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Our Story

For over 60 years we have designed and built systems for the world’s most renowned innovators.

About Us

Trusted partner since 1961
Innovated over 8,000 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 500 employees

From automated manufacturing of life saving medical devices, to safely dismantling Chernobyl, sending rockets into deep space, and adaptive manufacturing of aerospace components, for over 60 years PAR has been designing ingenious solutions that bring our customers’ innovations to life. With expertise in highly regulated and precision industries of Life Sciences, Aerospace, and Nuclear, we design and integrate engineered systems for the world’s most renowned visionaries.

PAR Systems partners with our customers to meet their project needs at any scale including pre-automation proof of concept studies, robotic work cell production, fully integrated automation systems and post-implementation service and support. Our diverse application capabilities span across automated assembly, advanced manufacturing and critical handling solutions. We leverage expertise from our highly technical staff, market intelligence, and our unique synergy across industries. This combination enables us to continuously apply leading edge technologies that help our customers gain competitive advantage and produce first-of-a-kind innovations. As a global leader in intelligent manufacturing, we have delivered and supported over 8,000 systems in 30+ countries around the world.

Our History


Programmed And Remote Systems

PAR Systems was created as a spin-off of General Mills with focus on remote manipulators and nuclear fuel handling


Technology Introductions

Additional core capabilities were introduced including XR gantry robots, large custom robotic systems, and the CIMROC robot controller


PAR Systems, Inc.

Invested in innovating marine and aerospace solutions through automated robotic systems, multi-axis waterjet systems, and standard robotic equipment


Acquired Ederer

Integrated Ederer’s 100 years of specialty crane design and manufacturing experience with PAR’s remote handling and robotics experience


Acquired Jered

New platforms to offer to our customers in military and naval material handling capabilities


PAR Systems Moves

We moved to Shoreview, MN, still our home today, to allow capacity for continued growth


Acquired Friction Stir Welding from MTS

Friction Stir Welding technology increases depth of capabilities in space, aerospace, defense, nuclear and transportation industries


Acquired OakRiver Technology

Increased depth of expertise in automated equipment platforms for medical device and small part assembly applications


Acquired CAMotion

Merged innovations in material handling and advanced crane motion control with existing capabilities


PAR Systems

PAR Systems was acquired by The Pohlad Companies, a privately held portfolio of businesses and investments spanning a variety of industries

Effective 1 August 2023, PAR Systems’ Laser Center of Excellence was sold to TEACO Lasers, owned by Ruan Mulder, a former employee of the Laser Center of Excellence. TEACO is a preferred supplier of PAR’s for CO2 lasers.  For inquires on new standalone CO2 lasers only, please visit or contact TEACO here.


For inquires on systems which may include lasers, please contact PAR Systems.

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.

Karla Leis is our fearless leader, operating as President and CEO 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 serves as PAR Systems’ CFO and Chief Quality and Risk Officer with responsibility for Finance, Accounting, Information Systems, Quality, EHS, and Facilities teams. 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 29 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 and restoring older cars.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Meet Peter, a driving force behind our commitment to carbon-free initiatives worldwide. With a wealth of experience, Peter is dedicated to ensuring the sustained growth of our nuclear capabilities, enabling us to support the cutting-edge innovations our customers demand. As the Vice President of Operations Peter is head of project management, manufacturing, and service for PAR’s Critical Handling Solutions, where his leadership ensures seamless execution and unparalleled quality. Since joining PAR in 2002, Peter has been instrumental in our journey towards excellence. He has worn many hats, from managing operations to overseeing critical projects in the nuclear space. He has demonstrated his diverse skill set through his previous roles including Business Segment Leader for Specialty Cranes and Senior Director of Project Management. With Peter at the helm, we’re confident in our customer’s missions to power the future through sustainable, efficient nuclear solutions.

As Vice President of Operations for our Automation segment, Donna leads a team of managers responsible for supply chain, manufacturing, field services, logistics, facilities and EHS.  Donna is a customer focused leader that places strong emphasis on communication, collaboration, and empowerment of employees, while leveraging past experiences to help guide innovative thinking balanced with outcome focused process discipline.  She joined PAR in 2022 with more than 20 years manufacturing and field service operations leadership experience from MTS Systems Corporation and a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.   Donna’s passion, commitment, and drive for success has created a positive work environment that embraces customer satisfaction and operational excellence.

In the dynamic world of industrial automation, marketing is the bridge that connects innovation with impact. Meet Tracy, our customer-centric marketing and communications leader who leads a dedicated team with expertise spanning Automation and Critical Handling Solutions. With two decades of automation experience across a spectrum of leadership roles- from design engineering and application engineering to technical sales, product management, and marketing- Tracy brings a unique blend of technical acumen and strategic marketing expertise. Her hallmark is adaptability to evolving market trends and an unwavering commitment to delivering value and exceptional customer experiences. Armed with a bachelors degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin- River Falls and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, she has steered numerous companies through the ever-evolving landscape of marketing and communications.

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”.

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 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.

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.

Joe’s journey with PAR started in 2005 as a mechanical designer. Over the years he has risen through various technical roles until reaching his current position as Chief Engineer for Automated Assembly applications. With a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MSOE, Joe has been passionate about automation from the very start. His expertise primarily revolves around human implantable products and the broader field of life sciences. With unyielding commitment to innovation and the expertise of PAR’s engineers and technicians, Joe has integrated an array of cutting-edge technologies into PAR’s portfolio including: advances in machine vision, robotics, ultrasonics, force feedback, fluid dispensing and laser processing technologies. One of his standout achievements was spearheading the design of PAR’s groundbreaking hydrophilic, UV cure dip coating product, the DC100. Joe’s visionary approach continues to drive the company’s success in delivering cutting-edge solutions to our valued customers.

Our Values


We do what’s right,


Our strength is realized through different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.


We are committed to the mutual success of our employees, customers and shareholders.


We know where we’re going and how we’ll get there.


Always prepared for what's next.

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