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

    Developed concept of FreedomCar with Robyne while working his way through school managing a motor pool for Sheppard Pratt Hospital. Originally conceived as a multi-service independence services company (Freedom Services Association) oriented toward the elderly, we rapidly found that transportation was our calling, and clients were as likely to be younger as older and corporate as residential. Out of this epiphany, FreedomCar was born. Mark is in charge of quality control, personnel and marketing.

    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


    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


  • 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 since 2011

    Joel is a giver. Literally. As of May 2015, he has donated 1018 pints of blood to help others. But don’t worry, he never does it while he’s driving. Joel is old Baltimore. Or some would just say he’s old. Our insurance carrier recently suggested that his age was a problem. We suggested that they jump in a lake, but not before reviewing Joel’s flawless safety record with them.

    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


    Portrait of Barry Neal

    Barry Neal

    Driver since 2004

    Barry enjoys his time on the highways and byways of Baltimore. However, he recently told us he’s a twin. So now we wonder if it’s actually Barry we’ve been working with all these years. He does seem to be available a lot, come to think of it, and we’d swear he can be in two places at once. He’s an enthusiastic participant in senior league basketball and has a well-earned reputation for saving the day, winning the FreedomCar award for “Most Likely to Be a Hero” at the company’s most recent holiday party.

    Favorite Baltimore Landmark: Trails in Roland Park


    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