2022 News

John Thomas Promoted to Cedar Rapids Branch Leader

John Thomas Promoted to Cedar Rapids Branch Leader

Continued growth means challenges and the changes that come with it. It’s no different at Baker Group’s office in Cedar Rapids.

Seeing the need for change in the organizational structure in that office, Baker Group has promoted John Thomas to the position of 380 Branch Leader. In this role, Thomas will be responsible for the financial performance, client experience, team management and representing the Cedar Rapids Branch Team to Baker Group leadership.

Thomas, who’s been with Baker Group the past year, had been a project manager in the Mechanical Business Unit.

“I know there’s a lot of opportunity over there and a lot of great people in place,” Thomas says. “It’s a matter of building a little stronger communication line between here and there. I’m looking forward to it and to the experience.”

Until now, each Business Unit in the Cedar Rapids office reported to individual business units in the Ankeny office. With growth in both offices, it wasn’t the best long-term strategy.

In the past 6-8 months, talks were held discussing a branch model in Cedar Rapids. It led to the creation of Thomas’ new position. Everyone in that office will report to Thomas, while those in Ankeny will continue to provide any technical support needed.

“We’ve got good local decision making there and we’re doing things that are a better fit for the market there,” says Daryld Karloff, Executive Vice President for Building Services. “Believe it or not, the rest of the world doesn’t do things the same way everybody does in Central Iowa. The markets are a little different. The players are different.”

Thomas was immediately interested in the position, having spent the majority of his 22-year career working in Eastern Iowa. For the past eight months, he has been on the BAE project Baker Group is completing in Cedar Rapids.

Baker Group will be involved in the new University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics project in North Liberty for the next three years.

“I had some ideas of what I thought it should look like from seeing things over there, and the more I thought about it, it just made sense,” Thomas says. “Baker Group’s culture is building better communities and that focus needs to be brought to Eastern Iowa. Another thing is feeling that they have full support from Ankeny, so this will help bridge that gap.”

Thomas has made the transition over past few months and officially starts the new position Oct. 1 with the beginning of a new fiscal year.

“They’re gaining a lot of traction over there, and there’s a tremendous opportunity for more growth,” Thomas says. “The main thing for the first six months is getting to know the people and them getting to know me. We need everyone on the same page.”

Thomas and Karloff both praised Jeff Jordan, a senior project manager and team leader in sheet metal, for the work he did coordinating projects in the Cedar Rapids office the past few years.

About Baker Group

Baker Group is a commercial and industrial specialty contractor based in Ankeny, Iowa. With more than 1,100 employees, Baker Group is the Midwest’s premier full-service specialty contractor providing mechanical, industrial, sheet metal, electrical, 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 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.