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June 2012 - Vol. VI, Issue 6
Patti Engineering


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We have lots to celebrate this month at Patti Engineering. Summer is here, our Patti Engineering family is growing and we are celebrating the second anniversary of our Texas branch!


Texas FlagOur successful move into Texas is the topic for our article this month. We will explain the catalyst for our expansion, the reasons we chose Texas, and our plans for future growth. 


Nick Hitchcock is one of our key engineers on the Texas team and is featured in our spotlight this month. In addition to congratulating Nick for being chosen for our personnel spotlight, we congratulate Nick and his wife, Melanie, on the birth of their first child, Scarlett, a beautiful baby girl born on June 1st, 2012.


We always love your feedback. Let us know if there is a specific automation topic you are interested in or if you have comments on what we have covered here.


Thank you for your interest in Patti Engineering!


Best regards,

Georgia H. Whalen
Director of Marketing
Patti Engineering
Phone: 978.697.2664

Patti Engineering Makes its Mark in Texas


Lone Star StateEarlier this week we announced our two year anniversary for our Texas office. The Lone Star State has been good to us; we have exceeded our growth expectations to date and we are ramping up our investment for continued growth.

To understand our decision to enter the Texas market, we have to go back to the recession that began in the late 2000's and is, to date, the worst economic downturn in the United States since the Great Depression. They did not call it the 'Great Recession' for nothing. To make matters worse, the Michigan area was hit especially hard. With GM and the auto industry at the brink of disaster, the joke we often heard was, 'last one out of Michigan, turn out the lights.' 

To add insult to injury, we had the financial crisis and the banking clamp down. While many big businesses like insurance companies and big banks were handed bail outs, many of the mid-size and small businesses were brought to their knees by the very banks that caused the financial meltdown. We all saw the demise of many local businesses and big layoffs from the huge corporations to the corner store. Patti Engineering was not immune to the suffering.

We all have our favorite words of wisdom that help motivate and inspire us to push forward in business, especially in times of difficulty. In our case, a quote from Lee Iacocca comes to mind:


"In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words:
people, product and profits.
Unless you've got a good team,
you can't do much with the other two."
-Lee Iacocca

One thing Sam Hoff, president of Patti Engineering, knew for sure was that he had a great team. This certainly played a huge role in the company's ability to survive and thrive. Sam had faith in his engineering team and he knew the Michigan economy would come back eventually, but Sam and the management team sought ways to diversify and grow to ensure Patti Engineering's long term success.

After a year of research, Sam and his team determined that the energy and industrial rich state of Texas was a good fit for our engineers' skill set and a great opportunity to meet our diversification goals. With some of our most talented engineers willing to relocate to Texas, Sam and his team knew we had a great shot at making this work!

In a market with a strong presence of existing control system integrators, some had doubts our Auburn Hills, Michigan based company would be successful in carving our own niche. Austin/San Antonio Siemens Senior Account Manager, Rich Jacobson, was among the skeptical.

"I just did not see the need for another integrator in our market, but their engineers came in and wowed us with their technical knowledge and capabilities with Siemens automation products," commented Jacobson. "The difference was night and day. Patti Engineering is the best Siemens Automation Solution Partner that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. They quickly became our top go to resource."


Steve Palmgren
Steve Palmgren

Steve Palmgren, Patti Engineering senior electrical engineer and branch manager, is leading Texas expansion efforts. Steve's experience as the lead engineer on many of Patti Engineering's major projects for the past ten years has proved invaluable. We have been adding to our Texas engineering staff and we will soon be hiring a local business development manager.

"Celebrating our 2nd year anniversary is a great honor.  I attribute our ability to successfully enter into the Texas market with strong growth results to our most valuable assets: our talented and dedicated engineers, whose performance has quickly established Patti Engineering as a trusted and valuable resource to our new clients," said Hoff. "In addition, we want to thank all of our business partners and new clients for helping us achieve this milestone."

Sam's hunch about the potential for growth in Texas turned out to be correct. On May 1, 2012 a  Forbes article entitled 'The Best Cities for Jobs' by Joel Kotkin and Michael Shires confirmed Texas cities are out-performing most; below is an excerpt from the article:

Energy-rich Texas cities dominate our list - the state has added some 200,000 generally high-paying oil and gas jobs over the past decade - but Texas is also leading in industrial job growth, technology and services. In first place in our ranking of the 65 largest metropolitan areas is Austin, which has logged strong growth in manufacturing, technology-related employment and business services. Houston places second, Fort Worth fourth, and Dallas-Plano-Irving sixth.

We are counting our blessings here at Patti Engineering. Texas has been good to us and we look forward to what the future holds!


Phone: 1-800-852-0994 (US Only)
(248) 364-3200


Logos Together 
Patti Personnel - Nick Hitchcock
Nick Hitchcock and Family
Nick, Melanie and Scarlett
This month our spotlight is on Nick Hitchcock. Nick's dedication and talent as an engineer has contributed greatly to our success in Texas. Nick joined Patti Engineering in 2008 and has been involved in many of our major projects. Most of those projects involved Siemens controlled equipment in automotive environments, including powertrain projects for diesel engine assembly lines and robotic gantry projects for machining processes.
In addition to the automotive projects, Nick has added to his depth of expertise with diverse projects including: a plasma furnace project for a chemical company and varied projects at a concrete facility, a cement facility, and a forge. He has even serviced the controls on a roller coaster!

"We have been very pleased with Nick's technical capabilities and expertise; he has been an instrumental team member for our Texas office," said Sam Hoff, president of Patti Engineering. "We have received accolades from our partners and clients regarding Nick's performance, helping to establish a great reputation for Patti Engineering in Texas."

Nick earned his Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and he has continued to further his engineering credentials. In June 2011 Nick became certified on Simatic S7 PLCs, Simatic HMIs, and Industrial Networking through the Siemens Solution Partner Program. In October 2011 Nick passed the FE exam and he has plans to take the PE exam in April 2013.

Originally from Plymouth, Michigan, Nick and his wife Melanie relocated to Austin, Texas in July of 2010 to help grow the Texas office. Just this month, on June 1st, Nick and Melanie added to their family with the birth of their beautiful baby girl, Scarlett.

Nick HitchcockWhat many may not know about Nick is that from the age of 3 through college, Nick was a gymnast. That explains the handstand on the Great Wall of China (pictured on the left)! While in college and for the first year he was with Patti Engineering, he also coached and judged gymnastics. Nick met his wife who was also a coach, through gymnastics. The dedication and discipline required to be a gymnast, especially at the college level, has no doubt transferred into his drive and determination to be a great Nick Hitchcockengineer!

When Nick is not hard at work for Patti Engineering he likes to read (primarily history), follow the Tiger's (he signed up for an subscription so he can watch them in Texas), and he also like to go snowboarding in the winter. With the birth of Scarlett earlier this month, Nick is looking forward to the challenge of raising his first child.

Nick shared his perspective on being part of the Patti Engineering team:

"Working with Patti Engineering these past four years has been quite the experience. Patti Engineering provides every employee with challenges and high expectations, but also plenty of support from coworkers and management in order to meet and beat the expectations. Every challenge provides another opportunity to learn a new skill and another chance to improve. The challenging environment, the support of a great team, and the company's commitment to offering its customers quality engineering solutions makes Patti Engineering quite the fulfilling place to work."