Meet Our Team Leaders

Founded in 2004 and based in San Diego, California, PlanetTogether is comprised of a team of Operations Research and Software Engineers who thrive on creating innovative and practical Scheduling, Planning and Analytics solutions to make manufacturers more successful.

Here’s a peek into our personas:

HubSpot Video

Jim Cerra

Founder & CEO

Jim Cerra is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of PlanetTogether, an Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) platform. PlanetTogether was founded in 2004 and has grown to be the APS platform of choice for the world’s leading Supply Chain Planning and Manufacturing Execution platforms. PlanetTogether’s software is used to optimize hundreds of billions of dollars worth of production output and resources for its manufacturing customers worldwide.
Jim has worked with many of the world’s leading manufacturers to improve their planning and scheduling systems and processes, including:  Johnson & Johnson, Sony, Corning, Procter and Gamble, Guinness, Driscoll’s, and Saint Gobain.
Prior to starting PlanetTogether, Jim was the APS Product Manager at Epicor Software Corporation and earlier an APS Consultant at C-WAY Systems Inc, founded by Cornell University Professors and authors of Theory of Scheduling, Dr. Conway and Dr. Maxwell. Jim holds both a Masters and Bachelor’s degree in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.


Larry Hargis


A deep and quiet thinker, Larry’s exceptional skill in software architecture, simulation software, and production scheduling algorithms was the original center of gravity for PlanetTogether. Larry was an avid runner and fueled his creative vision by running at least five miles a day to stay fit and build stamina for long hours of R&D.  

Prior to co-founding PlanetTogether, Larry headed the Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) development for Epicor Software Corporation and DataWorks Corporation. Larry held a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from San Diego State University.

Sadly, we lost Larry after a hard-fought battle with cancer. His legacy continues with our team and company and in the software that he helped to build. His constant drive to lead the APS field with exceptional functionality and quality will always endure.


Stephen Milano

Cloud Operations Manager

Stephen Milano has over 20 years’ experience managing technology and customer engagements for software and professional services firms.  Most recently, Stephen played a key role in building and managing the SaaS infrastructure for Gimmal, Inc.  Stephen joined PlanetTogether in 2021, where he is responsible for the PlanetTogether Cloud Service as well as internal technology and security initiatives.

Stephen has a degree in Computer Science from Rice University. He lives in Houston, Texas.


Cavan Crawford

Product Manager

Cavan is one of the behind-the-scenes geniuses who helps lead the design and development of PlanetTogether’s feature-rich software.

When he’s not in front of the computer or whiteboard, he can be found in the mountains – snowboarding, backpacking, or out on the racquetball courts.  

A true thinker, Cavan graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University, San Marcos with a B.S. in Computer Science.


John Douthitt

Support Lead

JD is a San Diego native. As a leader of our support team, he enjoys solving problems and making sure our customers have the tools they need.

Outside of the office, he enjoys playing guitar and exploring San Diego's best-hiking spots.

JD received his B.A. in Writing from California State University, San Marcos.


John Cameron

Systems Engineer and Analytics Lead

Over the course of his career, John has worked on many fascinating projects, e.g. writing cloud analysis software for Scripps Institute of Oceanography, where he learned the shortfalls of large project compartmentalization.

John worked on satellites focusing on the sensor arrays, which is where he learned Infrared Engineering and how to grow crystal cameras. He worked on the front of the Nautilus-class subs, which is where he learned about piezo- and pyro-electric ceramics.

John also worked on the nation's only Plasma Generator underneath the San Francisco Bay, which is 

where he learned about the fourth state of matter and predictive software. He worked with experimental light-activated medicines, where he learned the pitfalls of Clinical Trials. He worked on implanted medical devices where he learned the importance of limiting the recall exposure.

"John is a top-grade technical talent who is a pleasure to work with and to learn from."

"Anyone who has John supporting them is in good hands."


Peter Brooke

Asia Solutions Lead

Peter is originally from New Zealand, but has worked and lived in Asia for over 20 years. He enjoys watching the All Blacks along with his home town team the Crusaders in the Southern Hemisphere Super Rugby league. His idea of relaxing is trekking in the jungle in his four-wheel drive.

Peter’s background includes over forty years of industry and consulting experience in ERP, Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management, Lean Manufacturing and Information Technology, with major organizations in the manufacturing and distribution sector.

Peter has considerable experience in Strategic Information Systems Planning, Project


Patti Jorgensen

Finance Lead

Patti is a Certified General Accountant and a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor with an Advanced Certificate. Patti started her professional career on a manual assembly line at Nortel, the former Canadian telecom giant.

She watched in amazement as manual assembly was replaced by an entirely-robotic production line and modern manufacturing ideas such as Just-In-Time (Lean), TQC (TQM), Sigma Six, Kanban, etc. Patti's accomplishments include cross-functional nation-wide process improvement and manufacturing software implementation projects (Oracle, Baan, SAS)


Joseph Castel

Latin America Solutions Lead

Joseph is originally from Haiti, but has worked and lived in Dominican Republic for 6 years. He is an active learner, business enthusiast and process improvement addict, which made his integration in our team a natural fit. He is currently in charge of: software consulting, testing and system integration.

Joseph holds a B.S degree in Industrial Engineering from UTESA University. He likes volunteering and speaks 4 languages: Creole, French, English and Spanish. In his free time, he likes to watch movies, listen to music, and learn new languages. As a married man, Joseph dreams to grow a happy family. As an engineer, he strives to make an impact in the engineering world. His mantra: “Beat the Odds”


gokhan samuk

EMEA Support Director and
Leadership Partner

Gokhan is originally from Trabzon on the north side of Turkey in the Black Sea region. He has over twenty years of industry and consulting experience in ERP and he holds a B.S degree in Computer Engineering from the Black Sea Technical University.

Gokhan thrives on supporting innovative change by applying the most effective technological and manufacturing practices with the application of PlanetTogether APS and QAD ERP.

Gokhan enjoys watching the soccer team from his hometown whose
motto is “Trabzon Is Where We Are!”  


Dr. Bill Maxwell

Cornell University Professor
PlanetTogether Advisory Board Member

Dr. Maxwell, or "Max" as his friends call him, sits on the PlanetTogether Advisory Board. Max has been on the engineering faculty at Cornell University since 1960 where he authored the ground breaking book, Theory of Scheduling.

He was a Ford Foundation distinguished visiting professor at the University of Chicago in 1968-69, a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in 1977-78, a visiting professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, in 1983-84 and a visiting professor at Stanford University in 1989-90. He was a consultant in residence at the RAND Corporation in 1965, at General Motors Manufacturing Development in 1977-78, and at SI Handling Systems in 1983-84.


Bob Lane

CEO LaneOpx
PlanetTogether Advisory Board Member

Bob is a thought leader with vast global experience who likes to share his knowledge of operations and supply chain management to help companies get to the next level.  

Bob brings years of hands-on experience in professional services and training/ education within manufacturing firms across multiple industry sectors to improve operational efficiencies and implement sustainable results.

He is recognized for turning around organizations and leading companies to success. He has held numerous leadership and executive roles for manufacturing organizations including Sony Corporation.

 He is an expert in lean manufacturing, business optimization, global supply chain management and building organizations.

Bob has led the turnaround of seven distressed manufacturing and technology companies.  He has developed global and domestic lean logistics and supply chains for consumer electronics, industrial products, aerospace, medical device and building materials companies.

He has collaborated and worked with more than 500 suppliers and contract manufacturers globally.  Bob has taught business professionals at various universities and associations on Supply Chain Management, Lean Manufacturing and APICS.  Bob is the Past President of APICS San Diego. He received a B.S. Degree in Industrial Engineering from CPSU and holds a Professional Certificate in Construction and Architectural Engineering from UCSD.

Moreover, Bob completed advanced Japanese manufacturing education, lean training, and Shingo Lean Six Sigma training. Bob enjoys public speaking and is often invited as the keynote speaker for a variety of professional associations and university events.


Dean Dietrich

SVP Sales & Operations Support
Board Member

General Manager with extensive senior leadership experience building commercial relationships and extracting value from large, centrally-managed, multi-plant, make-to-order/make-to-stock manufacturing operations.

A creative strategic thinker guided by business acumen to manage teams and individuals with a strong vision and purpose. Energized by designing and implementing new and different approaches and organizational structures to tackle large, complex challenges that deliver sustainable financial results driven by informed and empowered associates.


jonathan li

Project Manager

Jonathan is a local resident in Shanghai, China. He is a PM-certified project manager and over 10 years of experience in different industries, such as Pharmaceutical, IT, and logistics. He holds a master's degree in computer science from ECUST University.

He is a museum man who enjoys contemporary art and practices painting in his spare time.