2022 News

On the Rise and Leading the Way

On the Rise and Leading the Way

It is very much intentional that leadership positions are filled from within at Baker Group.

After all, who better than the employees who live and breathe our Core Values every day?

“In general, we have always promoted from within,” says Gary Bridgewater, who earned a promotion to CEO in December 2021. “People from the outside couldn’t possibly know what we value."

Baker Group recently completed some organizational changes that evolved key leadership positions.

Mike Lipp, who has 28 years of experience, moved into an Executive Vice President role and supports the Electrical and Industrial business units. Caleb Wheeler, with 19 years of experience, moved into Lipp’s former role as the Vice President of our Electrical Business Unit.

Joe Nestvedt, Vice President of the Industrial Business Unit, retired in December 2022. Nestvedt spent more than 34 years at Baker Group. He will remain on as a consultant.

To fill his position, Jordan Lint will transition into the role of Vice President of the Industrial Business Unit. Lint has more than 20 years of experience.

Rob Cross moved into the role of COO last year. To help Cross support our field team, Jason Rice has been promoted to Vice President of Field Operations. Rice has been at Baker Group more than 20 years.

To better serve our Eastern Iowa employees and clients, John Thomas was promoted to Branch Leader in our Cedar Rapids office.

It’s the latest in a line of employees who have earned the opportunity to move up within the company.

Baker Group invests heavily in leadership development, annually putting employees through an Advanced Leadership Development program. To date, 86 employees have taken part.

It’s designed to enhance each person’s leadership skills. Baker Group’s belief is that leadership is more about who they are as a person and less about what they do in their role. Baker Group subscribes to the idea that three-quarters of the effectiveness in being a leader comes from being inwardly sound and others focused.

“We’ve been intentional and deliberate to develop future leaders,” Bridgewater says. “As the company has grown, we’ve had the right people internally.”

The latest moves came nearly a year after BJ Baker III stepped down as CEO and Bridgewater moved in to fill that role. At the same time, Doug Kumm replaced Bridgewater as President.

“What’s it mean to have well-prepared people within the company? It means everything to us,” Bridgewater says. “We’re placing smart bets on the people who are here.”

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.