About Us

The Story of Volano

Our History


The year Austrian rock singer Falco records "Rock Me Amadeus" and when our founders Rod Smith and Don Stavneak both catch the software bug in grade school. Don talks his mom into buying this book at the school book fair even though he doesn't have a computer.

Rod tags along on his mom's KMart shopping trips where he hacks on the TI-99 on display until he eventually gets one at home.

Fall 1997

Rod and Don attend each other's weddings without knowing it at the time. They would later be introduced through their wives who grew up on neighboring farms in Dunlap, Iowa.

1997 – 2000

Rod and Don bond over their love of live rock 'n roll (sometimes at The Ranch Bowl), their first children, and programming -- the pre-2000 word for coding -- in Visual Basic.

2000 – 2007

Our founders start working together on creating software systems in a variety of environments. In 2005, they stumble into their first moonlighting gig while purchasing a domain name from someone who happened to need a database. Rod and Don form elucidCode. Don designs the company's business cards for the first and last time.


Rod and Don notice that small and medium sized businesses in the area need assistance with their internal software, processes and workflow – and nobody is really helping them. They decide to take the leap from just moonlighting and rebrand elucidCode to Volano Solutions. Volano is an official business on August 15, 2007. Don starts contracting at Jelecos full time. Three days after Rod's youngest child, Averie, is born, Rod leaves his job at MSI to join Don at Jelecos – literally in the same 5'x5' cube.

In November, Rod and Don lease Volano's first "office," 223 square feet in the historic Farm Credit Building in downtown Omaha. Work picks up. Over drinks at Mr. Toad, they talk Luis Pineda into quitting his job as a car salesman to join Volano. At this point, the office has four folding tables and a server rack and things are getting tight!

December 2008

Volano holds its first company holiday party in the Old Market. Dinner at Stoke's, drinks at Mr. Toad, ice skating across the street, and bowling at Chops! The after party involves playing Rock Band until 4:00 a.m. A tradition begins. (The 4:00 a.m. part is short-lived.)

April 2010

Volano outgrows its space and moves to the Exchange Building. Over the next three years, we would keep cutting holes in the walls to expand into the next room – keeping our open office dream alive. Don builds Volano's work management system, Timefly.


Rod and Don participate in Gallup's Entrepreneur Acceleration System (EAS) program where they establish Core Values for Volano and learn all about employee satisfaction and engagement. This only strengthens our culture, and Volano is later recognized by Gallup for its work.

July 27, 2012

We release our first product and iOS app, Steelwool.

May 1, 2013

Our servers go down and can't be recovered, which results in the first recorded use in the office of the words "Whiskey Wednesday."

Feb 24, 2014

We launch our second product, Action Card, at the International Franchise Association Conference.

2015 - 2019

Our growing business is recognized by the Greater Omaha Chamber as Small Business of the Month.

Don and Rod's families adopt dogs who are sisters: Zuri Smith and Margo Rita Stavneak.

Volano assumes Silicon Prairie News' lease in the Mastercraft Building. Almost immediately we're out of space again. We lease a third bay, cut a big hole in the wall, and become the Mastercraft's anchor tenant.

We celebrate 12 successful years in business by getting hot tap water in our office space for the first time.

Volano's space at the Mastercraft


Volano Solutions is now Volano Software Company. We have over 20 talented team members. Rod and Don play 80's and 90's rock in the office every so often while saying to others "you really don't know who this is?" We're proud of what we've all built together and are excited for the future. We still hold Whiskey Wednesdays.



Volano translates to "flywheel" in Italian.

It also rhymes with Alyssa Milano.

Our People

Meet Our Team


We love our community

We support our community as a company and as individuals through volunteering, financial contributions, and using our technology skills to advise, innovate, and create for good. Some of the organizations we have contributed to include:

What We Do