Wesley Walker, M.B.A. 12, is making his mark on the Normal landscape in a big way. The Siemens Corporation energy engineer is part of the team making vast sustainability improvements to the campus of Heartland Community College, including the addition of a wind turbine.
On average, the wind turbine is expected to generate approximately 53 percent of energy needed to run Heartland Community College (HCC). This will result in a savings of $380,000 a year. It is a savings guaranteed to HCC, since an agreement with Siemens binds the company to supplement any shortfall for the next 17 years. The savings will pay for the cost of the $5.2 million project, of which $1.5 million was received in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
A sustainability project of this magnitude is nothing new for Walker, who has also spearheaded efforts with the Kankakee Housing Authority, City of Rockford, and Chicago Park Districts.
While working on the HCC project, Walker, along with his wife, Erika, M.B.A. 12, began the M.B.A. program at Illinois State University.
“It was really enjoyable to enter the program together,” Walker said. “We never had an opportunity to see each other in that scenario before. It was interesting to get to know each other as students. It was actually really fun.”
The lessons insights obtained from the program have been useful to Walker, especially in his new role overseeing the engineering group for the Midwest.
“I have a lot more managerial responsibilities for the region from North Dakota, down to Missouri, and to Wisconsin, which was my goal of beginning the program,” Walker said. “Being an engineer, finance has always been a sweet spot for me, but I can say I have used every aspect of the program in the projects I have been a part of.”
Walker and his wife live in Algonquin, with their son, Julian. They are expecting another child in the fall.