Dr. Nathaniel M. Stephens, dean of the Brigham Young University–Hawaii Faculty of Business & Government, has named Elder Jacob Walker as the new director of the Mark and Laura Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship.
"Elder Walker’s character and approach to leadership, his experience with running businesses as well as his great love for the university and its students make him a perfect fit as director of the Willes Center," said Stephens. "We look forward to working with him as we continue to enhance the value of the center and its resources for all members of our campus community."
For over 15 years, the Willes Center has provided classes, competitions, and events that not only teach entrepreneurship but also instill in students the leadership, courage, and confidence that empower them to be self-reliant and shape their own futures. Classes are taught by experienced and successful entrepreneurs-in-residence who impart practical skills and mentor students in their efforts to refine and develop their business ideas.
Walker assumed the position earlier this month. Walker has taught entrepreneurship at the Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship for two years.
As a prolific entrepreneur, Walker has led many companies in various roles, served as a board member, and co-founded successful companies in healthcare and construction.
As an investor, Walker has contributed resources and expertise to companies in financial technology, education technology, consumer products, and the airline industry, with a special focus on companies interested in sustainability and social impact.
Jacob Walker completed an undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University before earning a master’s degree from the University of Utah, both in finance.
Walker has served in many Church callings and presently serves as stake clerk in the Laie Hawaii Married Student Stake.
Walker and his wife, Nicea, have five children and currently serve as full-time service missionaries at BYU–Hawaii, where they enjoy a profound love for the people of the Pacific Islands. Previously, Walker served as a full-time missionary in the West Indies Mission, speaking French and Dutch.