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.

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 Level 1, 2 & 3
  • Financials Level 1 & 2
  • Installation Level 1 & 2


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

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


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

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

Other Certifications and Honors

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


  • 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

John Fagerson

John has been tinkering with computers for nearly his entire life. From growing up in the 80’s writing BASIC programs and games on a monochrome green screen monitor, to playing around building websites using plain HTML in the 90’s, he has always had an interest in using computers for more than just playing games, although games have always been in the mix.

John started his professional career in the electronics manufacturing industry, working for OEM and contract manufacturers. Areas he has worked in include testing and troubleshooting circuit boards, quality assurance engineering and data analysis, leading up to becoming Quality Manager for a small start-up CM, and finally IT. During his time as Quality Manager, John helped the company maintain ISO9001 certification, and was vital to the company achieving AS9100 certification. John eventually earned the title Systems Information Manager after he designed and helped build the entire network for the company when they bought a new facility. It was during this time that John first worked with CodaBears during an uplift from Epicor 9 to Epicor 10. While working closely with Calvin, he demonstrated his versatility and eagerness to learn new things. John then moved on to work with a very small company which built and deployed apps for philanthropic purposes, helping families in need save money. In his role as Network Operations Manager, he helped build and maintain the company’s server bank in a local datacenter, as well as a smaller scale in-house development server bank and network.

John joined CodaBears in 2016 as a consultant, immediately setting his focus on the Tools path. Since going through Epicor’s certification courses and being thrown into some large, complex customization projects, John’s customization and programming skillset has continued to grow. John has also played an integral part in customer go-lives, assisting with pre-conversion tasks, as well as DMT uplifts. His knowledge of servers and networking have come in handy not only for customers, but also for some CodaBears internal projects.

Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife, playing with his dogs, and brewing his own beer.

Epicor Certifications

  • Tools Level 1, 2 & 3
  • Installation Level 1 & 2


  • Associate in Applied Science in Electronics Engineering Technology – ITT Technical Institute

Chris Nelson

Chris has spent most of his life in Chicago suburbs. His first steps into the corporate IT world started in Aurora working for a software company who built software to manage trade shows. Having spent most of his childhood building, fixing and playing computers, he had a high aptitude for hardware, software and troubleshooting he quickly became the Lead Support Tech.

Chris spent the last 4 years as an IT manager for small custom fixture manufacture. There he had the opportunity to implement Epicor 10 and enjoyed it so much he decided to pursue a career with Epicor. Chris earned his Tools and Installation level 1 certification and is working on more certifications.

Chris spends his free time indulging in anything Sci-Fi and tinkering in his workshop.

Epicor Certifications

  • Tools Level 1 & 2
  • Installation Level 1
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