Meet the West’s new Kroc Center coordinator

Steve Bireley takes a team-centered approach to territorial responsibility.

While touring the first Kroc Center in San Diego, Joan Kroc responded to seeing the space where her granddaughter would be working by quipping, “Great! Only cost me $87 million to get my granddaughter a job.”

Steve Bireley, the newly appointed Kroc Community Center coordinator for The Salvation Army Western Territory will try to bring the same humor to his new role. “Serving is a privilege but will also be a great challenge,” Bireley said. “This is a wonderful opportunity, but we will all need to maintain a good sense of humor.”

Bireley became the first Kroc Center employee for The Salvation Army’s Sierra del Mar Division in November 2001. Previously, Bireley worked with The Walt Disney Company for nearly seven years; he has worked for almost 30 years in sports, recreation and entertainment management and holds a masters in business administration.

In his new role, Bireley will work with Kroc, divisional and territorial officers and staff to optimize the delivery of The Salvation Army mission at the Western Territory Kroc Centers. In the words of Chief Secretary Lt. Colonel Dave Hudson, the Kroc Centers are “a three legged-stool in which all three legs must be equally strong.”

Keeping this stool standing will take the combined efforts of many. Bireley expects to rack up travel miles in the next few months as he gets acquainted with the facilities and teams at each center.

“The most important thing I’ve learned in business is that no one accomplishes anything on their own; it takes a team,” Bireley said. “The buildings are beautiful but without a strong team at the center, division and territory, they are useless. Kroc Centers are about people, not bricks and mortar.”

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