What's a Wamba?

  • Tech-obsessed
  • Eager to please
  • Hard to beat


WambaTech came kicking and screaming into this world, conceived by a passion to innovate and a dash of mania. Our brave CEO, Nat Plane, believed he could build a lead engine superior to the one he had been supporting as a developer. Turns out he wasn’t just being cocky. Soon he had oodles of clients signing on for what would be our flagship product, WambaTech Lead Server. The whole fam-damily got in on the madness. Nat’s dad and two brothers joined force, making essential their own design, networking, and development skillsets. Two years later, WambaTech had its first contract with a major entity to build a custom lead-processing solution for Lincoln and Ford nameplates.

Add 12 height marks to the wall and we are a tween! Our family has expanded six-fold and now composes a full-suite custom-software .NET shop. We are one of very few in our home state of Michigan. Our specializations include all forms of digital marketing, and custom data management and processing applications. Specifically, that means enhancement of hundreds of websites, email and other social media marketing, as well as architecture and maintenance for lead-processing systems, data normalization and validation programs, consumer data management products, inventory tracking platforms, administrative data portals, and more.

Our Detroit Metro-based team is our greatest asset, most of them with interdisciplinary technology skillsets and domain knowledge crossing markets. While others may need weeks on that estimate, we huddle up and turn around flexible, comprehensive solutions at breakneck pace. Our pride comes from our agility, innovation, accuracy, and our consultative nature. Our satisfaction comes from over-delivering, outperforming, and trying to be heroes.

Who We Are

Nat Plane
Chief Executive Officer
Only due in part to his eureka-moment outbursts of song, Nat is WambaTech’s heart, soul, and passion. His desire and raw talent took him from dev’ing his first major product in his dad’s basement to CEO of a fully established SaaS shop. Fifteen years later, Nat is still gaining steam. His acumen for fully conceptualized technical solutions of every variety and fast analysis – not to mention his on-the-fly math skills – have cast doubt that he is 100% human. We won’t call him a robot, but we do call him boss as well as friend. In his downtime? Ahahah, downtime. Right.
Rob Plane
Chief Security Officer
One day Rob will retreat to his cabin deep in the woods but not so long as we require his “help!” Rob is the one we call (out loud, and quite literally). For anything really. Rob was essential in WambaTech’s conception, providing expertise in hardware and network solutions. With more than 7,000 moons’ worth of experience, he remains our Jack of All Trades in technical, practical, and human areas. If Rob is not putting out a fire here, he’s in the wild starting one at his campsite.
Stephanie Vemula
Chief Operations Officer
Cats need herding? Get Steph. She’ll whip any group, project, or process into shape. Steph’s MBA in Project and Operations Management, along with her 15 years of specific experience, serve us well here. She can pivot like a ballerina, ushering in change and challenge. When Steph isn’t getting the best of her team, she also enjoys globe-trotting, pajamas, and nursing a serious cookie addiction.
Pee Pa
Chief Retrieving Officer
snort snort snort...
snort snort snort...
snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort snort
Laura Allen
Program Management
Coming to us in the year of the pandemic, and as we all locked down, Laura demonstrated grace under fire from the jump. This may be owed to her years spent in the often-fraught trenches of translating between clients and developers. Wherever she gets, it, she has successfully combined her aptitude for marketing, client management, and project leadership into effective technical project outcomes. When Laura isn’t badgering the devs, she and her husband are trying their best to tire out an endlessly energetic pup.
Amy Bevevino
Strategy
Looking for a needle in a haystack? NP. Amy has more than 15 years of experience in various capacities of management, research, analysis, and quality assurance. We admire her attention to detail and readiness for nearly anything we throw at her. When she isn’t making us look good, she’s reading up on how to survive a shark attack, an avalanche, or her kids’ requests for candy. Prepared is an understatement.
Shathar Campbell
Development
Shathar is WambaTech’s 2019 breath of fresh air. She is a developer with a .NET background who has rich experience in other capacities including management. Within a week of hire, she was jumping full tilt into WambaTech’s culture and participating in knowledge-share. Eagerness and willingness are among our most desired attributes, and Shathar has each in spades. We also love someone who brings cookies, and she’s already done that too. Game, set, match!
Bonnie Chrzanowski
Quality Assurance
If you give it to Bonnie, it will get done right. Bonnie has nearly 30 years of QA experience. She has a specialized skillset in user experience, as well as device and browser compatibility. Like the bowler she is, she finds the error and strikes. Both hockey fanatic and devoted grandma, when she isn’t cleaning up our mess, she’s traveling with her husband and giving her time to veterans.
Chris Courtois
Development
Thank goodness Chris took time off from perfecting his dancefloor game in the ‘90s to learn to code. With nearly 20 years of experience, Chris has spent the better part of the last decade as lead dev on our automotive inventory management system. His special regard for business means he can talk the talk and dev the code. With his dancin’ days mostly behind, he’s content now to flex his dad skills. Try ‘n challenge him to a dad-off. You’ll regret it.
Jeff Goergen
Development
Transformers hoodie? Check. Solid code skillz? Check. Multiple endearing nicknames? Check. Jeff’s the dev we all want on our team; he’s not only cool and caring, he’s solution-focused, and he always over- delivers. Jeff’s been at it for more than 20 years now. For the past 10, he’s been maximizing your online vehicle-shopping experience. He’s a dev, a photographer, musician, artist, and everyone’s BFF. And now, he’s blushing. Check.
Chris Green
Strategy
Do you have a vision? No worries, Chris does. With 20+ years of design experience, he is an expert in translating business goals to effective messaging. He is our go-to product designer for new initiatives. When Chris isn’t mocking up, he’s brushing up on design trends, and leading the way in our creative department. Yep, a real show off. Oh, and get this. He’s also Canadian, a home-renovation enthusiast, and a killer mixologist. Gold star!
Kari King
Program Management
It was kismet when WambaTech found Kari King in 2020! All those years spent perfecting the emails and polishing her UX/UI skills were destined to become our reward. And hopefully she’ll pass along some of her handmade soaps to us as well. A technologist, a crafter, a lifelong learner, and a proud cat mom, Kari finds herself well represented in the WambaTech Venn diagram.
Dustin Kingen
Development
WambaTech lucked out when we acquired Dustin in 2016. We remain pumped about his development expertise, super-fresh ideas, crazy smarts, and absolute willingness to jump right in. When WambaTech, or one of our Wambas, achieves anything, Dustin is the first one to stand up and cheer. When he isn’t acting as our biggest cheerleader, he is likely learning or loving up his mostly tolerable cat.
Danielle McMillan
Program Management
Dani has been to treatment for her whiteboard addiction. Fortunately, it never took. If a project requires one’s best, maybe seems impossible, Dani can do it. A former developer turned systems analyst/program manager, Dani has keen understanding for the entire development cycle. Here, she is our automotive lead processing Commander in Chief. At home, she is cyclist, kitchen-whiteboarder, U.P. native, mom.
Brian Merriman
Program Management
It isn’t surprising to learn that Brian grew up on a farm. His work ethic is unmatched. It makes him almost tough to define. He is part artist, part dev, part manager, half dad, and all around great person. Brian has led our online marketing team for close to a decade, but his resume reads rich with design experience twice that count. When Brian isn’t carrying the heaviest load, he’s planning WambaTech’s next community outreach event or working on a DIY home project.
Shane O'Dell
Development
Our second official hire, Shane is both devoted and treasured. With 20+ years of dev experience and more than 15 years of domain knowledge in lead processing, Shane’s days are spent coding, consulting, and guiding our technological strategy. If he built it, QA can take the day off. Shane’s thoroughness and willingness make him coveted by teammates and clients. His dark humor, appetite for knowledge, and love of gummies make him Shane.
Dallas Odom
Development
Your email will not hang out in Dallas’s inbox. He’s responsive and downright helpful. With past experience that includes demographic data processing and front-end web development, Dallas has been a utility player as Email Manager App Guru, and with his work on a consumer-facing data portal, and other properties. When he isn’t coding, he enjoys a Dole Whip in Adventureland, sailing the Sea of Thieves, and winning pub trivia.
Steve Plane
Creative
He’s our Creative OG! Steve was consultative in the design of some of WambaTech’s flagship products and continues to offer his creative skills via our online marketing platform. He boasts nearly 15 years of design experience primarily in the automotive sector. Steve’s keen eye for cool graphics makes him relied on to set and shift trends. When Steve isn’t pixelating, he’s bringing his puppies in for a visit (thank goodness), or island-hopping.
Mark Palnau
Development
New to us in 2019, Mark is a full stack dev who doesn’t like to toot his own horn. I guess we’ll just have to toot it for him. His background in CS and Business Software, combined with five years of specific automotive experience, makes him a round-peg/round-hole fit for WambaTech. We are so happy he’s a part of the team! We are also happy to learn he is similarly obsessed with tacos AND Sci-Fi. Score!
Rachel Quinlan
Creative
If we listed all of Rachel’s awards and recognitions for her artwork, she would look down sheepishly and attempt to disappear. Thank goodness for us, her superpower is not invisibility. Rachel boasts more than 10 years of experience as a designer and has spent the better part of the last five years putting her more technical skills to work for our online marketing team. Oh, and those superpowers … drinking all the coffee, reading all the books, making all the things, parenting all three kiddos.
Erin Riley
Quality Assurance
If you hear Erin complain, please be sure to mark it on the calendar, because it will be a first. In the decade that Erin has been with WambaTech, she has worn so many hats, we had to buy her a hat rack. She has primarily served on our email marketing team but has taken on a lengthy list of operational needs to keep our machine well-oiled. Erin will do anything to improve our game, provided she isn’t busy refining hers on the Roller Derby track, giving lovin’s to her kitties, or stopping to smell the roses.
Kyle Shankin
Development
He does have great hair and a winning smile, but what we really like about Kyle is his 10 years of experience in full-stack web and mobile application development. Kyle has worked on web and mobile services for a regional coffee chain, intranet dashboards, mobile apps which control electronics, and more. He’s willing to try anything once (provided we’re talking technology). When he isn’t with the fam, he’s tinkering with electronics, taking a sledgehammer to some drywall, or possibly eating all the peanut butter.
Shahid Syed
Development
Nerd alert! We have another lifelong learner on our Wamba roster. Shahid, new to WambaTech in 2020, describes himself as having “an insatiable desire for learning just about anything.” With nearly 10 years of leadership experience including a background in tech strategy and ops, Shahid counts anything Microsoft, C#, Azure, and Blazor among his passions. In addition to all this enthusiasm for technology, he is crazy for his wife, trio of sons, and cars! Shahid even raced track for two years and has the trophies to prove it. Ok, ok, we take back the nerd alert.
Kalyan Vemula
Development
Try to make Kalyan flinch with your complex tech needs; we dare you. This guy devs eyes closed, no sweat, and gets it to you before you asked for it. It’s almost unsettling. We like the guy anyway, though. Kalyan has been a developer for more than 20 years with domain knowledge in automotive lead processing and inventory management. He’s also quite the cook, an avid traveler, and a shoe aficionado.

What We Got

Consultation

  • Business Analysis
  • Business Intelligence
  • Technical Strategy
  • System and Application Architecture
  • Security Approach

Data Handling

  • Big Data
  • ETL Processing
  • Data Validation, Cleansing, and Normalization
  • Database Architecture
  • Database Tuning and Optimization

Design

  • Digital Marketing Material Creation
  • Responsive Design (Web, Mobile, etc.)
  • Email, Text, and Social Media Campaign Execution
  • Administrative Console Conceptualization
  • UX Visualization and Execution
  • Graphics Creation

Development

  • System Design
  • Custom Software Development
  • Enterprise Application Building
  • API Design and Construction
  • B2B Integrations
  • System Modernization
  • Legacy Code Refactoring
  • Troubleshooting

Project Management

  • Project Planning
  • Scope and Deliverable Management
  • Business Requirements Gathering
  • Resource Management
  • Documentation
  • Goal Defining and Fulfillment
  • Analytics

Quality Assurance

  • Test Plan Development
  • UI/UX Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • Unit Testing
  • UI Design Optimization
  • UX Realization Guarantee
  • Cross-Browser/Cross-Device Compatibility Assurance
  • Data Reconciliation
  • Business Specification Fulfillment