Steven Hannah and Vlado Benden (l-r) reviewing architectural drawings in the offices of Lignitech.

Steven Hannah and Vlado Benden (l-r) reviewing architectural drawings in the offices of Lignitech.

Lignitech is owned and operated by Vlado Benden with Steven Hannah.  Started in 1985 by John St. George, retired, we have been in business for over 30 years.  Vlado’s and Steven’s 50 years of combined experience in carpentry, design engineering, and communication skills is only enhanced by our crew.  Our cabinetmakers average between 15-20 years of experience, while our newest additions bring youthful enthusiasm and fresh ideas.


Vlado Benden, Owner/President

Vlado’s career in woodworking began in high school and college.  He performed in countless theater productions and was also involved in building sets and scenery. After marrying his wife, Mimi O’Connor and moving to Los Angeles, they both continued pursuing acting careers.  In addition to his acting jobs, Vlado also worked for MGM, Paramount, and Universal studios building sets and scenery.  Working in the Los Angeles entertainment industry was invaluable training in developing critical life skills involving relationships, communication, business, and innovative thinking.  Although finding success in “Hollywood”, after their daughter Shea was born, Mimi and Vlado decided to move to Erie to be closer to family.  Since living in Erie the past 27 years and joining Lignitech in 1994, Vlado has been fortunate to create wonderful relationships and work with many talented people.  Vlado assumed ownership of Lignitech in 2013, and is happy to have Steven Hannah as his partner.  While very proud of the success Vlado has experienced with Lignitech, he is most grateful for his wife, Mimi and his daughter, Shea.     


Steven C. Hannah, Partner/Vice President
Born in Erie, Pa., Steven grew up loving to build and create things out of wood.  He graduated with honors from Seneca High School and the Erie County Technical School.  He later taught adult carpentry classes for several years at the ECTS.  Steven has worked in many of the affiliated construction trades: finish carpentry, plumbing, electric, and HVAC.  Experience in all these fields has given him a fuller appreciation of what it takes to do the job right.  Steven found that finish carpentry, trim, and case work were most rewarding.  In 2000, he joined Lignitech, within a year became a foreman, and is now a partner in the business.