The Management Team

Gary Littlestar, Chief Executive Officer

As a successful entrepreneur, Gary’s accustomed to bringing the technical, marketing, financial and operational aspects of major projects to profitable conclusions. In the 20 years prior to joining Smart Pipe, he has owned, developed and functioned as the CEO of large (10,000 – 20,000 acre) master-planned communities in Florida, including the construction, road building, and utility companies associated with such development. Gary is an experienced investor and businessman, and one of the earliest “Angel Investors” in Smart Pipe.

Stephen C. Catha, Director Special Projects and International Relations

Steve has over 25 years of experience in the pipe industry and is the original founder of Smart Pipe. Most recently Steve was the principal founder of Pipeliners, the developer of the U Liner system for trenchless rehabilitation of low pressure underground lines. Prior to Pipeliners Steve was the originating founder of Flexpipe a.k.a.Wellstream, Inc., the first U. S. manufacturer of high-pressure flexible pipe. Before founding Flexpipe Steve spent almost fifteen years in the steel pipe industry, mostly with Armco Steel.


Theodore C. Mortenson, Chief Financial Officer

Ted retired on September 30, 1997 from his role as a senior tax partner in the Birmingham, Alabama office of Ernst & Young, LLP. During his career with Ernst & Young he was responsible for serving both multinational companies and entrepreneurial businesses with high growth potential. In addition to his recent work with Smart Pipe® he has also been active with a other high tech companies where he provided strategic guidance in developing licensing strategies and financial advice for commercial deployment of new technologies. Over the past ten years he has advised the founder group on the development of the Smart Pipe® project. He is currently serving as the company's chief financial and administrative officer.

Kenneth R. Charboneau

Most recently Ken was the plant manager of Marine Industrial Cable, Inc. (MIC). During his twenty-five years with MIC he was responsible for a wide variety of technical developments in the braiding and cable industry. He was instrumental in the development of leading edge and unique equipment, techniques and processes for the manufacture of marine cable for use in both military and civilian applications. He is the inventor of patented technologies now being used in Smart Pipe ® liner technology (including a patent on two monitoring systems).

Robin McIntosh, Marketing Director

Robin has joined the Smart Pipe Company, Inc with over seventeen years experience in the pipeline service industry. He spent the majority of his time in South America and South East Asia in various management positions. Most recently he was Manager for BJ Process and Pipeline Services in Mexico where his results included increased sales and profitability and implementation of ISO 9001 certification. Robin brings with him a wealth of knowledge of pipeline technologies and operations.

Aron Ekelund, Operations Director

Aron is an experienced project manager with a history of successful on time/on budget results. His background includes experience in system design, implementation of new technologies in oilfield settings, training site operations technical personnel, marketing and sales team responsibilities and overall business group management.

Melvin F. Kanninen, Ph.D.

Mel is one of the country's leading experts in the field of composite materials and structures. He serves regularly as a consultant to major pipeline operators, industry groups and major government agencies involved in regulation of the pipeline industry. Prior to becoming an independent consultant he was vice president of Southwest Research and before that he held the position of Research Leader with Battelle Memorial Institute. He is author of a number of books and technical papers.

Richard D. Huriaux, P.E.

Richard brings to Smart Pipe over 20 years experience in gas and oil pipeline regulation, technology, and safety assurance.  He recently retired after service as Director, Regulations and Technical Standards at the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety.  Previously, he was Chief Engineer in charge of regulation of pipelines and utilities at the District of Columbia Public Service Commission.  Earlier in his career, he served on the staffs of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Interstate Commerce Commission.  He has also worked as a resident engineer on Washington Metro subway and major bridge construction projects. A native Washingtonian, he received a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in transportation systems engineering from George Washington University.  Richard is a Registered Professional Engineer in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Randall B. Stonesifer, Ph.D.

Randy is an expert at numerical modeling to support engineering design and failure analysis. Randy started his career as a researcher at Battelle Memorial Institute working on Electric Power Research Institute and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission sponsored projects to solve stress corrosion cracking problems at welds in electric power plant steam lines. After leaving Battelle and obtaining his Ph.D. at Georgia Tech, Randy founded Computational Mechanics, Inc. For the past 25 years, he has been consulting on a wide range of engineering design and failure analysis problems for a variety of industrial customers ranging from large electric utilities to small start-ups.

William D. Stringfellow, PE

Bill, is a Mechanical Engineer, with more than 35-years of varying experience. He served as Engineering Manager of Weatherford International for ten years. Bill has worked in various capacities for Hydril and Fiberspar Spoolable Composite Pipe (SCP) groups where he was involved in manufacturing, materials selection, sales and marketing, and the installation of SCP products. He operates a composites consulting company, GLASTEK Services that has been involved with composites, thermoplastic piping, pipe liners and Reinforced Thermoplastic Pipe (RTP). Bill has served on the API Plastic Pipe Committee since 1990 and participated in the writing API RP 15S covering SCP.

Ivan Mandich, PE

Ivan is a structural engineer and master in architecture. He worked closely with Steve Catha in the development of Flexpipe and Pipeliners (U Liners). He was instrumental in writing specifications for the inclusion of U-Liners into a number of governmental and municipal bid and applications both in the US and internationally. He is president of ICMUS Engineering, LLC

James L. Gallagher

Jim is an engineer with over 20 years of hands-on experience in manufacturing management and machine design, fabrication and operation. He has an extensive background in process design and automation, he has designed and fabricated a wide variety of complex manufacturing machinery including fully automated process lines, and he is knowledgeable in several methods of composite manufacturing.