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We are a Global Leader in Intelligent Manufacturing

For over 60 years, our people have designed and built systems that continue to transform manufacturing. Our automation expertise allows us to bring our customers’ innovations to life. We create intelligent systems that deliver next-level quality, precision and adaptability.

Put our experience and expertise to work for you.

Trusted partner since 1961
Innovated over 3,000 systems across the globe
75% of our team is an engineering or technical expert
Our systems operate in over 30 countries
Our team consists of over 450 employees

PAR's commitment to our values is our commitment to you. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly.

Our values are the foundation for how we work. How we get there is just as important as what we accomplish, and we are dedicated to operating our business in a way that makes us proud.

Character

We do what’s right, always.
(Integrity and Courage)

Diversity

Our strength is realized through different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.
(Inclusion and Empathy)

Ambition

We play to win.
(Drive and Purpose)

Clarity

We know where we’re going and how we’ll get there.
(Focus and Communication)

Anticipation

What’s next?
(Curiosity and Preparation)

Our Leaders

At PAR, we believe that excellence can be found in people from a wide variety of backgrounds. It’s from this melting pot, that we have built a leadership team of world-class thinkers and innovators who see problems as challenges to be solved.
Tom Pohlad
CEO
Tom Pohlad joined PAR as CEO in 2019 as part of his family’s acquisition of the business one year prior. Before joining PAR, Tom spent 10 years at Carousel Motor Group, including five as CEO. In addition to his roles at Carousel Motor Group, Tom’s experience spans multiple family owned businesses over his 20 year professional career. Tom joined PAR to unblock growth, evolve the culture and position PAR to be a global leader in automation. In addition to his role at PAR, Tom is active in the governance of his family businesses and sits on the Board of Trustees at Breck School. Tom lives in Wayzata, MN with his wife, Lindsay, and their three sons.
Karla Leis
President and COO, PAR Systems
Karla Leis is our fearless leader, operating as President and COO of PAR Systems.  Karla leads by example; she is a hands on leader that brings collaboration, energy and resiliency to all of our teams.  Her passion for technology and innovation, coupled with a strong track record in building businesses, inspire our team to make what most think is impossible, possible. Karla brings more than 25 years of experience in various roles in strategy, product management, international marketing, sales, and general management.  She has spent her career at companies such as nVent, Tennant Company and Entrust Datacard.  Karla has MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.   She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and if you look closely enough, you will spot her cheering on Gopher's football on Saturdays in the fall.
Pete Dankwerth
CFO
Pete serves as PAR Systems CFO with responsibility for Finance & Accounting, Information Systems, Risk Management and Legal. Pete joined PAR in November 2021 from Sodexo, where he served as Senior Vice President Finance supporting Sodexo’s North American Healthcare business. Prior to Sodexo, Pete was with Smiths Medical, where he served as Vice President Finance supporting sales globally. Previously, he served as Vice President Financial Planning & Analysis for Honeywell’s Automation and Control Solutions segment. He also held several progressive finance leadership roles at Ecolab, Johnson Controls and GE. Over 28 years, he has held positions in supply chain, internal audit, finance and six sigma, many with global responsibility, and began his career on GE’s Manufacturing Management Program. Pete graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University. He lives in St. Louis Park with his wife, Michelle, and two children, Abbey and Eli and their dog, Abel.  In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, hiking and restoring older cars.
Rachel Resnick
SVP, Human Resources
Organizations are only as strong as their people; and while cliché, it's true.  Rachel Resnick, SVP Human Resources, skillfully works to bring our culture and values to life.  Our people organization drives creative talent initiatives so our employees can do their best work each and every day.  To deliver world class solutions for our customers, Rachel’s team ensures we bring in the best talent, create meaningful careers for our employees, and that we all have an awesome place to work! Prior to coming to PAR, Rachel worked in various human resources roles at Collins Aerospace, AT&T, DIRECTV and Pfizer.  She stays busy chasing her little two boys or riding her Peloton bike to nowhere. Not being from Minnesota means Rachel is constantly exploring the state and trying new things in her quest to become a true local.
David Bustamante
VP, Engineering
As Vice President of Engineering, David Bustamante has responsibility for Research & Development, Technology, Applications Engineering, and Engineering for the Automation Business Unit at PAR Systems.   David has over 30 years of success introducing best practices and driving continuous improvements across complex, fast-paced design, engineering, and production environments in the automotive and aerospace sectors. He has demonstrated diverse skills in strategic planning, decision-making, operational leadership, and large-scale project management.   Prior to joining PAR Systems, David served in roles such as Vice President of Engineering - Automotive / Aerospace for Valiant TMS and as Chief Executive of the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler for Stellantis.   David earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science from Texas A&M University, both in Aerospace Engineering.   David and his wife Jami have been married for 30 years and have 7 children.
Pete Briguet
VP Sales, Enterprise Accounts
As the Vice President of Sales for Aerospace and Defense Automation, Pete drives Advanced Manufacturing solutions for PAR’s growing number of customers engaged in aircraft and space vehicle manufacturing; he also manages PAR’s support to the Department of Defense and other government agencies. Pete joined PAR in 2018, after 24 years in the Air Force as an Acquisition Officer and Flight Test Engineer.  His career experiences include the development and integration of advanced technologies across the cyberspace, aircraft, spacecraft, and intelligence communities.  At PAR, he leads a global sales team entrusted with managing relationships with our enterprise customers, and he is charged with coordinating the translation of complex technical requirements into cost-effective automation solutions.  Finally, Pete identifies and advocates for internal PAR innovation efforts to keep PAR’s technical competencies ahead of our customers’ ever-changing automation needs.
Jim Cunov
Chief Engineer, Aerospace
Jim is working towards 37 years at PAR with a large majority of that time being focused on Aerospace applications.  Jim has personally been involved in aerospace projects around the world and on military and commercial aircraft as well as space applications, with many of the top airframe manufacturers.  Throughout his career Jim has held positions in engineering, project management, business development, business leadership and technology leadership.  Jim’s overriding focus is to find the optimal solution for the situation.  Sometimes this is within the customer request and sometimes it involves reaching beyond the specific request to provide even greater value.  “Focus on the automation solution so the customer can focus on the aircraft”.
Mike Echols
President, PAR Marine
Mike Echols is president of Jered, a leading marine systems company and provider of critical defense systems and service for the U.S. Navy and its allies around the world.  As president of Jered, Echols is responsible for strategic direction and global operations of the company.  He brings over 20 years of experience to Jered and his leadership has been focused on developing and delivering highly engineered mission critical systems, maintaining ship readiness, and driving profitable growth. Throughout his career Echols has been focused on delivering exceptional results through M&A and company building.  Echols is active in the twin cities community and serves on the board of directors for the St. Paul Minnesota Foundation (“SPMF”), Vice Chair of SPMF’s multi-billion dollar investment portfolio, executive board for Adam Thielen Foundation, and is on the advisory board for 3x5 Partners.  He is married with two children and lives in St. Paul Minnesota.
Jim Freeman
Chief Engineer, Friction Stir Welding
As Chief Engineer for the I-STIR™ Friction Stir Welding (FSW) Group at PAR Systems, Jim is responsible for maintaining the I-STIR product line, identifying customer needs and finding solutions to those most challenging customer requirements. Dating back to his introduction to Friction Stir Welding while attending the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and his work in the Arbegast Materials Processing and Joining Laboratory, Jim has over 20 years of experience in Friction Stir Welding, helping deliver state-of-the art, turn-key welding equipment and FSW process development solutions for a broad range of customers and industries around the globe. His career started at MTS Systems in the I-STIR FSW group, prior to joining PAR Systems when the group was acquired from MTS in 2012.
Dan Hagen
Business Segment Leader
Dan Hagen is a 20 year PAR employee with an additional 20 years of experience in custom automation.  With degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration, Dan has held several different roles at PAR, currently he is Chief Engineer.  Dan has been fortunate to have led or been part of teams that have developed unique automation solutions for a wide variety of industries and applications: Food (raw and packaged), Consumer Goods, Building Products, Aerospace, Space, Metal Fabrication, Automotive, Foundry, Furniture and a host of unusual applications that could be grouped into ‘Other’.  Two that stand out: Timely delivery of systems to support production of Humvee armor during the Iraq war and rapid delivery of dispensing systems to produce respirators during the COVID pandemic.
Nick Maciejewski
VP, Sales
As Vice President of Sales, Nick Maciejewski drives PAR’s strategic direction and sales execution for automated assembly solutions.  Nick has over 15 years of automation experience in a variety of leadership roles across engineering, service and product management.  With a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, Nick continues to help assess technical feasibility with his clients and drive the engineering solution, in addition to leading the commercial aspects of the sales team.  He has focused mostly on the life science industry throughout his career and is proud to be working with many of the top med tech companies.  Nick’s phrase “Saving or improving lives, one machine at a time!” exemplifies his passion for this industry.
Rob Owen
Director for Business Development for Cranes/Environmental/Nuclear
Rob Owen is currently the Director of Business for CEN for PAR, responsible for business development, strategic planning, and the support of sales and application engineering for all Environmental, Nuclear Power and Crane projects.  With over 30 years of experience in manufacturing and in the nuclear industry, Rob helps to guide customers and internal resources to the applicable PAR equipment for hazardous environments and heavy lifting.  Rob has a deep understanding of the challenges in the nuclear industry, having been a design engineer, project manager, engineering manager, quality manager, and business segment leader. PAR’s ENC equipment is used worldwide, with installations at nuclear sites supporting operations, clean-up, chemical demilitarization, weapons programs, fuel processing and post-irradiation examination.  Rob managed the design/build contract for the cranes and tool deployment platform for the massive environmental clean-up project at Chernobyl and for another custom crane system used for spent fuel retrieval at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.  Mr. Owen holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University and resides in Shoreview, Minnesota USA.
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