For Michele Humphreys, her husband John and their 4 boys, hockey is a way of life. When their older son was 21 months old, Michele and her husband were blessed with the arrival of triplet boys! Having 4 boys under the age of 2, the Humphreys Family faced many challenges. However, one of the triplets, James, was born with spina bifida and would face far greater challenges in life than his brothers.
Michele’s dedication and focus became volunteering for organizations that improve and enrich the lives of disabled individuals. In partnership with MLB player Sean Casey and his wife Mandi, she volunteered her time to help fund and build the Miracle League of the South Hills adaptive baseball field in Upper Saint Clair, PA which was completed in 2011.
Her children’s passion for hockey led to a 2-year commitment to serve as the ADM Director of the Pittsburgh Predators hockey organization. In that role, she focused on growing the program and implementing USA Hockey initiatives for youth hockey players. Growing up in the rink, James fell in love with the sport of hockey while watching his brothers play and he hit the ice on a sled with the Mighty Penguins in 2011. Sled hockey has given James so many amazing opportunities that his family never dreamed were possible! In 2013, Michele enthusiastically assumed the role of Executive Director of the Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey program.
Michele graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Duquesne University. Her education includes a major in Supply Chain Management and a minor in Information Technology Services. Upon graduation, she worked as a Logistics Systems Analyst for TRW out of Reston, Viriginia. Michele later worked as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative for Johnson and Johnson in Pittsburgh before leaving the work force to focus on raising her family.
Check out James Humphreys' story here.
Abbey comes to us from Indianapolis, Indiana where she earned her degree in Social Justice and Inequality at Hanover College. She has committed to a year of service with PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) alongside several other fellows to transform Pittsburgh. Abbey has a younger brother with Autism, prompting her passion for service for others, especially those with other abilities. She has worked with children in a variety of capacities including an outdoor adventure camp counselor and a special needs camp counselor as well as a tutor and mentor to students in her college town. During her college career she dedicated her time to an organization that mentored women in a juvenile correctional facility and went on to develop a program for the women's correctional facility in Madison, Indiana. Her passions and curiosity have taken her around the world serving and learning from others, including a semester in Norway and a month course in Jamaica.
During her service year with PULSE she is serving as the Director of Program Development helping with outreach of the different programs and creating social media posts. She will pursue higher education after the year is complete.
Marilyn "Mally" Nehnevajsa is ecstatic to be taking on the role of Manager of Operations for Hockey Sticks Together. She joins the program with over 10 years of retail experience, with an emphasis in product merchandising and merchandise flow.
Mally was raised in Allison Park and graduated from Hampton High School. After graduating high school she decided fashion and merchandising was something she was passionate about and jumped into a job working for Lacoste, where she excelled in sales and learned the ins and outs of retail. Her next step took her South Carolina to pursue a career with Victoria Secret as a product merchandise manager. Mally and her than boyfriend, now husband, Toby packed up and moved to South Carolina.
While in South Carolina Mally and Toby got engaged. They couldn't imagine raising a family anywhere but Pittsburgh; the move back home was inevitable! Toby played hockey all his life and after a hiatus while in South Carolina he was quick to look for a position as a hockey coach as soon as he got back to Pittsburgh to get on the ice again. Being involved in sports all her life it didn't take long for Mally to share in Toby's passion for this quick and entertaining sport and couldn't wait to be involved herself.
In 2015 Mally and Toby welcomed their first child Carl Jiri "CJ". Naturally they can't wait to get CJ involved in the world of hockey!