Dave Baker (BS’82) has been in the banking business since graduating from the University of Colorado Denver. He started as a management trainee at FirstBank almost 30 years ago; today he is the corporation’s chief operating officer.
It takes a certain balance to successfully run a company. With the unique combination of leadership, dedication, business sense and community involvement, Baker helped FirstBank rise to the top of Colorado banks, even among national competitors. It is the second-ranked bank in Colorado in terms of asset size, and it is the largest locally headquartered financial institution with more than 125 locations in Colorado, Arizona and California. With so many banks being consumed by other banks, many of them out of the country, FirstBank has not only endured—keeping its name all the while—but thrived as competition has gone from local to global, says Baker.
Baker commits time and talent to many civic organizations, serving on the boards of Mile High United Way, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Jefferson Foundation. He has been past board chairman of Rocky Mountain Junior Achievement and the Graduate School of Banking at CU Boulder. He is currently chairman of the CU Denver Business School Advisory Board and guest teaches a class in marketing; something he says he really enjoys.
In December 2010, Baker received the CU Denver Alumni Recognition award for his dedication to Colorado and its economic vitality, his firm conviction that there is local talent to keep the state’s business economy thriving, and his consistent support of the alumni association scholarship program.
Additionally, Dave and his wife Laura, also an alum, are the volunteer chairs for the Denver campus for the University of Colorado’s “Creating Futures” fundraising campaign.