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

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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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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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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MIke Dorsey Simpson

Mike Dorsey

Mike joined Pendant in August 2021, and when you look at his input form for creating this bio, it’s pretty clear he doesn’t know us very well yet. The best part of Mike’s job is “the team he works with” and he’s here at Pendant because it’s a “great opportunity to work with amazing people”. Honestly, we brought Mike on board so more people would be inclined to say things like that about us. If you’re involved in warehouse automation projects with Pendant, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually see him on-site at your facility helping to execute a great startup.

Mike brings a passionate focus on family with him as part of his core purpose. He loves his wife and kids and even selected Homer as his favorite Simpsons character because of Homer’s dedication to his family (Mike said he’s willing to overlook Homer choking Bart in Bart’s more annoying moments). In the short time we’ve known him so far, it’s apparent how much this means to Mike, and we’re pretty sure he’s going to feel like a valued family member here, too.
Maryland’s capital city, Annapolis, is Mike’s hometown as he was born and raised there. It has to be one of the coolest capital cities in the entire USA, as it is the home of the United States Naval Academy, one of the sailing capitals of the world, and the site of one of the most beautiful and historic statehouse buildings. So, when Mike heaps praise on Havre de Grace, Pendant’s home, for its collection of small businesses and great food, it carries real weight.

A dedicated gamer with a collection of over 500 games, Mike has found some connections here at Pendant (Bill, Steven) with whom he can talk shop. Five hundred games might sound like a big investment, but Mike’s favorite book, “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey, makes it so that Mike made that investment responsibly. Mike’s review of Ramsey’s book is pretty inspiring: “Reading and applying the information in that book changed the way I think about money, and forever changed my family tree. Now my family is on the path to financial freedom.”

One thing Mike would like everyone to know about Pendant is that “We are people of our word. When we say we are going to do something we do it.” Mike, we’re excited to have you on board. And by doing great things for our clients together, we’re going to help you and your family move forward on that path to financial freedom. You have our word.

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Sai Simpson character

Sai Ungarala

Sai joined the Pendant team in January 2021 as a software developer with the primary role of continuing the development of the Revolution Street WXS application. Growing up in Hyderabad, Sai exuberantly brings the flavors of India (pretty much every day) into Pendant’s office in Havre de Grace.

Sai loves working at Pendant because of the awesome people and work environment, but more so because at least once a month for the monthly leadership team meeting, the entire team is treated to Chick-Fil-A (more on that later).

A self-described movie buff, Sai says his favorite movie is Pirates of the Caribbean, because “he is Jack Sparrow”. This author takes issue with Sai’s status as movie buff due to dozens of broken promises over the past year on Sai’s part to watch highly recommended movies, often leading to extreme sadness on Monday mornings when he confirms that, yet again, he didn’t watch the movie.  This may not be entirely his fault, as Sai also claims a passion for hibernation, which probably leaves little time for movie buffing. But we’ll keep trying. (Side question – is it possible to hibernate passionately?)

Affectionately known in the office as “Chocolate Thunder”, Sai wants everyone to know he can eat 20 chicken nuggets in one sitting (one guess as to which brand of nuggets). His favorite book is “Algorithms” because it helps him sleep as soon as he opens it. And he also wants to share this grand vision for his life of owning someday a 100-inch TV to hibernate in front of (certainly not to watch sports as he’s not very interested).

The best part of Sai’s job is that he gets to see the physical results of the work he does when a warehouse automation system is running according to plan.  He’s proud to be part of the team, and in a moment of poetic genius, he says “you can always be dependent on Pendant.”

Keep up the great work, Sai, and we’ll keep the Chick-Fil-A coming!

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John Sears

John joined Pendant in March 2022 as a Project Manager. He’s off to a great start and has settled into his role very comfortably.

Born and raised in Baltimore, John is a big fan of both the Orioles and the Ravens, and in a past life was a sports talk radio host and a beat reporter for the Orioles. As a result, he brings a very different and inside perspective when the conversation turns to sports. We’re just very happy that his head is screwed on straight when it comes to who he pulls for.

Outside of work, John enjoys traveling and hanging out with his wife and dogs. He likes to go camping on a family property in West Virginia, visiting breweries in and around the Baltimore area (never before work), and playing competitive video games, which puts him in good company with some other Pendant team members.

John says his favorite book is The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (a personal favorite of yours truly, also) for its unique retelling of the Battle of Gettysburg. He’s a fan of the movie Inception because of its thought-provoking and challenging approach to cinema. Unfortunately, John has never watched an episode of The Simpsons (doh!!), so we couldn’t get a favorite character out of him, but we’re willing to let it slide.

As for John’s thoughts about Pendant, he’s grateful for the helpfulness of his teammates, and the support he has received as he comes up to speed. He likes finding solutions to problems that arise that benefit both Pendant and our great clients. With lead times on materials being what they are since John arrived, he’s on the fast track to learning how to manage issues and still help deliver projects on time.

We’re glad to have you on board, John, and if you get to meet him on an upcoming project, you’ll be glad we have him on board, too.

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Pete Krajewski

Pete joined the Pendant team in October 2021 as a Panel Technician with the primary role of building high quality control panels for Pendant projects, and is currently making a transition to a role as an Estimator with responsibility for turning out high quality project proposals. Born in the Washington DC area, Pete grew up in Bel Air, MD, a short distance from Pendant’s office in Havre de Grace.

Pete was introduced to Pendant by James Butler, Pendant’s VP of Project Execution, and so far we have James to thank for that (as opposed to blame). Pete has blended in nicely with the Pendant team and he especially enjoys the companionship and willingness to work together on common goals. He has also taken well to Havre de Grace which he likes for its variety of things to do and the scenic walks all around the area.

An avid sports fan, we must apologize in advance for his mystifying love of the NY Yankees, although he somewhat redeems himself by being a fan of the Baltimore Ravens. He also counts Chelsea (EPL), the Washington Capitals, and the Portland TrailBlazers as his favorites in other sports.

Pete wants everyone to know that he has learned very quickly that the Pendant team, while heavily emphasizing standards, also shows a great deal of willingness to take on new challenges and push our limits.

On the personal side, Pete chooses Bart as his favorite Simpsons character because of his ability to be at the peak of wisdom and the depths of stupidity at the same time. Pete loves to read and loves to run (not sure if he does both at the same time), and is a fan of LEGO. He highly recommends the book “Unbroken” as a reminder for anyone engaging in self-pity that it can’t be that bad compared to what the hero of the book, Louis, went through. He’s also a fan of the movie “Remember the Titans” for its impact on his understanding of the tensions and issues that were occurring at the time of the movie’s setting (at a scholl he would have attended had his family not moved to Maryland).

Finally, in an interesting juxtaposition, Pete loves the outdoors and outdoor activities (including exterior design), but also has a strong liking for interior design and certain shows on HGTV he describes as his guilty pleasure.

We’re glad you’re on board Pete. We’ll see you running around town!

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