About Us

Pendant Automation, founded in 2006 by Rob Ward, is your one stop shop for control systems integration.  Pendant is located in Havre de Grace, Maryland, but we operate around the world, with completed projects in 22 different countries, and across North America, with completed projects in Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and across the entire continental United States.

When you bring a project to Pendant, you show us your layout and your goals, and we complete the design and engineering, programming, panel build, startup, and commissioning.

Whether you are a systems integrator working with the end user, or the end user in a variety of industries and applications, Pendant realizes that the success of your project is decided by much more than just ending up with a system that works.  Our focus is to work with you to execute your project professionally, punctually, and profitably for everyone involved.

Meet Our Team

Rob Ward

Rob started Pendant Automation in May of 2006 after realizing that automation held more promise for him than limiting his focus to electrical installation work. An avid learner, Rob developed a great set of skills in design, programming, panel building, and installation and now teaches controls and automation at Harford Community College (a great way to find talent for Pendant and a great way to give back to the Harford County community where Rob grew up).

Rob emphasizes learning and forward thinking for the entire Pendant team. He burns through about one book every week, and highly encourages everyone else to read and learn constantly. True to his principles, Rob also teaches classes in Electrical Theory and PLC Programming at Harford Community College, helping others learn the critical skills needed to become successful in the automation field.

Outside of work, Rob is a dedicated family man, and loves rock climbing (especially in our National Parks), woodworking, playing the guitar, and mowing the lawn.  We haven’t yet observed him playing the guitar while mowing the lawn, but it could happen…

He is a fan of the movie “The Score” or any other heist-based movie, maybe because Con-man is his dream job.

Rob recommends Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” for its variety of thought-provoking topics.

Rob will tell you himself that he’s an “old soul”, and so don’t be surprised on a ride-along to hear a variety of musical genres including 50s doo-wop or his favorite band, Herman’s Hermits.

We tried to pry out of Rob any secret about himself that he’d like to reveal, but in order to avoid arrest he declined.

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Brittany Siefring

Brittany joined Pendant in September, 2014 and is currently located in Dayton, Oh.

Brittany loves the culture at Pendant because everyone is “in it to win it.” She also likes the fact that many of the Pendant team members have backgrounds as electricians, which helps them understand much more clearly than the average designer the practical issues surrounding the design, installation, and startup of automation systems.

Brittany was born in Howard County in Maryland, grew up in Reisterstown, northwest of Baltimore, but especially enjoyed living in Canton near the Baltimore waterfront before moving to Ohio.  She’s a big fan of the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, and she says she can’t avoid being molded into a fan of Ohio State as a resident of Ohio (well I guess we’ll have to forgive her for that).

She and her husband are March Madness junkies who enjoy taking a day off to watch basketball all day.

Outside of work Brittany loves to run and log more miles than company founder Rob, reminding him each month that she kicked his butt (again). She also enjoys going to spin classes and loves spending time with family and friends.

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Cassie Ward

Cassie joined Pendant in June, 2014.

Cassie’s heart is with Pendant, where she is helping grow the business into which her husband and Pendant founder Rob has put his heart and soul. She says the best part of her job is getting to go home with the boss every night.

Cassie loves Havre de Grace, the home of Pendant’s main office, and is especially fond of Bomboy’s Homemade Chocolate, located within walking distance of the office. The walk and the chocolate are very helpful in dealing with the office duties. It’s ironic how Controls Engineers can be so out-of-control!

Outside work, Cassie is a big fan of the movie “Grease”, loves the band Def Leppard, and enjoys hiking, rock climbing, running, visiting our National Parks, and spending time with Rob and her two daughters.

Cassie was born in Lancaster, PA, and grew up in Cecil County, MD, across the Susquehanna River from Havre de Grace.  Growing up, she acquired the nickname Virgil, by which nickname her Dad still calls her – you’ll have to ask her yourself how she got the nickname.

Cassie believes in giving back to the community and has a soft spot for the elderly, especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. In her previous job, Cassie managed the Memory Care Unit at a local assisted living facility.

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Gary Stokes

Gary started with Pendant in May of 2017 after a previous period working as a consultant with Rob from 2012 – 2015.

Gary especially enjoys being part of the Pendant team for its dedication to success and the laughs. He loves that learning and growth – both personal and business – are emphasized so strongly at Pendant.  Gary is an avid reader but he usually doesn’t manage to keep pace with Rob in terms of numbers of books read.

He likes the Havre de Grace location of the Pendant main office, saying it’s a cool little town bordered by two bodies of water, the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Gary is very dedicated to his family, and outside of work enjoys fly-fishing for trout, playing golf, and following his three favorite teams, the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, and the Maryland Terrapins basketball team.  Gary is also active in the non-profit community and has served on multiple non-profit boards.

“The Godfather” is one movie that Gary almost always has to stop and watch for at least a little while if it happens to come on TV, and Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” is still his favorite book, although Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies” are very close seconds.

Gary was born in New York and raised in Reisterstown, MD, northwest of Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Dayton School of Engineering in a year that starts with 19, but he’s not revealing the last two digits anytime soon. Gary is looking forward to many good years helping Pendant continue to grow.

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James Butler

James, who started with Pendant in February, 2016, is the subject of our “Where’s James” series of blog posts.  In his role as Controls Engineer, James is frequently on the road doing startups or follow up visits to project sites.

James’ loves for electricity and solving problems led him to Pendant, where he enjoys the atmosphere and the opportunities he gets for growth.  To James, it’s not a job at Pendant. He describes the Pendant team as young (except for Gary), charged up, and looking forward to the next big thing.

James loves the outdoors and has a hard time choosing a preference among snowboarding in Breckenridge, surfing the Outer Banks, and hiking in Yosemite.

Back home in Havre de Grace, James likes to enjoy his lunch on the banks of the Susquehanna River at Concord Point.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Bel Air, MD, James is a fan of the Baltimore Ravens’ and says his dog is his best friend.

James highly recommends the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies (he’s a fan of pirates and their era) and “Seasons of Life” by Jeffrey Marx, which he found very moving.

Keep your eyes peeled for James, both on our blog and perhaps at a startup in your area soon.

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Sam Ward

Sam, who started with Pendant in March, 2008, loves working with the “helluva good group of people” here and wants to keep working with Pendant into his 90s (still 20 years away).  He especially likes that his job is part-time, and allows him time for playing senior softball and bass fishing on the nearby Susquehanna River, both above and below the Conowingo Dam.

Sam was born in York, PA, and moved to Harford County, where he was raised, at the age of 7.  He is the sole surviving sibling in his family.

Sam is a big fan of the movies, and had to think a bit about which is his favorite, but ultimately settled on “Dances With Wolves”.  We’re considering giving Sam the nickname “Dances With Wires”. As a Master Electrician, Sam handles a lot of local jobs for Pendant, some in our panel shop and some at client locations.

Sam is a long-time fan of the Baltimore Orioles, and plans to keep playing ball as long as he can.

And we’re hoping he keeps dancing with wires for a long time, too.

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Mike Vaeth

Mike joined Pendant in 2012, and over the years built a lot of control panels and supervised the building of a lot of control panels while building his skills in design of automation systems.

Mike is a dedicated family man, a workout warrior, and a fan of the Baltimore Ravens.

Born and raised in Baltimore City, Mike and his family live not too far from the Pendant home office in Havre de Grace.

Mike especially enjoys CAD work, although from time to time he heads to the panel shop to keep his skills sharp and lend his experience. One way the Pendant team knows that Mike is putting in some time in the panel shop is that the music selection tends more to classic rock ‘n’ roll than the usual fare.

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Brad Hoffman

Brad has been with Pendant since January 2017, and is very dedicated to building Pendant’s future in the world of automation.  He loves that the Pendant team takes so much pride in their work – “It’s not just a check to us”.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Harford County, Maryland, Brad is a bit of a Renaissance man with a variety of indoor and outdoor interests, including camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking, climbing, reading, movies, and pro sports. He is Pendant’s resident expert on all things related to comedy and can always be counted on to find the perfect video or meme to lighten things up and make everyone laugh.

He highly recommends the Steig Larsson “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy, the movie “The Usual Suspects”, and a visit to Havre de Grace for the natural beauty and restaurant scene.

Brad is a dedicated fan of the Orioles and the Ravens (isn’t everyone?).

He’s looking forward to more of the same at Pendant – growth, camaraderie, great coworkers, and a great environment for learning and growing.

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Jeremy Ross

Jeremy is another road warrior who spends most of his time with Pendant at client sites on projects. When Jeremy gets a project, the next time you hear from him is to let you know the job is done.

A graduate of Messiah College in 2001, Jeremy is also a musician who participated in the Concert Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and the Jazz Band while in school.

Jeremy lives somewhere in the eastern half of the United States with his family.  Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to meet Jeremy on one of your projects.

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Julianna Reese

Julianna joined Pendant in May 2018 as a software development intern while still in high school. Now an aerospace engineering student (a real rocket scientist?) at the University of Maryland in College Park, Julianna continues to work at Pendant because she finds it a great place to make connections and learn new skills. A typical day will find Julianna curled up under a blanket at her chair (when the A/C is blasting), making her contribution to Pendant’s WXS software development and other software projects.

Julianna is very comfortable at Pendant.  She’s been able to learn on the job, and never feels pressured despite the scope and importance of the projects in which she is involved. She likes that the Pendant team is a collection of down-to-earth people that are always doing their best to create something “amazing” for clients.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Harford County, Maryland, Julianna has a variety of interests outside of school and work. She takes a ribbing from the team for crashing her grandmother’s Infinti SUV a while back, but fortunately nobody was hurt, and Julianna now owns that same SUV.  It helps her explore – she loves traveling, trying out new foods, and hiking or biking somewhere new.  She also is a bit of an artist who loves building things. And Julianna has a real soft spot for animals (there’s a Shmedley joke in there, but I’m holding back).

Havre de Grace for Julianna is a lovely place, with antique shopping, old houses, trains, and, her word, “ships”.  At Julianna’s height, I guess a jet-ski or a 28-foot Bayliner looks like a ship.

Finally, Julianna likes to collect odd little things like cool-looking rocks, buttons and ribbons, and bits of old electronics.  We’re not sure what she’s planning to do with all that, but we are frankly a little nervous about it!

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John Kuszmar

John started his new career in the Pendant Panel Shop in January 2020. In just a short while, he’s already producing and making us wonder if we really need Shmedley (just kidding of course).

John joined Pendant because he liked the idea of being part of the growth at Pendant with the potential for advancement as the company grows.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Perryville, Maryland, just across the Susquehanna River from the Pendant offices, John’s Detroit roots may explain his love for drag racing and building high performance engines, cars, and boats with friends. He loves being out on the water, of which there is plenty right out the door. He’s a hockey fan, and we’re not sure but we think he may have tossed an octopus or two onto the ice at Detroit Redwings’ games in the past.

John loves the attitude of the Pendant team and wants to make sure our clients know how hard we work to meet project deadlines.

It’s early yet and John’s been kind of quiet, so we haven’t seen if he has as much mischief in him as Bart, his favorite Simpson’s character. But being around Shmedley every day gives it the best chance of coming out if it’s in there. We can’t wait to see what happens.

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Bill Class

Bill Class

Bill (affectionately known as Bilbo) started his new career in the Pendant Panel Shop in January 2020. He brings a positive, upbeat attitude into the shop every day, even while being forced to learn new stuff at the hands of Shmedley.

Bill has already noticed how passionate the entire Pendant team is about what we do, but honestly, he doesn’t yet know us all that well. He does enjoy the laughs, and wants everyone to know that you’re getting top quality from the people at Pendant.

Bill grew up in Rising Sun, Maryland, about 15 miles from Havre de Grace, but in an entirely different world, being on the other side of the Susquehanna River. Bill loves that Havre de Grace is a beautiful small town in which to work.

Outside of work, Bill’s a big fan of British humor, and places Monty Python and the Holy Grail atop one of the pinnacles of Western culture (he’s not the only one here at Pendant, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more).

Bill mixes up his leisure hours between indoor pursuits like computer gaming on Twitch and watching anime, and outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing.

We’re glad to have Bilbo on the team.  Now, if we could just get him to stop putting on that ring and talking about “ruling them all”, we’ll probably get some pretty good control panels out of him.

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Tyler Reed

As of this writing on June15, 2020, Tyler is in his second week on the job with Pendant, training and learning as much as he can before we send him out on startup and commissioning jobs. Tyler says that the “sky is the limit” for him at Pendant and he is enjoying being part of a team that encourages and rewards a drive for success. Tyler says that in his first days here at Pendant, he has been exposed to more information, a more knowledgeable team, and better training than from some of the huge corporations he worked for in the past. Now, he doesn’t seem like the type to engage in insincere flattery, and frankly we don’t care anyway because we like being flattered.

Tyler thoroughly enjoys troubleshooting (and other types of shooting – more on that later) and solving problems for clients. So, bring on the problems!

Tyler was born in Starkville, Mississippi and raised in Ackerman, Mississippi.  Never heard of them? No worries, we haven’t either, but if he says they exist, we believe him.

Outside of work, Tyler is a big fan of WWII movies and documentaries.  He’s also an outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting sports, and camping. Tyler is a family man who likes taking the kids on trips, and he’s been known to restore a muscle car or two. Tyler hasn’t had enough time yet to get acquainted with the outdoors activities around Havre de Grace, but all we can say is that the ducks, geese, and bass in the immediate vicinity need to be on guard.

Tyler claims to put his pants on both legs at the same time.  We’re not sure if there’s a trampoline involved, nor if he takes them off the same way. You’ll have to ask him yourself.

Tyler sees some of the same small-town charm in Havre de Grace as he sees in his hometown in Mississippi. That most likely means he hasn’t met enough of us locals yet to get a fully-formed view, but that will come in time.  We haven’t seen him eat any steamed crabs, so that will be a big test for him when it happens. We’ll be watching closely.

One last thing, getting Tyler’s bio questionnaire back confirmed for us that we made the right choice.  Like most people of reason and high class, Tyler is a big fan of the Baltimore Ravens, having followed Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed (no relation) from their time at The University of Miami through their careers in Baltimore.  This obviously means that he also categorically rejects the idea that someone could actually be a fan (with a straight face) of teams like the Bengals or Patriots (you know who you are).

Rest assured then, Tyler, that most of us welcome you to Pendant with open arms!

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Lisa N

Lisa Nuce

Lisa joined Pendant in March 2021 as our Office Manager. She’s here because she wanted something more than a job and looks at her life at Pendant as a career.

A Towson University grad, Lisa was born in Baltimore and raised in the waterfront community of Bowleys Quarters.  Lisa loves the laid-back atmosphere and the teamwork at Pendant. She’s a fan of Havre de Grace because there’s lots to do with a variety of shopping options, including antique stores, the waterfront promenade, great restaurants, and of course the beer muZeum, of which this author was unaware until now.

Like any normal person, Lisa is a fan of the Ravens, the Orioles, and the Terrapins. She is also “forced” (apparently against her will, like most Steelers fans) to be a fan of the Manchester United Football Club from the English Premier League.

Lisa is a mom of two humans and two furry 4-legged “kids”, and has lived in Harford County for 28 years. She loves cooking, indoor plants (we’re not sure how she feels about outdoor plants), and the aforementioned furry creatures. The Brandon Tolson foundation is her number one charitable cause because her family was very close to Brandon. If you find her reading a book, there’s an excellent chance it’s a cookbook. And if you are a fan of the Simpsons, we’ll give you one guess as to which character is LISA’s favorite.

One last thing – don’t ask Lisa to drive over an inclined bridge.  She’s afraid of heights, but she’s going to have to get over it. With Pendant’s track record of growth, she’ll have to get used to the new heights she will be helping Pendant to achieve!

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Steve Caricature

Steven Sulin

Steven permanently joined Pendant’s design team in September, 2020 after a brief stint as an intern. He loves the challenging environment and the people, and so decided that a future with Pendant was a great choice.

Steven is a fan of Bart Simpson’s antics, especially because he used to (and says he still does occasionally) get away with similar antics. We have not observed him skateboarding through the panel shop, and we’ve never heard him tell anyone (except for Sai) to not have a cow, but we’ll take him at his word and keep an eye out for any such antics.

Outside of Pendant, Steven has a passion for cooking. He’s been known to make his own sushi, which we guess counts as cooking? He also enjoys working out.

Steven’s choices for favorite book (Six of Crows) and favorite movie (Venom) are completely unknown to this writer.  However, Steven describes his interest in the movie as an attraction to the idea of the anti-hero.  A key takeaway for him from the movie is that you should strive to make the best impression you can on everyone you meet, but don’t sweat it too much if someone just flat out doesn’t like you. He advises against holding grudges, and has realized at his tender age that life is too short to go through it angry.

Steven grew up in Forest Hill, Maryland, not too far from Pendant’s Havre de Grace headquarters, which he enjoys because of its proximity to the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay, and the smell of salt in the air.

As for sports, Steven would much rather play than watch, meaning that he’s one of those people that doesn’t exclusively reserve Sunday afternoons in the fall to cheer on the Ravens as they inevitably destroy everything in their path. This, of course, makes us question his character, but we’ll reserve judgment until we see how he progresses as a designer. And even if he fails that test, we want him to know we’re easily bought off by some good sushi!

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