People


Gabe Reisner, P.E.

President and CEO


Gabe is the award-winning President of WMA and is responsible for the overall operation of the firm. In his 40‑plus years of professional experience, he has amassed an impressive portfolio of mechanical construction and design projects. His expertise in mechanical engineering and dedication to the growth of long-term client relationships has been the core of WMA’s success since he joined the firm in 1976. Gabe has been acknowledged as a leader in our industry as a recipient of a prestigious international award for excellence.

Gabe received his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Technion. He speaks 5 languages and has a keen interest in history and archaeology.


James A. Mesch, P.E.

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Engineer


As the Chief Technology Engineer at WMA, James Mesch is the authority in technology infrastructure systems. He’s been the leader of many of WMA’s key commercial headquarters, interiors and mission critical projects and is involved in every phase of the design process. With this hands-on approach, James is able to ensure the technical quality and standards of his projects, as well as establish and maintain close relationships with the client and project team.

James holds Professional Engineering licenses in 20 states and is affiliated with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, National Society of Professional Engineers, Building Industry Consulting Services International and National Fire Protection Association. He received his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University and holds an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. James is also an avid football fan and coached youth football for many years. His two sons played in the 2009 Illinois High School State football championship game and his daughter was a varsity cheerleader on the sidelines.


Michael Thompson, P.E.

Executive Vice President and Chief Electrical Engineer


After graduating from Marquette University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Michael Thompson began his career as an electrical engineer specializing in power distribution, lighting, and emergency systems. In 1997, he joined WMA’s team and has served as Project Executive for many of WMA’s major projects. His experience spans a variety of industries including residential and mixed-use, healthcare, mission critical, institutional and commercial buildings. As Chief Electrical Engineer, he’s responsible for the day‑to‑day management of the electrical engineering department and pays particular attention to the technical review of projects, project scheduling and staff supervision, to ensure technical accuracy, production efficiency and budget control.

Michael is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois and Wisconsin and is affiliated with the Illumination Engineering Society, National Fire Protection Association and the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers. When he’s not in the office, Michael is a talented drummer and can be found playing around town, including the City of Hope REACH Social every April.


Deirdre McDaniel. P.E., LEED AP

Executive Vice President


In her 14 years at WMA, Deirdre has been involved with several of the firm’s most high-profile projects, including Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower. As a Principal Mechanical Engineer and Project Executive, Deirdre aims to provide energy efficient systems that are functional, code compliant, and within budget constraints. She supervises all aspects of the mechanical design process through construction administration.

Deirdre earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri – Rolla. She’s a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina, a LEED Accredited Professional and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.


Darrell Pudlo, P.E., LEED AP

Executive Vice President and Chief Mechanical Engineer


As Chief Mechanical Engineer, Darrell’s expertise is in controlling indoor environments and ensuring air quality. In addition, he oversees the mechanical department, supervises the design and production staff, and focuses on interdisciplinary coordination. In his 30+ years of experience, he has led many WMA projects in a variety of industries, including institutional, commercial, residential, healthcare, and hospitality. Darrell is a LEED Accredited Professional, a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois and is a member of American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.

Darrell earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Outside of the office, Darrell is an avid golfer and has played courses throughout the United States.


Steve Sovak, P.E.

Executive Vice President


Steve joined WMA in 1995 when his firm Brooke & Choporis, Inc. merged with WMA. With over 35 years of experience, Steve has received multiple ASHRAE Excellence in Engineering Awards, as well as ASHRAE Energy Design Awards. In his role as Project Executive, Steve is responsible for all phases of the construction process from design through construction administration.

Steve is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University and is a die-hard Wildcats fan.


Michael Merel, P.E., LEED AP

Vice President


Michael is a licensed Professional Engineer with over 40 years of experience in mechanical design. As a Project Executive, Michael has led numerous projects for WMA with a keen eye for cost effective and energy efficient systems. Prior to joining WMA, Michael managed mechanical contracting operations for a large mechanical contracting firm which performed both design/build and plan and specification construction work, including the renovation of Navy Pier.

Michael received both a Master of Science and Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and holds a MBA from University of Chicago. In his spare time, Michael enjoys traveling with his family, which includes 6 grandchildren.


John Marcheschi, P.E.

Vice President


John joined WMA in 1996 and became a Vice President of the firm in 2014. He provides project management to major WMA projects, ensuring the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. With a specialty in Electrical System Designs, John oversees production staff to ensure quality and compliance with codes and standards, while focusing on Client/Owner satisfaction. John is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois, North Carolina, and Arkansas, and is a graduate of IIT.

John is an avid sports fan and can be found at US Cellular Stadium during baseball season. He serves as the resident grill master for neighborhood barbeques and also loves fishing and camping.


Kenneth Cutler, C.P.D.

Vice President and Chief Plumbing Engineer


Born and raised in Chicago, Kenneth joined and eventually took over the family’s plumbing engineering practice, Robert A. Cutler Associates. When he arrived at WMA in 1991, he brought with him decades of expertise in plumbing design and piping systems. As Chief of WMA’s plumbing department, Ken manages projects and oversees technical standards and quality assurance with a particular focus on budget control and water conservation.

Ken is a Certified Plumbing Designer and has been a member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers for 40 years. He’s also a die-hard Chicago Bears fan and spends many Sundays in the fall at Soldier Field.


Steve Faigin, C.P.A.

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


Steve joined the WMA team in 1995 as Chief Financial Officer. In addition to his role as CFO, Steve contributes to the organizational strategy and oversees all of the accounting and administrative functions in the firm.

When Steve isn’t crunching numbers, he’s playing in the Men’s Senior Baseball League (MSBL) and has played baseball in over 12 countries, including Argentina, Italy, Cuba, China, Russia, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, and England.


Charlie Saville, LEED AP BD&C

Vice President – Sustainability Solutions Group


Charlie Saville is the leader of WMA’s Sustainability Solutions Group. In his role, Charlie is responsible for green design, energy efficiency, system commissioning and optimization. A recognized leader in the field of sustainable design and commissioning, Charlie has administered over a hundred projects in the last five years alone, sixty-five of which have been recognized as LEED certified buildings. Charlie was also the Project Executive on the Midwest Offices of the Natural Resources Defense Council; the first tenant improvement project in the world to achieve any level of certification through the Living Building Challenge.

When Charlie isn’t busy making the world a greener place, he’s spending time with his wife and two kids and enjoys vacationing in Florida and Door County, Wisconsin.


Ray Komorowski

Chief Fire Protection Engineer


Ray’s expertise in fire protection systems developed when he joined a prestigious A/E firm where his father was the partner in charge of plumbing and civil engineering. Not many people were familiar with fire protection and life safety engineering, so Ray taught himself the discipline. After 15 years of developing the fire protection practice at the firm, Ray decided to join WMA as our Chief Fire Protection Engineer. As the department head, he supervises and manages the fire protection project team and specializes in sprinkler retrofit projects and code compliant systems. He’s also a lifetime member of the National Fire Protection Association.

Ray is an avid hockey fan and played at the high school and collegiate level. He also served as a coach for youth hockey team for over 15 years. Part of that time was spent coaching his son, who went on to play collegiate hockey at Colorado State University.