Concrete foundation

Master Entrepreneur

The origins of Daniel Lee Baker’s construction company, Baker Concrete Construction Inc., can be traced to a winter day in 1968, when a 20-year-old Baker decided to go into business for himself excavating frozen ground for $200.

But the principles that have driven Baker as a businessman go back even further.

Baker’s business career began on two fronts — in the college classroom and, before that, working summers and after school in his grandfather’s concrete finishing business. The classroom education and real-world experience gave Baker a solid foundation to go into business for himself at a young age.

As founder, president and CEO, Baker has developed Baker Concrete Construction into a national company with hubs in Houston, Orlando, Phoenix and Denver, allowing his company to diversify its work to include new manufacturing facilities, educational facilities, commercial high rises, parking structures, hospitals and multifamily residential projects.

From a profit of $50,000 in its first year of operation, Baker Concrete Construction has grown to seven offices, 4,500 employees and $768 million in fiscal 2008 revenue.

Baker has also strived to keep his company on the cutting edge with regard to new technology and practices. In 1988, Baker hired a safety manager — a rarity for a subcontractor at the time — to oversee workplace safety. The practice has since been adopted throughout the industry. Several years later, Baker formally made safety his company’s No. 1 core value.

Baker has also made strides in the area of training and education. In 1998, he established Baker University, one of the first comprehensive, multilateral training programs ever offered by a construction subcontractor.

It’s that kind of forward thinking that has driven Baker from humble beginnings to an entrepreneurial success story.

How to reach: Baker Concrete Construction Inc., (513) 539-4000 or