People


Deirdre McDaniel. P.E., LEED AP

President & Managing Executive


Deirdre has been with WMA Consulting Engineers, Ltd. (WMA) since 2000. Over that time, she has assumed ever-increasing responsibilities in the firm, from project team member to Executive Vice-President and Project Officer. Recently, Deirdre was named Managing Executive and President of WMA. She also maintains her position on the firm’s Board of Directors. Along with her partners and senior management team, she is excited to lead WMA and to continue to strategically grow the company as a leading engineering consulting firm.

In addition to her leadership role, Deirdre manages a project portfolio including project such as high-rise residential, hospitality, commercial office headquarters, education, healthcare, adaptive re-use, and historic renovations. Her engineering oversight includes all aspect of the building infrastructure with an emphasis in the HVAC design.

Prior to WMA, Deirdre worked for F.E. Moran Mechanical Contractor of Northbrook, Illinois as a Project Engineer, and Black & Veatch of Kansas City, Missouri as a Project Mechanical Engineer focusing on utility power generation.

Deirdre graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Rolla, with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Her professional activities and registrations include LEED Accredited Professional, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Member of the ASME Performance Test Code Committee for Steam Generating Units Committee, and Member of ASHRAE. She is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the States of Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Connecticut, California, and North Carolina.


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 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.


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


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 healthcare, mission critical, residential and mixed-use, institutional and commercial buildings. As a Project Executive, Michael takes ultimate responsibility for project success across all firm disciplines throughout every phase of the project, with an emphasis on excellent team communication, technical accuracy and client satisfaction. Michael is a licensed Professional Engineer in Colorado, Montana, Illinois and Wisconsin and is affiliated with the Design-Build Institute of America Rocky Mountain Region, National Society of Professional Engineers.

When he’s not in the office, Michael enjoys heading to the mountains to hike, camp, and ski, and drumming with local musicians around town.


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.


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.