Eric Wieland
Eric Wieland
Age 36 | Environmental planning and historic preservation branch director, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Eric Wieland returned home to Iowa from active duty in 2008 as floodwaters were devastating the eastern part of the state. Wieland, a major in the Iowa National Guard, said he knew he wanted to help and quickly got involved with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) restoration efforts.

He now manages the FEMA branch that is in charge of environmental planning and historic preservation. He oversees projects that are concentrated in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, such as restoring the University of Iowa’s Art Building and Cedar Rapids’ Public Works Building.

“It’s funny; I joined the National Guard as a way to pay for college,” he said. At the time, Wieland was studying landscape architecture and environmental studies at Iowa State University, but he soon realized how important his decision was and went down the route to become an officer.

Then 9/11 happened, and Wieland said he knew things were going to change. He was deployed to Ohio for a short period and later served in two yearlong deployments to Afghanistan and a yearlong deployment to Kosovo.

Balancing his professional life with his personal life was hard, he said, and his deployments delayed his family plans. However, Wieland has now been happily married for five years to Susan Stull, and the two are expecting their first child in May.

Wieland is in the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s current class and is actively involved with Road Rally Charities, an organization that puts on car-related events and donates all of its proceeds to local charities and organizations.

“I’m a huge car guy, so there’s that natural interest there to begin with,” Wieland said. “There are numerous car-oriented groups, but they aren’t as inclusive, and not all have a charity-related message.”


Five reasons he’s a 40:

• Oversees and manages FEMA-funded environmental planning and historic preservation projects related to the 2008 flooding.

• Founding member, past president and current member of the board of directors for Road Rally Charities.

• Now a major in the Iowa Army National Guard, Wieland has served his country since 1993, including two yearlong deployments to Afghanistan and a yearlong deployment to Kosovo.

• Awarded two Bronze Stars, a Meritorious Service Medal and three Army Commendation medals during service with the Iowa National Guard.

• Has been involved with the Iowa chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects since 2000.


Fun Fact:

He regularly takes part in the Des Moines Marathon, the Drake Relays Half Marathon, the Dam to Dam race, the Big Creek Triathlon and RAGBRAI with his wife, Susan, who he says is just as competitive as he is.


Meet the 2012 Forty Under 40 Honorees


Michael Abbott - Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Sondra Ashmore - IBM Corp.
Shannon Baird - JE Dunn Construction Co.
J. Eric Boehlert - Ahlers & Cooney P.C.
Nataliya Boychenko - Holmes Murphy and Associates Inc.
Becki Brommel - BrownWinick
Catherine Cownie - BrownWinick
Spencer Cox - Vending Services Inc.
Scott Crawford - RDG Planning & Design
Tony Dickinson - Wells Fargo Bank
Shannon Duval - Mercy Foundation
Meg Fitz - Greater Des Moines Partnership
Tim Hayes - McLellan Marketing Group
Christi Hegstad - MAP Professional Development Inc.
Naura Heiman Godar - StruXture Architects LLC
Danielle Hermann - OPN Architects Inc.
Sara Kobilka - Science Center of Iowa
Liz Lidgett - Kum & Go LC
Holly Logan - Weinhardt & Logan P.C.
Matthew Marckmann - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
Bryan Michael - Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.
Ben Milne - Dwolla Corp.
Suzanne Mineck - Mid-Iowa Health Foundation
Nikki Miras Mordini - Davis Brown Law Firm
David Nelmark - Belin McCormick P.C.
Anthony Nguyen - Wells Fargo Bank
Lynh Nguyen Patterson - Delta Dental of Iowa
Matt Nuetzman - InFocus Partners
Brad Phillips - Farm Bureau Financial Services
Tina Potthoff - MidAmerican Energy Co.
Erin Schneider - Censeo Solutions Inc.
Steve SchraderBachar - Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc.
Jamie Schug - Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority
Kristina Stanger - Nyemaster Goode P.C.
Nate Stewart - Perishable Distributors of Iowa Ltd.
Jason Stone - Davis Brown Law Firm
Mellisa Stover - Bankers Trust Co.
Tray Wade - Hospice of Central Iowa
Eric Wieland - Federal Emergency Management Agency
Geoff Wood - Silicon Prairie News