Dedication, integrity, genius—these are just a few of the words that have been used to describe Dean Walker, 2011 Alumnus of the Year Award recipient.
Dean graduated from Northwest Nazarene University in 1975 with a BA in business. He says, “As is the case with most, after graduating from college, I had no idea where the journey of life would take me.” He returned home, married his college sweetheart, Suzanne (Mayhew), and joined his father and brother in the family business, Walker Manufacturing Company.
The family business started out in Fowler, Kan., on the family farm with products ranging from gas- powered golf carts to evaporative coolers. When Walker joined in 1975, the company had moved to Fort Collins, Colo., and change was in the air. The three Walker men saw a potential need in the lawn mower industry and began working on a prototype.
Walker was vital in the design and production of that first-ever Walker Mower, from which all future success has been anchored. Since then, over 100,000 mowers have been sold worldwide—mowers that have the reputation of being the “Cadillac” of their industry.
It is not just Walker’s success in business that has set him apart, but also the ethics with which he approaches the business world. His brother and business partner, Bob Walker, describes Walker’s leadership as a witness to all. “His Christian principles are a testimony to suppliers, employees, Walker Mower distributors and dealers and the end customer.”
The business is grounded in the same Christian principles that guide Walker’s life, such as pursuing excellence and keeping promises. And people notice. Walker Mowers has gained a reputation for being a business that exemplifies the values of honesty and integrity.
Walker has also remained dedicated to his local church, Loveland Nazarene, for over 30 years. He is never too busy to serve, whether it is as a Sunday school teacher or board member. He is well-respected both at church and in the local community. “When Dean speaks, people listen.”
Since graduation, Walker and Suzanne have also raised their four sons: Ted, Ryan, Daniel and Kyle.
“The challenge of living a consistent Christian life at home, at work, at play, and, yes, at church can at times be a very humbling experience. Again, God is faithful as I look to Him for my strength. He has provided so abundantly for me, and I strive to be His faithful steward. He is my help for the present; He is my hope for the days to come.”
Join us for a special chapel service on Nov. 4 during Homecoming & Family Weekend 2011. All alumni award winners will be honored during this service with receptions to follow in various locations.