LinkedIn

Heather Potokar

Senior Account Manager

Heather has over 13 years of IT Recruiting experience working in a variety of markets across the US. Heather focused her last seven years of recruiting in the Madison and Milwaukee markets (along with a few others!). Her passion for recruiting is evident in every phone call, meeting, or introduction she makes. Heather has placed over 500+ consultants over her career. When it comes to staffing, she is an expert in the SDLC, agile, change management, project management, architecture, development, infrastructure, and more! 

 

As a native Wisconsinite, Heather loves her Green Bay Packers and married a rare Illinois Packers fan. They reside outside of Milwaukee and stay busy with their two active boys, playing sports, boating, hiking, and bike riding. When not recruiting, Heather loves to travel and always has a new destination in mind!

 

Connect with Heather on LinkedIn

Molly Polk

Bookkeeper

Molly has over 15 years of accounting experience in multiple industries from transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, and technology staffing. Her diverse background provides insight into process improvement and streamlining. She thrives on the multitasking environment that accounting brings and continually looks for ways to grow a company’s overall success. 

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Molly is an avid sports fan, especially the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers. Football is her favorite season. 

 

Outside of work, she spends time continuing her education, raising almost-thirteen-year-old identical twin boys, reading, getaways at her aunt and uncle’s cabin on the water up north, cooking and baking delicious treats (always looking for new ways to improve and perfect the chocolate chip cookie)!

Alyssa Brant

HR Generalist

Alyssa tackles her day-to-day duties as Smart’s HR Generalist. She thrives in the HR realm with experience in on-boarding, benefits, recruitment, leaves of absences, and employee relations. Alyssa is a member of GMA SHRM and SHRM.

 

 

When not in the office, Alyssa cherishes time spent with family and friends, reading, and soaking in all of Madison’s beautiful, scenic views.

 

Connect with Alyssa on LinkedIn

Dennis Engel

Career Advancement Specialist

Dennis has 20 plus years of experience in IT staffing and IT consulting. During his career, Dennis has specialized in recruiting technology professionals from Scrum Masters, .NET Developers, Java Developers, Architects, Project Managers, and more! 

 

He and his family are originally from Illinois, and they found a way to migrate north to Madison in 2003. He is a tech junkie at heart and loves deep conversations about technical topics.

 

Outside of work, Dennis unwinds with the help of Wisconsin’s beautiful Northwoods. Whether spending time on the water or out in the woods, he finds nature to be the perfect balance to technology.

 

Connect with Dennis on LinkedIn

Shelley Udell

Senior Technical Recruiter

Shelley has over 20 years of experience in the Madison market as a Technical Recruiter and Account Man­ager. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. She recently received her Technical Services and Certified Staffing Professional certifications from the American Staffing Association. Shelley’s recruiting expertise ranges from project management, change management, user experience design, business analysis, infrastructure, quality assurance, and more! She says, “the best part of being a recruiter is helping people find new and interesting challenges to fur­ther their careers.” 

 

Shelley is owned by her two dogs in her spare time– a Bull Mastiff/Boxer mix and an Irish Wolfhound. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, college basketball (especially the Badgers!), finding bargains at area thrift stores, reading, and listening to music. She enjoys traveling when time and the dogs allow.

 

Connect with Shelley on LinkedIn

Paul Aubuchon

Senior Technical Recruiter

Paul has over ten years of recruiting and relationship building experience here in the Madison, WI area. Paul started his career in college sports recruiting and quickly transitioned into the world of IT and technology recruitment. He has expertise in hiring in various fields: change management, project management, business analysis, data science, kanban, development, quality assurance, and more! 

 

Paul is originally from St. Louis, MO, and moved to Madison in 2006. He now lives in Stoughton with his wife and two boys. 

 

 

In his spare time, Paul enjoys spending time with his family, going to concerts, watching movies, and coaching sports.   

Connect with Paul on LinkedIn 

Kimberly Grazzini

Recruiting & Marketing Specialist

Kimberly joined Smart’s recruiting and marketing teams after relocating to the Madison, WI area in 2019. She brings seven years of corporate and agency recruiting experience, along with several years of human resources and marketing experience. Kimberly recently received her Technical Services and Certified Staffing Professional certifications from the American Staffing Association. She enjoys bringing creativity to her work from recruiting, writing, and social media posts! 

While Kimberly has lived all over the US from Oregon to Texas to Massachusetts, she enjoys her time exploring the Madison area.

She also enjoys spending her free time with her fiancé, discovering state parks, trying new restaurants, and spoiling her pets.


Connect with Kimberly on LinkedIn

smart events

As part of helping companies and talent navigate how quickly tech is changing we host local events to share the latest and greatest and skills that are relevant. Check out our upcoming and past events.

Sign-up to be notified via email with any upcoming events that we will be hosting.

More Than Just Tech Staffing

Being active in Madison and our surrounding communities is important to us.  Through our IMPACT Project™, we provide the tools and encourage our team to get out and involved to make positive impacts on their own communities.  We are proud to be part of this community and to offer support where we can.

IMPACT Project™

Helping you make positive impacts on your career, the companies you work with and your community.

The IMPACT Project™ is about continuous improvement and provides the tools, training and networking opportunities to help ensure success.

IMPACT Project™