2006 Distinguished achievement award: Kenneth Welton

// Civil & Environmental Engineering

Tags: alumni, CEE E-Day, Engineers' Day, Kenneth Welton

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Kenneth R. Welton 
Owner
Welton Enterprises Inc.
BSCEE ’56
Madison, WI

From the time he was a seventh grader in Washburn, Wisconsin, Kenneth R. Welton knew that he wanted to move earth and build buildings. His 1956 bachelor’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering and urban land economics from UW-Madison launched a 50-year career that exceeded his expectations.

Initially, he spent about three and a half years with Madison engineering firm Mead and Hunt, Inc., working on the new Interstate Highway 90/94. He then moved to Wick Building Systems, Inc., rising from an engineer to president and vice chairman of the board. During his 20-year career with Wick, Welton built thousands of farm buildings, warehouses, factories and other structures in seven states around the Mazomanie, Wisconsin, area.

Currently, he owns Welton Enterprises, Inc. (WEI), a real-estate management, development and consulting firm that owns and manages 38 buildings and more than 250 acres in the Madison area. The properties are primarily industrial; the buildings are leased.

Among Welton’s industry honors are a 1975 Marketer of the Year award from the American Marketing Association and a 1997 Middleton Business Person of the Year award.

While his first love is building and land development, he was instrumental in developing a 500-plus-acre group of homes, offices and condominiums, called High Point Town Ventures, on Madison’s West Side. Within that venture, he developed High Point Estates and left his mark not only through the way he used the land, but also through the streets he named. They include New Washburn Way, Apostle Island, Chequamegon Bay, and 17 others reminiscent of places around his boyhood home.

Welton’s development of that land is an example of his keen foresight. Even before land deals were completed, he persuaded Madison to install sewer lines along High Point Road during its construction, saving the city time and money when builders began erecting homes in the area.

Married for 50 years, Welton and his wife have four children. Daughter Kristine lives in Madison and is a customer service specialist for Conney Safety Products. Kurtis is president of WEI. Son Kevin also works for the firm, while son Michael is an artist in Minneapolis. The couple also have 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Welton and his wife, Jean, split their time among homes at Bishop�s Bay Country Club, Middleton, Wisconsin; Grey Oaks Country Club, Naples, Florida; and a log home near Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. The two enjoy tennis and golf and have traveled extensively. Their next trip will be to Australia in 2007.