About the Principal...Janet C. Baker, President and CEO
Janet is a strategic thinking organizational development executive with national entrepreneurial and leadership experience informed by twenty-ﬁve years of senior management success, nonprofit leadership and business ownership. Each position she has held was newly created for her and reported directly to the CEO or board of directors, developing strategic solutions and ensuring implementation organization-wide. Janet is a creative visionary curious about what’s possible when existing resources are coupled with forward thinking. She frequently leverages needs and resources among client organizations and other institutions with synergistic energy for broader strategic impact and mutual gain.
A great deal of Janet’s career has been invested in the engagement and empowerment of citizens in the urban core, capitalizing on her genuine relationships with diverse communities to ensure mutual benefit - from public policy, infrastructure, community building through culture and the arts, environmental justice, green collar jobs and economic development strategies, including transition to a green economy, health, early through higher education, to job preparedness and workforce development, homelessness to economic self-sufficiency.
She has held executive government relations, strategic planning, community engagement, external relations and grantsmanship roles with national corporations, government, marketing, academia and health and human services nonproﬁts, and has served on more than 20 boards of directors and mayoral commissions under three Kansas City, Missouri Mayors.
Janet Baker has extensive experience getting results, often through expert facilitation of tenuous collaborations with elected ofﬁcials from city to federal leaders, municipal governments and planning organizations, business, civic leadership, neighborhood associations, faith based organizations, health care coalitions, local, regional, federal and philanthropic funders to garner resources to meet local needs.
She has been intimately involved in most of the major sustainability initiatives in the Kansas City regional area in recent years. As a strategic partner of ASTRA Communications, she co-designed and facilitated the Kansas City, Missouri Climate Protection planning process involving nearly 150 volunteers over a 2 year period, resulting in two City Council resolutions supporting the consensus built plan, and Administrative Regulations enacted by the City Manager for City operations to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions to 20% below year 2000 levels by 2030. As Contract Executive Director of the US Green Building Council for the region, she lead initiatives to help implement the community buildings and infrastructure goals of the Climate Protection Plan, as well as lead the more than 600 sustainability professional membership based organization, developing infrastructure and integrating programs with other organizations for maximum impact. She coordinated federal congressional and public engagement campaigns to inform and involve citizens in sustainable approaches to $5 billion public infrastructure issue in KCMO as subcontractor to Burns & McDonnell Engineering in development of the city’s long term control plan. She co-facilitated the national award winning public engagement green campaign (10,000 Rain Garden Initiative), and provided best management practice research, working with elected ofﬁcials to develop green policy for KCMO, also as a strategic partner of ASTRA.
She coordinated and traveled with the KCMO City Council on a BMP trip to Portland OR to research green policy in action, from development patterns to multi-modal transit.
Bringing all her experience in sustainability; workforce, business and community development, and health and human services in the urban core, Janet has a strategic vision for the role sustainability can play in the creation of a strength based economy in the urban core, capitalizing on being the first to market for a place based sustainable economy, and on the rich cultural and labor assets and organizational capacity of neighborhoods in the urban core. Out of that 25 years’ experience, and her life belief that communities themselves have the best vision for their own model of success, Janet developed a comprehensive urban community development model, a sustainability strength-based strategy, a small portion of which is being implemented as the Green Impact Zone in urban Kansas City, and being lead by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II. To date, the concentrated area has attracted close to $200 million in federal ARRA funds, for transportation and infrastructure (USDOT), the ﬁrst urban smart grid (KCPL), the feasibility study for the Climate Center envisioned and described in Janet's plan (USEDA), as well as a new workforce strategy to employ targeted residents in green collar jobs.
Janet Baker organized and led a public-private collaboration to reduce obesity in Kansas City as Community Liaison for UMKC’s Center for the City beginning in 2002, resulting in 120 organizations collaborating in 4 strategic teams: Healthy Lifestyles, Medical Management, Built Environment and Institutional Food Policy. This collaboration has grown and evolved into the region’s childhood obesity initiative (Weighing In), and ultimately to the creation of a regional Food Policy Coalition.
Janet helped plan and facilitated a post 9/11 U.S. Airport Commissioners Conference in Kansas City in October 2011, which developed recommendations for Congress for inclusion in airport security legislation. Janet also facilitated a fragile collaboration among three competing counties in KS for $1 million in federal funding to the partnership for an Early Education compensation system which lead to the creation of KS Smart Start, serving 2,900 children in three counties and receiving more than $1 million per year in public and private funding since her work in 2001. In addition, she co- developed and wrote a business plan for a $56 million Early Education system for metropolitan Kansas City for the Metropolitan Council on Child Care.
Collaborative process design and facilitation with measurable results is a recognized strength and she serves a unique role in the community with her successful corporate and nonproﬁt expertise and funder relationships, having served as executive director, board chair, corporate funder, civic volunteer, trainer, nonproﬁt consultant and facilitator.