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Executive Profile , Jon Baker

One way to jump-start a career path is to start at age 14.

Such was the case for Jon Baker, NTDStichler Architecture president and chief executive officer, who said his ninth-grade drafting class was the most fun thing he had ever had.

Spending several years in different drafting positions, Baker built a career without a college degree.

“I get to work in a profession that I’ve loved all my life, and the work that I do is there to enjoy for years to come,” said Baker.

Despite his airtight schedule, the San Jose native makes plenty of time for his loves , wife and children and country music.


RESUME

Name: Jon Alan Baker, AIA.

Company: NTDStichler Architecture.

Titles: President, CEO.

Education: Cal Poly Pomona.

Birthplace: San Jose.

Age: 51.

Residence: Rancho Bernardo.

Family: Wife, Christine; daughters, Megan, 20, Courtney, 19, and Kari, 18; son, Grant, 16.


BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

Essential business philosophy: If you can determine what people need and find a way to provide it, you may not get rich, but they will never stop trying to reward you for it.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Work harder than your competition.

Guiding principles: Integrity: Success is built on individual responsibility and accountability; Commitment: Great accomplishments require focus; Creativity: Looking beyond the obvious for the best ideas; and Relationships: People working together make things happen.

Yardsticks of success: Repeat clients.

Goals yet to be achieved: Helping create better-informed consumers of architectural services.


JUDGMENT CALLS

Best business decision: Selecting a career that I really love.

Worst business decision: Trusting untrustworthy people.

Toughest business decision: Turning down work when we are too busy.

Words that describe you: Reliable or busy.

Biggest missed opportunity: I have no regrets. There’s always another opportunity coming.

Mentor: None.


TRUE CONFESSIONS

What you like best about your job: Every challenge is an opportunity looking for a creative solution.

What you like least about your job: Human resources issues.

Pet peeves: People who don’t do what they say.

Most important lesson learned: If you have integrity, nothing else matters if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.

Person most interested in meeting: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Three greatest passions: Family, design and travel.

First choice for a new career: Can’t even imagine doing anything other than architecture.


PREDILECTIONS

Favorite quote: “Never ever give up,” Sir Winston Churchill.

Most influential book: “The Richest Man in Babylon,” by George Samuel Clason.

Favorite status symbol: Don’t like status symbols.

Favorite restaurant: Lamont Street Grill.

Favorite place for business meetings: My pool house.

Favorite vacation spot: Our old family home in Grand Haven, Mich.

Favorite way to spend time: Hanging out with my wife, who is my companion and best friend.

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