Meet the co-founders of Professionals Without Borders!
Steve is the Director of Facilities Operations at Seattle University and on the team that founded PWOB. In addition to volunteering with PWOB, he is the Chair of the City of Bellevue Environmental Services Commission. He and his wife, Kristy, were the two of three founders of a medical clinic that opened in Kenya in 2005. The clinic now serves about 4,000 people per year. By forming PWOB, an even greater human impact could be made and he takes pride in the fact that PWOB projects permanently impact the daily lives of about 600 people in need, per day, in many parts of the world, including some in our own community.
Joyce is the University Registrar at Seattle University and has been involved in PWOB since 2010 when she learned of the staff organization while sitting next to Steve at a dinner auction benefitting international immersion projects sponsored by Campus Ministry. Joyce helped fund her own college education by working summers building switches for utility substations. As a result, she feels a special kinship to the staff in Facilities and is pleased to be able to engage in local and international community supported immersion efforts that result in sustainable infrastructure improvements.
Cal has been at Seattle University for years (no really, decades). He started off on the crew then became a plumber then Mechanical Shop Lead and has worked himself into the position of Associate Director of Operations & Maintenance. Cal and fellow plumbers Mike Mullen and John Schrader along with Steve Szablya, Facilities Director, were invited to Nicaragua in 2007 to address flooding issues at a school there. This was the start of PWOB-Plumbers without Boundaries. The name has changed throughout the years but Cal's commitment to PWOB hasn't. He is the technical expert on all things plumbing and mechanical, a team leader on multiple trips to Belize, a great mentor to PWOB students, and an auction procurement specialist, but most importantly he is a pig roaster extraordinaire. On campus Cal's achievements were recognized this past year as he received the 2012 Better Brick Award for green building professionals for his contributions to conservation and sustainability at Seattle University.
Mike Mullen is an SU grad from the class of ‘89. He came back to SU in 1998 to receive a masters in teaching degree and never left. He was mentored under Cal Ihler, became a journeyman plumber and assumed the lead of the mechanical shop in 2009. After an unsuccessful attempt at Student Body President in 1986 Mike assumed the titular role of mayor of Seattle University in an unknown but close election in 2005. Mike has played varying roles in trips to Nicaragua, Zambia and multiple trips to Belize. He takes pride in always being able find a karaoke restaurant close to any service project. PWOB has been an incredible opportunity for Mike and he is very grateful to have had the chance to grow the organization.