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’s 30+ year IT career includes many roles, including Developer, Trainer, Project Manager, Technical Resource Manager, Account Manager, Vice President, and CEO. As a developer and software architect/designer, he wrote an ERP/MRP system from the ground up. Brent is also an entrepreneur who started and sold three businesses. He says, “I love working ON a business, not just IN it.” 


In his free time, Brent enjoys spending time with his family, drinking fine tea, reading, and playing music. He also has an apiary (honeybee farm). Brent is an avid gardener and to maximize his joy, has  automated as much of the work as possible plus employs child labor to take care of the weeds (he has nine children plus two grandchildren and counting!).



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 kids also keep her on her toes and busy! 


Connect with Mandy on LinkedIn 

Partner Advisors

Mary Jo Solowicz

Senior Partner Advisor

Mary Jo has a passion for connecting people for success. As a Sr. Partner Advisor 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 SMART Professionals 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 Partner Advisor

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

Career Advisors

Shelley Udell

Senior Career Advisor

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

Dennis Engel

Senior Career Advisor

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

Mickayla Hampton

Career Advisor

Mickayla is passionate about working with others and building positive and meaningful relationships with anyone along the way. She takes on day-to-day activities as an Career Advisor for SMART, continuing the growth and success of the company. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, along with a minor in Marketing.

Outside of work, Mickayla is always looking for new places to travel, spending time with friends and family, and coming up with new ways to make the perfect at home iced-coffee.

Connect with Mickayla on LinkedIn

Cat Ballweg

Career Advisor

Cat is excited to work with great candidates while continuing to build great, long-lasting relationships. She is always looking for ways to grow her professional network, and skill set.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in Retail Merchandising and Management, with an emphasis in Fashion Marketing from University of Wisconsin-Stout, along with a minor in Business Administration.

In her free time, you’ll find Cat either crafting or playing with her cat, Luca. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family, preferably outside in the fresh air.

 Connect with Cat on LinkedIn

Support Staff

Alyssa Brant

HR Generalist

Alyssa comes from a background in HR with experience in education materials publishing and IT staffing. She enjoys helping employees and coworkers alike with their HR needs and questions and offers her help wherever needed.

Time away from work is spent running after her son, reading, watching a good TV show or movie, listening to music, and walking outside on trails among the trees. Reach out for an enjoyable book recommendation or two!

Alayna Gahan

Operations / Project Manager

Alayna comes from a background of HR, Recruiting, and Project Management. She enjoys connecting with others and helping to solve problems.

Born and raised in WI, Alayna loves exploring parks like Devils Lake with her husband and road tripping to other states but always wants to come back home to the Badger State.


Connect with Alayna on LinkedIn