Carla Walker-Miller is the Founder and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services (Walker-Miller), a 21-yearold values driven company that changes lives through energy. Her high performing firm helps electric and gas utilities achieve mandated energy reduction goals that reduce energy waste, create local jobs, decrease energy burdens on families, and reduce harmful greenhouse gases. Carla started Walker-Miller in 2000 after an 18-year corporate career in technical sales, reinventing her company during the height of the recession, successfully pivoting from electrical transmission and distribution equipment sales to the rapidly growing energy efficiency industry
Carla is a visionary who leads with both empathy and tenacity and has molded Walker-Miller into one of the largest African American and woman owned energy waste reduction companies in the country. In 2018, she made three transformational decisions in the life of the company: instituting a $15 an hour minimum wage – and recently increasing to $17 an hour with a commitment to continue raising minimum wage until reaching $20 an hour, resolving to only recruit team members who embrace the company’s culture of kind excellence; and adopting second chance policies that give previously incarcerated citizens fair opportunities for employment.
A tireless advocate for the representation of Black people and people of color, women and historically underrepresented communities, Carla believes that the inclusion of all voices elevates business, drives sustainable policies, and creates equitable opportunities for all. As a result, she is a highly sought-after speaker on issues relating to entrepreneurship, diversity, equity and inclusion, energy efficiency, workforce development, utility affordability and sustainability. An alumnus of the 2014 Detroit Inaugural Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, Carla has twice shared the stage with Warren Buffet, representing GS10KSB alumni nationally.
Most recently, Carla was announced the 2022 Leadership Inspiring Energy Efficiency award by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA). In 2021, she was honored with an induction into the Wayne State University Ilitch School of Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hall of Fame and received the 2021 Woman Business Owner of the Year Award on behalf of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners). Other 2021 recognitions include the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Award, and the Detroit Women’s Leadership Network Woman of the Year Award. Awards received in previous years include being a three-time Crain’s Detroit Cool Places to Work winner, the 2020 Inc. Magazine Female Founders 100, 2019 Humanitarian of the Year by the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, 2019 Michigan Energy Innovators Business Council’s (MiEIBC) Business of the Year, 2019 Distinguished Business Leader awarded by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (Great Lakes Chapter), and the 2017 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Michigan and Northwest Ohio Region. Additionally, Walker-Miller received both the Small Business of the Year, and the Woman Owned Business of the Year award by the Michigan Small Business Administration in 2015.
Carla’s work has been highlighted by Black Enterprise, Essence Magazine, The Michigan Chronicle, Forbes, FORTUNE, Inc., MSNBC, CNBC, The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Energy Perspectives, and several others.
Driven by her giving spirit, Carla founded the Water Access Volunteer Effort (WAVE) Fund in 2003, while serving as a Commissioner for the City of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. The nonprofit has distributed more than $2 million dollars to help nearly 10,000 vulnerable Detroit families maintain access to safe water and sewer services
Carla serves as the Executive Committee Chair for the Detroit Means Business Coalition, a board member for the Building Performance Association (BPA), the Mayor of Detroit’s Workforce Development Board, the Henry Ford, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), BasBlue, the Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS) National Board, the AKA Foundation Board, the Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM), , the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (MiEIBC), Michigan Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), and Executive Director of the Water Access Volunteer Effort (WAVE), among others.
Carla received her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee State University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Oak Grove AME Church.