Patti Engineering 25 Years in Song

25 Years in Song

Resource Type: Newsletters | June 30, 2016

We hope you will enjoy our trip down memory lane as we highlight both our accomplishments, bumps and bruises, and lessons learned over the last 25 years- in song!

June 3rd marked 25 years in business for Patti Engineering.  We are certainly grateful for our employees, customers, and partners who have ridden the waves with us and supported us even when times were tough.  Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, a place, or even a person, we decided to have a little fun with celebrating our silver anniversary.  We hope you will enjoy our trip down memory lane as we highlight both our accomplishments, bumps and bruises, and lessons learned over the last 25 years- in song!  We’ve made the playlist available on Spotify.


1991 – Take this Job and Shove It – David Allan Coe

Sam started the company on June 3, 1991, after leaving his job at Total Control Products.  He was just 3 weeks away from marrying Patti, and named the company after her.

1992 – Taking Care of Business – Bachman Turner Overdrive

In the first full year of the business, “I worked a ton!” Sam said.  He was takin’ care of business and working overtime.

1993 – Leavin’ On a Jet Plane – John Denver

Projects started expanding to places all over the country, so Sam was traveling a lot.  Patti always went to Flint and stayed with her parents whenever Sam went out of town. “At one point, Patti’s Dad jokingly asked why we got married, because Patti still hadn’t moved out of their house.”

1994 – With a Little Help from My Friends – Joe Cocker

After three years of being just a man and a laptop, Sam decided that the company need to get by with a little help from his friends. He hired additional engineers, and the first ever employee (beyond Sam and Patti) was one of Sam’s fraternity brothers.

1995 – Positive Vibration – Bob Marley

Dave Foster joined the Patti team. When Sam met Dave at SAE racing showcase.  The song has to be Bob Marley, because Dave spent his formative years living in the Cayman Islands with his Dad and interned with Caribbean Utilities in the Cayman Islands.

1996 – If You Leave Me Now – Chicago

Of the 5 employees that started at the beginning of the year, 4 of them quit. “I learned some lessons about delegation,” says Sam.

1997 – If I had a Million Dollars – Barenaked Ladies

The first time we hit $1,000,000 in sales.  Although we did have a million dollars, we did not buy a fur coat – certainly not a real fur coat that’s cruel.

1998 – Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

Business is going well; we are navigating through the growing pains of success.

1999 – Fire and Rain – James Taylor

Tragedy hit our Patti family when one of our young engineer’s new bride passed away only eight months after they were married and less than a month after her cancer diagnosis. This was the first time– but certainly not the last – that it really hit home: this business is personal.  We are a family-run company and our company is family.

2000 – Our House – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

We constructed our new building that is still our Auburn Hills Office.

2001 – Stand By Me – Otis Redding

We did a project for an OEM who tried to bankrupt us. They were withholding payments for no reason other than to break us. If it wasn’t for Clarkston State Bank standing behind us, the OEM may have succeeded.

2002 – Forever Young – Rod Stewart

Our first garment sortation project kicked off this year with Forever 21.

2003 – Big Time – Peter Gabriel

We picked up a couple of very large projects and had record sales.  Looking back, we started to get a little over-confident.  If we had it to do over, we would have been a little more cautious this year.

2004 – Out of Control – U2

Cost overruns on a couple of projects and the stress of the rapid growth of 2004 strains our organization.

2005 – Born To Lose – Johnny Cash

The stress and pressure created by the previous two years make 2005 a difficult year.

2006 – 21 Guns – Green Day

Patti Engineering spins off its sister company, LEID Products. LEID Products was founded in conjunction with Rick Crigger, a retired police lieutenant, to assist police departments in securely storing and tracking weapons and valuable equipment.

2007 – The Losing Side of Me – Maverick

Like it was for many, foreshadowing the recession, 2007 was yet another difficult year.

2008 – Better Days – Goo Goo Dolls

After 3 not so great years, we actually do damn well in 2008 and make a very good profit.

2009 – If We Make It Through December – Merle Haggard

2009 was another profitable year, but because the auto industry hit the skids and the banking industry was in an upheaval, it seemed like we spent the whole year playing chicken with the bank. We felt that if we could make it to 2010 and still be in business that everything would be okay.

2010 – If You’re Gonna Play in Texas – Alabama

We expanded to Texas!  If we were gonna play in Texas, we had to have a fiddle in the band so Steve Palmgren headed down first, and later in the year, Nick Hitchcock moved to the Lone Star state.

2011 – The Gambler – Kenny Rogers

The gamble of expanding to Texas paid off and we had a record year.

2012 – Cover of the Rolling Stone – Dr. Hook

Maybe the Automation Integrator Guide isn’t quite Rolling Stone, but we were named 2013 Control System Integrator of the Year in December of this year.  Sam was on the cover and yes, we did buy five copies for our mother.

2013 – Communication Breakdown – Led Zepplin

We go thru an internal restructuring to improve communications with our team members.

2014 – Young Americans – David Bowie

As we continued to grow, we increased our efforts to find young engineering talent by recruiting college graduates who are the right fit for the Patti Team.

2015 – Kokomo – The Beach Boys

We headed way down to Kokomo (Indiana) where we opened a virtual office. Our anchor customer, 2015 Customer of the Year, is FCA Transmissions and Castings.  We did not head to Aruba or Jamaica, but we did also open an office in Tennessee the same year.

2016 – 25 or 6 to 4 – Chicago

Hit the 25 year milestone!


We hope you enjoy the playlist as much as we’ve enjoyed the last quarter century!

Download the Playlist on Spotify.

Related categories: Company

Sam Hoff's Bio


Samuel M. Hoff, Chief Executive Officer, started the company from his home in 1991. Since then he’s expanded his business to more than 35 college-degreed engineers. Patti Engineering has engineering offices in Auburn Hills, MI, Austin, TX, and Indianapolis, IN.