2020 News

HR Exec Sees New Role as ‘Strategic Partner’

HR Exec Sees New Role as ‘Strategic Partner’

Meet Cindi Summers. She’s a relatively new presence at Baker Group, beginning work in January 2020. Yet as Chief Human Resources Officer, she already is tackling some of the larger, complex human resources initiatives of the company.

“What I learned very quickly is that our strength at Baker Group is in our people.” Summers explains. “We have this neat video where our customers are telling us what they like about working with us. It is centered on our employees maintaining solid relationships.  What I’m doing will continue to help strengthen that concept.”

Summers developed an early appreciation of working – and living – in central Iowa. She grew up in Marshalltown and holds degrees from Iowa universities. Early career positions in financial services and manufacturing developed her skills in employee training and human resources. She then worked in the retail industry for Casey’s General Stores.  During Summers’ nearly 15 years there, she contributed to many projects that helped the company more than double in size. She says she hopes to apply some of that experience to create long-term scalable programs at Baker Group. “I want to roll up my sleeves and contribute as a strategic partner to the business.” Summers added, “Baker Group has high expectations and is poised for strong growth in the future.” It is a scenario about which she is excited.  

In her first four weeks on the job, Summers says she participated in 94 meetings and she was happy to do so. Senior leadership immersed her in the day-to-day business. Out-of-the-gate priorities fell on two aspects of her job: talent acquisition and training.  This was an evolution of a larger human resources strategic plan that began to take shape prior to her arrival.  Now the plan is coming to life.   

“Recruiting is a big challenge in today’s conditions. We have such a good story to share. When I interviewed for this position, I kept asking leaders about the culture. I had heard about it. Two days on the job, and I could feel it.” Summers hopes to expand on that to applicants.  She also wants to apply e-learning concepts to reinforce consistency in onboarding and training, an idea that she says is being well received. “Most of our business units are in charge of much of their own training and already have a lot on their plates. Creating training modules that can be taken at anytime and anywhere can provide agility and consistency.”

Summers easily explains her positive outlook. She was asked recently what she saw as a problem at the company. Her reply? Positioning Baker Group for growth. “If the worst problem we have is positioning for growth, we are doing pretty well.”

About Baker Group

Founded in 1963 and with 700 employees across Iowa, Baker Group is the Midwest’s premier full-service specialty contractor providing mechanical, sheet metal, electrical, compressed air, building automation, process automation, security systems, fire alarm systems, parking/revenue controls and 24/7/365 service. For more information, call 855.262.4000 or visit https://www.thebakergroup.com/.


Best of Des Moines 2023

Best of Business Record Award

Baker Group was recognized by readers of the Des Moines Business Record for best Mechanical Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Security Company and Best Company to Work For in 2023.

Top Workplaces

Best of Business Record Award

For a seventh consecutive year, Baker Group was recognized by the Des Moines Register as one of the Top Workplaces in the state.