Jon Dreher

Kata Engineering - Jon Dreher

Chief Strategy Officer

Tom Burpee


Chief Operating Officer

Mike Burpee


Chief Financial Officer

About Our Rockstars


Meet Tom (Chief Operating Officer)

Tom Burpee is an experienced leader and problem solving ninja.  Tom earned his BSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, graduating summa cum laude while also working for the football program as a student coach.  After graduation, Tom pursued a career coaching college football with stints at the University of Michigan, University of Louisville and Eastern Michigan University.

After moving to Traverse City in 2014, Tom quickly transitioned from coaching to engineering.  As an engineer at Lead Screws International, Tom earned 2 patents for designs relating to ball screw return mechanisms.  At LSI he also gained extensive experience with all aspects of CNC machining including design for manufacture, custom cutting tool design, custom CAM programming and worked extensively with customers who were machine tool builders and users.

Tom then moved on to TentCraft where he was able to combine his coaching and engineering skills, starting an engineering department from scratch and leading the in-sourcing of over $1.5 million of annual revenue.  As part of the in-sourcing project, Tom built a CNC machining operation from the ground up.

Tom currently serves as the manufacturing engineering lead for the CNC gear cutting department at Cone Drive, overseeing 13 five axis gear mills and 7 six axis grinders.

Tom is an expert in CNC process design, mechanical design, design for manufacture, custom CAM development and engineering information management.


Meet Jon (Chief Strategy Officer)

Jon Dreher is an innovative manufacturing expert with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University.  He has over 20 years of experience in a variety of prestigious global manufacturing organizations including Delphi Automotive and Barnes Aerospace.  His background is diverse with roles being held in manufacturing engineering, program management, supply chain management, plant management and business management. 

He currently contributes his passion for manufacturing in a community leadership role serving as the elected Executive Chairman of the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council that represents a region of over 350 manufacturers.  Additionally, Jon is the Vice President of Manufacturing for TentCraft, an Inc. 5000 company, helping them design and rapidly scale their operations from $5M to over $16M in just over 3 years.

Jon’s natural drive to continually innovate and his outstanding leadership in manufacturing process design led him to being awarded an aerospace industry patent for “Diffusion Bonding” for the GE GEnx 787 Turbofan program and a “Record of Invention” for a “Spin Finish” process that he developed while working at Delphi Automotive.”


Meet Mike (Chief Financial Officer)

Mike is a financial wizard with an MBA from WMU with proven ground up financial business analysis, forecasting and planning experience.

Mike brings a plethora of experience from the financial world in process improvement experience, building teams  to implement a standard regional model across six business entities in a large healthcare system. 

Primarily focused on business owner practices, his team was involved with financial planning and analysis, general ledger, business plans, provider recruitment strategy, forecasting, and owner compensation. 

Mike is awesome at developing great working relationships with operational leadership.