Thelma Komo, known throughout the data center community as TK, passed away on October 22, 2014 after a short battle with lung cancer.
TK, teamed with her husband Sam Sammuli, was highly regarded for her technical skills, her tireless dedication and, most of all, her boundless enthusiasm. Equally comfortable and respected in an engineering environment or on a construction site she made sure every system she touched and every data center she worked on was designed and built properly. Whatever her official position, she was the leader of every team she joined, through her example and personality inspiring everyone to do their best and at the same time have fun doing it. The Mission Critical world is at a loss without her.
TK was born Thelma Leonor Cubillo in Managua, Nicaragua on April 3, 1942. Immediately after Pearl Harbor and before Thelma was born her father emigrated to the United States to join the US Army, serving in the Corps of Engineers in Okinawa. Thelma, her sister and mother followed in 1944, settling in the San Francisco, California area.
In due course TK received her Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering (BSME) and worked for a mechanical contractor in the San Francisco bay area until her daughter Diana was born.
Her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1972 where TK focused on raising her daughters Diana and Debra but also found time to be a high school math and science teacher. She began her data center career in 1977, supporting both design and construction, when she joined Control Data and later R L Daniell Associates.
TK was a Lifetime ASHRAE member and received the ASHRAE Energy Efficiency Design Award in 1985. She was also a member of the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council.
In 1986 TK founded Komo Associates Inc. providing consulting and design support services to the data center design and construction industry. With TK’s marriage to Lynn (Sam) Sammuli, in 1991 a unique personal and business partnership was formed with Komo Associates offering construction specification writing, commissioning services and LEED Professional services.
TK was dedicated to both her work and family somehow managing to excel in each. One of TK’s favorite roles was as a mentor of young people, training them on work in a critical environment and being a surrogate mother on life issues. She felt it was her duty as an engineer to pass on knowledge gained to others. All of us who knew her benefited from the experience.