"We're genuinely entrepreneurial in spirit," said Robert Fox, Director of Marketing for Baker. "The company gives freedom to employees to achieve their own goals - there's room to roam. But everyone is expected to put their boots on."
A snapshot from Baker's history illustrates that point. In January of 2009, Baker poured the foundation of the Great American Tower at Queen City Square
in the same way as many pours - in the middle of the night. Maintaining a continuous flow of cement trucks is easier without daytime traffic.
Despite bitter cold and graveyard hours, the turnout for the "Queen City pour" was tremendous. Baker office workers, who normally typed on computers, raked mix down the chutes.
"It was a source of pride," said Fox. "People can look at the building once construction is completed and say, 'I had a hand in that.'"
Dan Baker began the company 42 years ago as Baker Cement Contractors, headquartered in a small house in Oxford. With help from his brothers, Baker's profit goal was tuition money for Miami University
. He poured driveways and sidewalks using methods learned from his stonemason grandfather, Elmer Baker. The young Baker won his first commercial contract in 1972, and continued to step into larger jobs over the decades, including factories, convention centers, and stadiums.
Today, Baker employs 3,900 in three regional offices (Monroe, Houston, and Miami) and several satellite locations. Monroe houses Baker's corporate headquarters, and reflects the company's emotional attachment to greater Cincinnati.
"The city has been instrumental in making Baker as big as it is," said Fox. "Our first million-dollar contract was here." Most recently, Baker was awarded the general-contractor bid for the Banks Project.
In the 1970s, Baker was one of the first to use ride-on trowel machines for quicker production. In 2007, Baker bought out Dallas-based Highrise Concrete Systems to gain an advantage in tunnelform concrete construction. To date, Baker has completed concrete projects in over 1,200 cities.
As Baker seeks big-scale methods and venues for concrete construction, the company maintains its small-scale values. Fox credits Baker's success to a "simple plan: hard work, the best work you can do, and doing exactly what the customer asked for."
Writer: Elena Stevenson
Source: Robert Fox, Director of Marketing, Baker Concrete