President, Vestas Americas
Martha Wyrsch, the 53-year-old head of Vestas Americas, says the most satisfying part of her work is creating jobs. Formerly a top dog at Spectra Energy Transmission, a natural-gas distribution company, Wyrsch now oversees 50 North American facilities for the world’s biggest producer of wind turbines. “I left natural gas thinking that everything we do in the U.S. has an impact on the world, and we need to become much more progressive,” she explains. Wyrsch grew up in Wyoming, a stronghold for oil, coal, and natural-gas development, but a state where wind and geothermal industries are also taking hold. “I straddle two worlds,” Wyrsch says, “the old and the new.” Her old-world experience has prepped her for new-world success: “The wind industry is moving from a boutique niche industry persona to one that’s serious business.” Since 2008, Vestas has created some 2,000 new jobs in the United States — more than any other wind energy company.