After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in English from James Madison University, Ward moved to Richmond with the desire to play music and build things. He worked at Sound of Music Recording Studio as a tech, and traveled extensively with various bands. Meanwhile, he began to seriously study woodcraft with area cabinet-makers, woodworkers, and artisans. After several years of playing and touring the U.S. and Europe with the Hackensaw Boys, Ward returned to Richmond with designs on building his own woodshop and business. He has been on the faculty at RWS since 2014.