Meet the People who make it all happen

  • Portrait of Robyne Lyles

    Robyne Lyles

    Co-Founder / Partner

    Co-developed FreedomCar concept with Mark while simultaneously bringing in an actual paycheck from a real job so everyone in the family could eat. Been the company’s secret weapon ever since. In charge of company finances and technology, Robyne designs and maintains all of the things that keep FreedomCar running in proper form, yet receives no recognition from anyone in particular unless things go wrong.

    Baltimore Cred: Park School Alum, JHU Alum

    Business Cred: MBA from University of Chicago

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Baltimore skyline, as seen from Northbound I-95


    portrait of Mark Thistel

    Mark Thistel

    Co-Founder / Partner

    Mark was born and raised in Baltimore, and lives and breathes our City. The only thing more important to him than Baltimore is Robyne, their daughter Maeve, and FreedomCar, the company he and Robyne started (along with their marriage) in 1991. Mark, Robyne and Maeve now reside in “the secret center of the Universe” (also known as Hampden) in a 200-year-old historic home they brought back to life around 2008. Come visit! Mark loves visitors, but you’ll have to listen to his stories about the history of the place and that can take a while. He also loves running into FreedomCar clients at random locations and times around Baltimore—always a great experience that reminds him why he loves his job, this city and the people in it so much.

    Baltimore Academic Cred: Park School Alum, JHU Alum

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: The SS John W. Brown (WWII Liberty ship)


  • Portrait of Emily Brenneman

    Emily Brenneman

    Manager, Since 1999

    Emily’s been with FreedomCar since she was a youngin. Still younger than most of us, she’s Manager in Charge of Accounts, which means that if you owe us money, she’ll be calling you just about now. She’s a woman of many mysteries and likes to keep it that way, so is appearing on this web page only under protest. Duly noted, but you’re too valuable to hide, Emily.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: The Hippo Nightclub


    Rebecca Brown

    Rebecca Brown

    Associate Manager, Employee Since 2011

    Rebecca is a manager, a driver, a baker, and a bandage-maker. She’s most proud of getting her EMT certification…and we’re proud of her, too. We’re also always happy to be on the receiving end of her tasty, transportation-themed desserts to help us celebrate special events here at FreedomCar HQ.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Baltimore Zoo


    headshot of Suzette Smith

    Suzette Hemmings Smith

    Facilities Manager, Since 2012

    Since her hairstyle changes so often, the best way to recognize Suzette is by her awesome Jamaican accent. She was born there, so it’s not just for show. She knows how to tun up di ting, mon. Truthfully, you can’t keep this working mother of two (beautiful) children down, she’s utterly irrepressible and equally unflappable. Believe it or not, she finds being at work peaceful, which is hilarious to us.  And now that she’s in charge of our whole building, she has everything humming to a beautiful tune.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: The Inner Harbor


    Portrait of Judith Painter

    Judith Painter

    Evening Manager, Employee Since 2015

    Hailing from Monterey, California, Judith is our resident metal head, musically speaking. (Apparently, Ozzy rules.) She also collects flamingos, Lenox silver and Asian art. We think all of this makes her incredibly interesting. She works evenings, which allows her to stay on California time. See that? Everyone wins at FreedomCar.  

    Favorite FreedomCar Vehicle: Anything but the van, man


    Portrait of Rich Silver

    Rich Silver

    Manager of Operations, Employee Since 1994

    Rich is best known for buying our cars when they go out of service. That’s how much he loves them. He’s also our Operations Manager—the man to blame if your car is behind schedule which, fortunately, is a rarity. Rich manages the chaos that is an average FreedomCar day, making sure everyone—customers, employees, and our accountant—are happy. We do not envy him, but we certainly admire him. He’s the guy everyone loves to hate but can’t. To watch him work is to watch an 8.5-hour piece of performance art. As the employee with the longest tenure, we know Rich Silver is as good as gold. (Yes, we did have to say that.)

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Ravens Stadium


    Portrait of Dan Stentz

    Dan Stentz

    Fleet Manager, Employee Since 2008

    Originally, Dan was the Manager of Everything No One Else Takes Charge Of and we liked his work so much that we decided to put him in Charge of our Fleet.  He comes in early, makes sure everything is in ship shape before the the rest of us get out of bed.  In a previous life he delivered newspapers, so I suppose this is just another day at the office for him, but can you think of anyone more valuable? Don’t tell him we said that.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: USS Constellation


  • John Angel

    John Angel

    Driver since 2017

    “I go driving, driving deep into the night, I go driving deep into the light…” Were these lyrics from one of John’s favorite Springsteen songs the inspiration behind his career as a FreedomCar driver? You’ll have to ask him to find out! What we do know is that when he’s not driving, John can be found grabbing a cinnamon raisin bagel at THB, or running, biking and playing golf.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Baltimore Basilica, America’s First Cathedral


    Kirk Becker

    Kirk Becker

    Driver since 2015

    He’s practically famouse. (That’s not a typo.) You see, he was once considered for a job as Mickey Mouse in Walt Disney World. (Bet you didn’t see that comin’.) His other claim to fame was his hole-in-one. If he sounds like a lucky guy, he’ll tell you it was all skill. And we’ve seen his skill behind the wheel. That’s what landed him a spot on Team FreedomCar. His skills don’t end there. He also rebuilds steam engines. But if you really want to be impressed, you should see this guy pick a crab. Now those are some skills, hon.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Fort McHenry


    Tom Cook

    Tom Cook

    Driver since 2002

    After driving a ladder truck for the Baltimore City Fire Department, getting behind the wheel of any of the shiny red vehicles in FreedomCar’s fleet is a piece of cake for Tom. A proud history of firefighting runs deep in his family, with 2 of his 5 brothers and both of his sons in the fire service. In fact, his family has over 200 years of public service over the course of three generations. We salute them all.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Fort McHenry


    Charles Davis

    Charles Davis

    Driver since 2016

    A professional musician and vocalist since high school, Charles plays the drums in a band. His musical taste spans R&B, classical, country, light rock and jazz. In addition to the titles of drummer and FreedomCar driver, he holds what he considers the world’s three greatest titles: husband, father and granddad. You’ll notice husband is listed #1, perhaps because his wife’s chicken wings are what he considers the world’s greatest food.  

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Druid Hill Park


    Peter Davis

    Peter Davis

    Driver since 2016

    Let us tell you a story about Peter. He’s a storyteller. Literally. He writes and directs plays. He leads a consulting practice helping leaders use stories to attract supporters. When he’s not storytelling, he’s storylistening to American roots music…country, soul, folk and rock…all the stories set to music, as well as the fascinating tales of his FreedomCar clients. He has also been known to tell a story or two at the office and since he has a brown belt in Aikido, we pretty much let him tell any story he wants whenever he wants. Once upon a time…

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Druid Hill Park


    Gregory DeGross

    Gregory DeGross

    Driver since 2016

    Gregory’s clients say he maneuvers intense traffic with ease. We think it might be because he puts so many puzzles together in his spare time. He also says he likes hunting wild turkeys because of the challenge, but they don’t rank above getting his hands on a good lasagna (served with iced tea, of course). He’s been married 49 years and his children and grandchildren are his pride and joy.
      

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Washington Monument


    Fred Eisenbrandt

    Fred Eisenbrandt

    Driver since 2016

    As a girl’s club lacrosse coach, Fred is accustomed to getting a large group of people where they’re supposed to be on time and with as little drama as possible, which also fits perfectly with his job as a FreedomCar driver. When he’s not driving, he loves working on the property he owns and playing classic rock and country on the guitar.   

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Washington Monument


    Michael Goodman

    Michael Goodman

    Driver since 2017

    Michael is very proud to wear the FreedomCar name on his shirt, but he’s also worn a few other impressive uniforms. He’s a retired Baltimore County police officer and he spent 15 years coaching his two incredible kids in lacrosse and soccer. Now we’re proud to have him repping our team.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Camden Yards


    Harry Gormley

    Harry Gormley

    Driver since 2015

    After 32 years in the banking industry, Harry decided a new career as a FreedomCar driver would keep his customer service skills sharp. When his hands are not on the wheel exceeding clients’ expectations, his feet are firmly in the sand at the beach.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Fort McHenry


    Portrait of Terry Greenawalt

    Terry Greenawalt

    Driver since 2011

    A Vietnam veteran (1968-69) it’s an honor to have Terry on our team. He was infantry, serving in the central highlands near the border with Cambodia and Laos. Now we simply know him better as the man who always wins our daily “This Day in History” game during lunch. Seriously, the man knows everything about what happened and when. He also garners some of our most enthusiastic customer reviews.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Fort McHenry


    Portrait of Joel Hirschman

    Joel Hirshman

    Driver Coordination Specialist (Retired Driver), since 2011

    Joel is a giver. Literally. In the last few years, he has donated over 1068 pints of blood to help others. That makes him the biggest donor in the Tri-State area. In early 2018, Joel retired from driving with a flawless safety record. These days, he’s the first man in, arriving in the middle of the night, to get everything prepped for our entire team of drivers each day, including the best pot of coffee on this side of 83. When he’s not at FreedomCar helping out, he’s volunteering at St. Joseph Hospital, listening to speakers at Bagel Boys meetings, or packing and delivering food to 24 inner-city schools. Baltimore is lucky to have him.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: The Hippodrome


    Portrait of Ed Lewandowski

    Ed Lewandowski

    Driver since 2012

    Baltimore born and bred, Ed knows how to get from here to there. And having spent two years as a “roadie” for a local band in the 80s, he’s been cool for decades. Known around the office as “The Big Lebowski,” Ed’s only resemblance to the film character is his physical stature. He’s a pretty straight arrow.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Federal Hill Park


    Bill Lichtfuss

    Bill Lichtfuss

    Driver since 2014

    An avid connoisseur of the Reuben sandwich, Bill loves to talk about food, birds, music, or anything else that FreedomCar’s clients want to chat about. You’ll find he has a few “epic” tales to tell—who else can report hitting 14 green lights on MLK? The odds! Epic! Bill can’t sing a lick, though he does it anyway. But only in his favorite Baltimore landmark…and you’d have to be there at 0’dark hundred in the morning to hear it. We’re here to tell you, it’s…epic.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: The recessed dome ceiling in the lobby of The Inn at the Colonnade


    Lou Mann

    Lou Mann

    Driver since 2016

    When he’s not driving for FreedomCar, Lou develops technology businesses and spends time with his 3 sons and 2 grandsons. And after more than 40 years of marriage, we’re guessing Lou’s wife must really enjoy spending time with all of the Mann men, too!

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Camden Yards


    Portrait of Bill Schulte

    Bill Schulte

    Driver since 2000

    According to Bill, who’s been with us since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, “everyone knows everything” about him. We would add that he once referred to himself as the Willy Loman of FreedomCar, but you’ll need to be versed in “Death of a Salesman” to get the reference. FreedomCar Fun Fact: Bill once held the Company record for error-free consecutive services at 1,066 trips. We don’t talk about number 1,067.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: View of evening skyline from Federal Hill


    Portrait of Wayne Watt

    Wayne Watt

    Driver since 2010

    A die-hard O’s fan, Wayne is a Baltimore man through and through. He claims he once ran a sub-four-minute mile (unofficial). As he almost never draws attention to himself, and is in all ways rather super-human, we believe this claim. Within FreedomCar, Wayne is famous for having scored above 700 points on four consecutive performance evaluations (maximum possible score 775). If he won’t tell you how super he is, we’re happy to spread the word.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon


    Chuck Weiss

    Chuck Weiss

    Driver since 2011

    Chuck is Baltimore born and bred. He grew up in Roland Park, went to Poly, then Loyola, then spent a 30-year career in the newspaper business, including a run as Deputy Director of Photography at the Baltimore Sun. Still an avid photojournalist (Google Charles Weiss Photography) he also keeps his sharp eyes on the skies as an avid flyer of radio controlled model aircraft—a love of flying that started with a 25¢ balsa wood Sleek Streak and a 15¢ Skeeter he got as a kid. He also loves driving the FreedcomCar Transit vans because it feels like he’s stepping onto the deck of an aircraft carrier. It’s not your everyday vehicle…you have to be on your toes and he likes the challenge. He just doesn’t like washing it at the end of his shift. And we don’t blame him, but we still make him do it.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: The Warehouse at Camden Yards


    Lynn White

    Lynn White

    Driver since 2017

    Lynn is always on the go. Whether exercising, shopping, seeing movies, ushering at church, or driving our clients where they need to go, meeting new people is her kind of fun. Even when she’s at home she’s busy cooking (homemade blueberry muffins are a specialty). Add a cup of coffee and you’ve got her favorite treat.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: National Aquarium


    Scott Wilson

    Scott Wilson

    Driver since 2017

    Scott has handed down his love of the Orioles to the next generation, taking his sons to a few games each year. Every time he walks into the park, it’s just as amazing for him as the first time he saw a game there. While the O’s haven’t been to “the big dance” in recent years, Scott’s rendition of the Garth Brooks song “The Dance” has won him multiple karaoke contests. Let’s hope that winning tradition continues with his favorite baseball team!

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Oriole Park


    David Wolf

    David Wolf

    Driver since 2016

    David enjoys all music, as long as it’s not country music, so when a client requested listening to some “golden oldies” recently, he was happy to oblige. In addition to driving for FreedomCar clients, he also likes driving his tractor and caring for the chickens, cats, dogs and ponies that are his family’s pets. A perfect day for him would include time with his beautiful wife, extraordinary parents, loving family and loyal friends, along with a Baltimore Orioles win and some chocolate chip ice cream.  

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Bromo Seltzer Tower