As Central Region President, Willhite is responsible for growth and oversight of operations in a 16-state region that covers Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. He collaborates with other regional presidents and national business line leaders to empower teams to reach their greatest potential for clients, cross-sell WSP’s national expertise, and recruit talent, while also helping advance career growth for employees.
“Joe brings a decade of experience building and managing diverse teams that deliver Future Ready solutions for WSP clients,” said Lou Cornell, WSP USA President and CEO. “His vision, knowledge, and understanding of client needs and challenges — paired with his success as a collaborator and team-builder — will enable our firm to continue building upon the foundation that Rebecca established and develop strategic priorities that promote further growth in the Central region.”
Willhite has held several leadership positions since joining the firm in 2013. Most recently, he led the Midwest district covering six states within the Central region and worked closely with Nolan during that time to drive smart market diversification and implement Future Ready solutions for clients.
“Joe is an outstanding leader and strategic thinker,” Nolan said. “I’m eager to watch him lead the region and leave his mark, as he has so successfully done in the Midwest district.”
His project experience includes regional governance structure and finance planning, corridor redevelopment and funding plans, large-scale urban transit and highway transportation projects, and multi-modal corridor studies. He has been instrumental in advancing the firm’s mentor-protégé and diversity plan development programs including support for Career and Technical Education Job Shadow week with the Chicago Public Schools.
Willhite is a graduate of Carthage College with a bachelor’s degree in geography, and the University Minnesota with a master’s degree in planning. He is an active supporter of the American Planning Association, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Public Transportation Association, the Women’s Transportation Seminar, and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. Willhite is based in the firm’s Chicago, Illinois, office.
WSP’s recent work in the Central region includes the Dingell Drive Tunnels Rehabilitation at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (Michigan), Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Resiliency Study (Texas), engineering oversight for resilient infrastructure projects under the Texas General Land Office (Texas), K-96 Corridor (Kansas), Metropolitan Transit Blue Line (Minnesota), Noblesville Innovation Mile (Indiana), and Hertz Electric Vehicle charger design and permitting support (nationwide).
WSP USA is the U.S. operating company of WSP, an engineering, environment, and professional services firm. WSP USA brings together engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors, and construction management professionals who are dedicated to collaborate in the best interests of serving local communities. WSP USA designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water, and environment markets. With more than 15,500 employees in 300 offices across the U.S., WSP partners with its clients to help communities prosper.