Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
WEC Energy Group
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Peggy Kelsey has merged her legal background with business leadership and an MBA to carve out a highly successful and unique career path.
“I am innately curious and a self-described forest person. That allows me to connect dots quickly,” said Kelsey, EVP, general counsel and corporate secretary for WEC Energy Group. “I have used that to learn as much as I can about a very complex and dynamic industry (utilities), and will continue to do so. I attend industry and civic events to stay abreast of emerging issues and to network. I also look for opportunities to engage with cross-functional work teams to make connections and learn more about our business.”
WEC Energy Group is one of the nation’s largest electric generation and distribution and natural gas delivery holding companies. Its subsidiaries provide energy services to more than 4.6 million customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota with a focus on providing safe and reliable energy in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Kelsey’s career has been marked by intentional shifts. After graduating from Georgetown Law, Kelsey began her career as a trial lawyer at Quarles & Brady, cultivating client relationships and defending large manufacturing clients in courtrooms across the U.S.
After becoming a partner at Quarles & Brady, Kelsey took her career to Modine in Racine. During her 16-year career at Modine, Kelsey traveled the globe, learning the business and helping the company expand and improve. She became Modine’s first female officer and secured an MBA. Kelsey made a career shift into Modine’s business side, running global treasury and strategic planning and helping the company navigate the 2008–09 recession.
She later took on an executive role that included responsibility for legal, corporate affairs, intellectual property, compliance and corporate communications. It was from that role that she was recruited by WEC Energy Group’s CEO to become its executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.
Under Kelsey’s leadership, WEC has set a number of aggressive environmental goals for the coming years. The company is working to reduce carbon emissions from its electric generating fleet by 60% by the end of 2025 and 80% by the end of 2030. The company is targeting net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas distribution network by the end of 2030. WEC is planning to invest $3.5 billion by 2026 on new solar, wind and battery projects that are expected to generate nearly 2,400 megawatts of renewable energy capacity.
Kelsey has been recognized with a number of awards over the years, including Milwaukee Business Journal’s Best Corporate Counsel Public Company, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Graduate of the Last Decade award, Milwaukee Business Journal’s Woman of Influence and Women’s Fund of Milwaukee honoree.
“I will continue to say yes to opportunities at work and in the community, and embrace being a lifelong learner,” Kelsey said.
Peggy is married to her â€œhigh school sweetheart.â€ She and Mike started dating when she was a sophomore and he was a senior at Sturgeon Bay (WI) High School, and have been together ever since! He is her greatest supporter and ensures she remains grounded.