KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Project management professional and engineer Steve Perlaky is Western Michigan University's new associate vice president for facilities management, taking the lead on campus planning, capital projects, landscape and maintenance. He began June 27 in the position previously held by Pete Strazdas, who retired after 43 years at the University.
A native of Ohio, Perlaky (pronounced pur-LAH-key) comes to Western from Ohio-based Materion, a global supplier of engineering materials, where he served as manager of capital projects, facilities, maintenance and engineering. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and has received his Project Management Professional certificate.
"We have such a talented and skilled facilities management team. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with such an accomplished group of professionals and build relationships across campus," he says.
Perkaly said he was "blown away" when he researched Western, from its new residence halls, new student center, Dunbar Hall and Knauss Hall to investments in its students with the Empowering Futures Gift.
"I believe the University has some exciting projects ongoing and coming up that the students will be excited about," he says. “My goals are to support the facilities management team in any way I can while creating an environment that supports the education of the students."
He received his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Toledo, where he also earned his Master of Science in electrical engineering and an MBA in general administration in just two years.
Perlaky has hit the ground running, attending the Michigan Association of Physical Plant Administrators Conference—on his third day on the job—to network with other institutions. He says he's looking forward to being on Western’s campus and managing everyday maintenance and future projects that are significant to the community.
"At this point, it is important for me to get to know the team and understand where the challenges and opportunities lie," he says. "Over the next few months, I expect to work in conjunction with my team to continue the journey of being an effective team in supporting the learning environment for the students."
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