To work alongside Bryan Baker is to have a colleague who’ll have your back in a pinch. If the day is done, but the work isn’t, Baker’s the guy that will volunteer to stay so that employees with long commutes can start the journey home.
A motor assembly test job leader, Baker, joined Ward Leonard in 2000. Dissatisfied with the seasonal nature of construction jobs and yearly layoffs he’d experienced since graduating from high school, Baker, then 20 years old, wanted something more reliable and rewarding. The desire for something better led Baker to Ward Leonard, where he landed a gig setting up equipment and unloading trucks. Baker enjoyed the ability to work indoors and liked that he was still able to work with his hands. An added bonus? The job site was a mere six miles from his home in Thomaston, Connecticut.
Baker passed a big milestone this November: 20 years with the company. Pride in hard work and a job well done have kept Baker motivated through challenging tasks and 12-to-16-hour shifts, the kind of shifts that could keep you up until 1 a.m. building a motor while exhausted engineers look on. Taking on the complexities of working with different motors keeps Baker engaged. But it’s the employees that have really solidified his place in Ward Leonard’s family-like operation, where Baker has found several close friends.
After twenty years on the job, Baker’s gone from a hands-on entry-level employee to a hands-on leader who encourages problem-solving and meeting challenges. Baker’s wife will tell you he works too much. Ask Baker, and he’ll tell you that’s a good thing, as he always needs something to do. Find him outside work, and you may catch him woodworking, target shooting, tinkering with cars, watching a movie, or renovating his childhood home.
Now that Ward Leonard is a part of the FMD family, Baker finds himself once again diving in to solve new challenges and learn the expanded product lines. And while FMD is a larger organization than Ward Leonard, Baker is pleased with how FMD demonstrates its commitment to the company and employees; the benefits are better, facility and equipment upgrades are happening, and communication has improved. Families change, and Baker’s ready for the next chapter.