2016 News

Baker Group Develops Next Generation of Leaders

Baker Group Develops Next Generation of Leaders

Des Moines, Iowa,  September 23, 2016 – Delivering on its commitment to be the first choice for people who Expect the Best, Baker Group announced the 2016 graduates of the inaugural Advanced Leadership Development (ALD) class.  The ALD is the latest addition to Baker Group University, a comprehensive education effort to assure that the Baker Group reputation of reliability continues as they grow.  Graduates were recognized for their accomplishments Friday, September 23 at a ceremony in Baker Group’s Training Center located at 3400 East Euclid in Des Moines, Iowa.

"Baker Group encourages our staff members to be life-long learners,” stated BJ Baker, Chairman & CEO.  “Just as our team has confidence in their technical skills, we are also providing the tools required to succeed in leadership roles”.  “By providing these opportunities we are not only improving service to our clients, but also overcoming the loss of an aging workforce.  We want to attract, retain, and develop our next generation of industry leaders.” 

To achieve this goal Baker Group chose 16 staff members to complete an intensive Advanced Leadership Development track within Baker Group University.  Developed by Kiley and Company, Leadership and Coaching Consultants based out of Warren, Rhode Island, the professional development program aims to build Baker Group’s leadership bench strength for the future.  “The program is built on elements such as coaching, spaced learning, and peer support to encourage application and integration of skills and concepts”, says Vanessa Kiley, Owner and Principal Consultant with Kiley and Company.  “The program highlights areas of leadership which research indicates have the biggest impact on a leader’s overall effectiveness – being inwardly sound and others focused.  This goes well beyond the tactics and skills that most training offers.  This Advanced Leadership Development initiative focuses on growing the person to their greatest potential.”

The goal is to provide professional development to

  • Engage and inspire high-potential leaders
  • Enhance leaders’ self-awareness
  • Develop leadership and management skills for today and the future
  • Build camaraderie and a sense of cross-functional “team”
  • Mitigate risks of talent disengagement and/or loss of talent
  • Stand out as professional leaders in our industry
  • Assure transition of leadership to the next generation

The long-term measure of success will be a future leadership team that is even more successful than past and current leaders.

Graduates from the 2016 inaugural Advanced Leadership Development: Inwardly Sound, Outwardly Focused class include: Joel Bartlett, Kelley Bennett, Blake Brown, Russ Connett, Rob Cross, Dale Drent, Ryan English, Randy Helm, Brandon Hummel, Jon Jackson, Jamie Knutson, Brian Sparks, Jarod Stockel, Joel Veenstra, Tom Wengert, and Chuck Woods.

The program has been such an overwhelming success, that candidates are currently being selected for the 2017 ALD class.  According to BJ Baker, “We believe this is a wonderful investment in our people.  We are committed to being long-term leaders in our industry.”  

About Baker Group

Founded in 1963 and with more than 600 employees cross Iowa, Baker Group is the Midwest’s premier full-service specialty contractor providing mechanical, sheet metal, electrical, building automation, process automation, security systems, fire alarm systems, parking/revenue controls and 24/7/365 service. 


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