History & Timeline
Today, Baker Group is recognized as a successful mechanical and building technology design/build contractor. With over 500 staff members, multi-million dollar revenues, and the Baker Group name on many of the area's marquis projects, BJ Baker III and his company have certainly come a long way from their roots as a small East-side plumbing contractor.
In 1963, BJ's father Bernie started a plumbing contracting business on Des Moines East side. Bernie had a pickup truck, some tools of the trade, a small savings account, and a desire to do good work. From this humble start, Baker Mechanical grew – as did Bernie's family. In 1980, Bernie's son BJ joined Baker Mechanical. BJ worked in the field at first, completing his union apprenticeship, eventually getting his Master Plumber's license. Soon, BJ started estimating and managing projects.
In the late 1980's, BJ took over day-to-day operations from his father. Today, BJ Baker III is Chairman/CEO of Baker Group. BJ has since led the company through expansion and change, growing the business by successfully taking on tough projects and adding capabilities. Temperature controls were added in 1986, with a sheet metal division and service division following in the 1990's. Baker Mechanical was changed to Baker Group to reflect the diverse nature of the company.
Baker Group is now considered one of the most successful full-service specialty contractors in the Midwest.