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NEWS RELEASE
April 22, 2010
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SPGS graduate a key player in renewable energy

A journey west along the rolling hills of Interstate 70 nearly a decade ago inspired Geoff Coventry.Coventry

“I was driving across Kansas, fighting the wind, heading to a ski trip to Colorado with my family,” Coventry said. “Kansas has a lot of wind and I had been researching renewable energy for a while. That trip is when I began to form a business plan.”

A year later in 2003, Coventry became a founding member of the Lenexa-based TradeWind Energy, now one of the largest independent wind project companies in the country and the only wind energy project developer in the Kansas City area. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baker’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies in 2006.

Entrepreneurial by nature, Coventry has grown accustomed to pursuing cutting-edge careers. Before becoming a leader at TradeWind, he cofounded and was vice president of NetSales, Inc., one of the first companies to provide outsourced electronic commerce services to businesses. As senior vice president at TradeWind Energy, Coventry’s responsibilities include managing business operations, human resources, information technology, marketing and accounting. He also manages the company’s electronic transmission activities and is instrumental in the company’s strategic planning initiatives.

“I enjoy starting businesses and seeing them grow,” he said. “Renewable energy was an area that intrigued me. Wind energy, in particular, looked poised for a significant growth opportunity, and I like being part of an industry that is going through a paradigm shift.”

TradeWind Energy is indeed growing. The company founders held their first meetings in a library because they had no office space. Since then, TradeWind has partnered with a large Italian electric utility company, expanded its office space three times quadrupling its original office size,   and has grown to nearly 60 employees. TradeWind Energy has close to 40 projects on more than 700,000 acres of land under development in 11 states from the Great Lakes of Michigan to the Texas gulf. If all the projects are built, combined they will generate 8,000 megawatts in total electric capacity, enough to generate the power needs of about 2.5 million homes.

TradeWind’s marquee wind project is the Smoky Hills Wind Farm, in the same location that sparked Coventry’s interest in renewable energy. The largest wind project in Kansas, it generates nearly 250 megawatts of power, enough to power 75,000 homes.

TradeWind Energy won the prestigious 2009 Kansas Governor’s Energy Achievement Award, which recognized the wind energy developer’s leadership and accomplishment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“It is such a dramatic, stunning site,” Coventry said. “So many people drive by the wind farm, and it is a focal point of the state. The bulk of the project sits in Lincoln County, spread out for many landowners, and it has had such a dramatic impact on a small, rural county that is not heavily funded. It was a rallying point and source of pride for the community, and a lot of people were directly impacted.”

While his company began to blossom, Coventry was taking classes at Baker’s Overland Park campus. He was able to share some of his business development plans with the class.

“I did a lot of research online before deciding where I wanted to obtain my business degree,” Coventry said. “Being able to continue working and attending classes stood out to me. Baker’s reputation and the way the program was structured with people instructing courses who have business experience appealed to me. They are not just dealing with theory, but real application. The students bring a lot of discussion to the class and my work at TradeWind Energy came up quite a bit. We had quite a diverse group and everyone gave their viewpoints.”

TradeWind continues to develop projects and anticipates increasing its capacity to produce electricity by completing 300 to 500 megawatts per year through 2015.

“This has been a very rewarding experience,” Coventry said. “We are making a positive impact and helping the environment by making the energy cleaner and more sustainable.”

Coventry’s coworkers also make the experience more enjoyable. TradeWind sponsors a company Green Team, 15 employee volunteers who try to set the standard for being environmentally responsible in the workplace.

“We all love our work,” Coventry said. “Being in a positive culture is very much the focal point of our management team. This is the best place I ever worked.”

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

 

NEWS RELEASE
April 21, 2010
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Baker names Student Senate executive officers

Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University announced on Wednesday its Student Senate executive offices for 2010-2011.

The officers are Warren Swenson, Overland Park, Kan., president; Erica Vest, Overland Park, Kan., vice president; Shavon Brown, Kansas City, Mo., treasurer; and Kyle Baum, public relations, St. Louis, Mo.


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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.
 
NEWS RELEASE
April 20, 2010
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Students selected for honor recital

Baldwin City, Kan. — Eleven Baker students have been selected to perform at the 2010 Honor Recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 30, at McKibbin Recital Hall on the Baldwin City campus.

The students are Adrienne Barclay, piano, Lawrence, Kan.; Mariah Barnett, cello, Salina, Kan.; Katherine Dick, soprano, Lawrence, Kan.; Judy Erpelding, violin, Eudora, Kan.; Scott Ireland, marimba, De Soto, Kan.; Marlee Johnson, soprano, Olathe, Kan.; Eli Jones, tenor, Tonganoxie, Kan.; Bryce Lathrop, alto saxophone, Independence, Mo.; Scott Marks, alto saxophone, Lawrence, Kan.; Margo Rodewald, soprano, La Cygne, Kan.; and Michael Turnbo, violin, Kansas City, Mo.


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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

 

NEWS RELEASE
April 20, 2010
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Assistant attorney general shares career experiences

Baldwin City, Kan. — As the assistant attorney general for Missouri since 2002, Sharon Euler applies daily the skills she acquired from Baker University more than 20 years ago when she majored in biology and philosophy.

She learned after graduating in 1984 that her well-rounded liberal arts education would serve her well.SharonEuler

“I was able to think and I was able to write what I was thinking more clearly and logically as a student at Baker University,” Euler said. “I enjoyed being involved in a lot of coursework and activities not related to my major. I had a lot of English classes, sang in the choir, and took lessons in piano, voice and guitar. I would not have had that breadth of experience at a public school or had the opportunities to branch out.”

In mid-April, Euler shared her Baker and work experiences during Career Exploration Day at the Collins Center on the Baldwin City campus.

“A lot of people think to go to law school you should be a pre-law or political science major,” she said. “What I have found out were the people who had training in the scientific method excelled in law school because we had already learned to think logically. I think the philosophy and science classes I took here helped me come out of Baker ahead of others.”

In her role with the state of Missouri, Euler works in the consumer protection division. She primarily files actions and does work related to fraud involving the funeral industry in Missouri.

“Our job is to protect the consumers of Missouri and make sure they get what they contracted for,” Euler said. “I work for the attorney general. The attorney general is in place to protect the public. The work is intellectually challenging so I learn new things every day.”

Euler never envisioned a law career when she was an undergraduate. She entered Baker as a pre-med major with aspirations of attending medical school after graduating. Nearing her graduation date, Euler received word from Baker’s job placement director that a law firm in the Kansas City area was looking for graduates with science degrees who had good writing skills. She seized the opportunity, working as a document analyst on tobacco litigation. That experience sparked an interest in law and she graduated from the Iowa School of Law in 1991.

In the late 1970s, Euler became acquainted with Baker while participating in activities through a United Methodist Church youth camp on the Baldwin City campus while attending Council Grove High School. Her camp experience influenced her decision to attend Baker.

“I knew Baker would be a perfect place for me,” Euler said. “I was a pre-med major and Baker had an excellent science program. I wanted to go to a liberal arts college and the University provided excellent scholarship opportunities.”

 
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