Management TeamPatriot’s culture starts at the top with dynamic leadership. High-level experience and expertise combine to create Patriot’s executive team.
We all work our tails off, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We may have started out as co-workers, but now it seems like we’re all just a bunch of friends working together. The work is hard, but it’s fun and invigorating to tackle cutting-edge projects together.
To create world-class innovation, you have to be willing to take risks and make mistakes. My motto is; “If it ain’t broke, break it.” Consequently, I’m the chief mistake-maker. But that’s okay, it gives my co-workers plenty of opportunity to poke fun at me (but I reciprocate). This keeps all of us humble, and it sets a tone in our companies that it’s okay to take risks and make mistakes.
Michael J. Kappel is the founder and CEO of Patriot Software. After earning an Engineering degree from Ohio University in 1980, Kappel worked in the Nuclear Equipment Division of Babcock & Wilcox. In 1986, Mr. Kappel saw unlimited potential in the relatively young software industry so he left the corporate world to start the first of his 5 successful companies: 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 a successful serial entrepreneur and business owner, Mr. Kappel is passionate about helping millions of American business owners simplify their mundane accounting and payroll tasks.
Patriot Software is the type of company where hard work pays off. Upward mobility is encouraged and those that have a drive to be excellent can grow from entry-level positions to management to even running a company! At Patriot, I’ve been encouraged to push myself far beyond my own education or personal expectations. It’s a rare workplace where one is challenged to dream while still thinking critically, which invariably helps us find creative ways to positively improve the bottom line.
We’re a company that looks to hone raw talent, a company that applauds the success of hard work, a company that pushes for continued learning, a company that draws out the very best in our employees. I thrive in this energetic environment because I am encouraged to consistently challenge myself. We never settle for the status-quo or for everyday expectations. Ultimately, being immersed in a group of innovators is what makes the Patriot companies world-class and why I love working here.
Michael A. Wheeler, Esq., is the President & Chief Legal Officer of Patriot Software Company and serves as the President of the Board of Directors. Mr. Wheeler has deep experience in mergers, acquisitions, and corporate fundraising after 15 years with Patriot Software. Leveraging his personal ownership in Patriot, Wheeler raised ~$16M through a Private Stock Offering under Regulation D, Rule 506(c) to individual investors. Further, he managed every detail of the 8-figure sale of Top Echelon Software, LLC. He oversaw the spin-off of FoxHire, LLC, and handled the donation of Career Marketplace, LLC to a local non-profit.
Wheeler runs the executive side of Patriot Software, acting as President and by signing all financials in the office of CFO. He handles all banking, audit, insurance, SEC compliance, fraud-prevention, and direct deposit matters as both the Chief Legal Officer and Compliance Officer. Ultimately, he actively leverages his legal acumen to oversee Patriot’s legal, financial, and human resources needs.
Wheeler lives and breathes Patriot’s mission to make payroll and accounting software easy and affordable for millions of American businesses and their Accountants. In his role as Patriot’s Investor Relations Officer, Wheeler has been very active in the community and with investors as the “face” of the company. In his 15 years with the company, Mr. Wheeler has been in roles such as General Counsel, Corporate Counsel and Subsidiary-President, and Corporate Acquisitions Director. Wheeler is a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio and has experience in corporate restructuring, M&A, contractual matters, employment law, bank regulations, insurance, real estate, and governmental compliance.
Locally raised in Jackson Township, 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 has volunteered extensively on missions across 4 continents, specifically working with orphanages, victims of human trafficking, and non-governmental organizations in Asia, Central America, and throughout Africa. He has worked to secure land rights and negotiate with tribal and local governments to secure clean drinking water, medical services, and free education with organizations such as Frontline Ministries International, Mother Teresa’s Calcutta Center and the Sisters of Charity, and Iris Ministries International.
Today Mr. Wheeler serves as a Trustee on the YMCA of Central Stark County Board of Trustees in addition to the YMCA’s Endowment Committee and Strategic Planning committee; prior he served on the YMCA’s Finance and Property Committee. Wheeler is on the Board of the Stark County District Library Foundation. He also serves on the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Education Committee.
He is active with various professional, religious, and civic associations. Married since 2005, he and his wife, Jo, have 3 young sons. Prior to coming to Patriot Software Company in 2006, Mr. Wheeler worked at LexisNexis.
Even though we have grown like crazy, we’ve been able to maintain our small company work ethic which provides the opportunity for every employee to make a difference. The work we do, or don’t do, directly affects the success of the company. At bigger companies, you might be just a number and your work might have little or no real impact on the company. But the work that everybody does here, day-in and day-out, truly helps move the company forward. I like that! For example, I started as an Intern back in the 90’s sitting on a metal folding chair, but now I’m the Chief Technology Officer for Patriot. There is so much opportunity here!
Paul Bailey serves as Chief Technology Officer for Patriot Software. 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 Patriot. He keeps everything 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.
They say, “Variety’s the spice of life.” Being a part of the support structure for all the Patriot companies affords me the fun of meeting a variety of challenges. From producing management financial reports, to consulting on a software development project, to collaborating on control system enhancements, to assisting on a collection issue (obviously some challenges are more fun than others), the tasks are new every day. The Patriot companies help keep my life very spicy.
Also... it’s the people. There’s nothing more important than the relationships in our lives. Working with people you can trust, people who care, people who are purposeful and focused, people who make you laugh, people who test your limits and help you grow... working with my co-workers in Patriot is a huge blessing.
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 for over 35 years and has two children. 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.