CAT Squared has been named a finalist for the 34th Annual Arkansas Business of the Year Awards, which recognizes the state’s top businesses, nonprofits, and executives.

“We are honored to be recognized for our contribution to Arkansas’s economy and for excellence in our field,” said CAT Squared’s CEO Vernon Smith. “We attribute our success to our outstanding team and our unique understanding of how to drive continuous improvement in food manufacturing. Many of our team members come from the food industry with specialized experience in process engineering, business knowledge, and industry best practices.”

All finalists will be recognized at the Annual Arkansas Business of the Year Awards Banquet on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at the DoubleTree Ballroom in Little Rock. During the banquet, a winner will be announced in each of the four business categories. A complete list of finalists is available on the Arkansas Business Publishing Group’s website.

Vernon Smith and Stef Schoeman, CAT Squared’s founders, grew up on family farms in South Africa where they attended university studying electronic engineering, computer science, and business economics. They came to the U.S. and founded CAT Squared in 1995 to compete on an international scale. Today, our customers span 6 continents and include 60% of the top 50 meat and poultry companies in North America, 3 out of the top 5 American egg producers, and 1 of Europe’s leading food processors.

Kathy Barbeire

Written by Kathy Barbeire

Throughout my career, I’ve helped organizations think of creative ways to (1) harness new technology to maximize effectiveness, (2) collect relevant data to measure and improve performance, and (3) use data to tell compelling stories to customers and stakeholders. In 2015, I became CAT Squared’s marketing manager. In this role, I monitor industry trends to (1) ensure our products are flexible enough to adapt to new industry standards and (2) prepare our customers for new technologies with the potential to disrupt the industry. I’ve represented CAT Squared as a participant in a blockchain learning group that has grown out of Blockchain for Arkansas (BC4AR), an initiative launched by Governor Asa Hutchinson to promote capacity building around blockchain technology. As my own knowledge and capacity grow, I develop new content to educate our supply chain partners and help them prepare for the transition ahead. Prior to launching my career, I graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional and technical writing and a double minor in sociology and information technology. I later returned to UALR and completed the MBA program. Before joining CAT Squared, I applied my passion for data-driven storytelling to help nonprofits define their goals, track program metrics, and engage donors and community stakeholders in their missions to fight hunger, poverty, and homelessness, first as a program manager for the Our House Homeless Shelter in Little Rock, and then at The Salvation Army Central Arkansas Area Command.