As much as it implies portraying proficient leadership, entrepreneurship also signifies generating result-oriented opportunities for aspirants. Today, entrepreneurs are idealized for the ability to build networks and establish impactful connections with people. Several aspiring leaders look upon these prodigious leaders not only for seeking inspiration but also in pursuit of innovative ideas and career-boosting opportunities.
One such illustrious example of inspirational leadership is demonstrated by Eric Baird. Eric is a recognized financial leader of the current generation. Infused with an entrepreneurial and generous spirit, he is dedicated to the pursuit of sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience for the benefit of his local business and community.
An Inspiring Career Inception
A serial entrepreneur and investor, Eric endorses a history of agile leadership. He started his career at the American Stock Exchange on the options trading desk. He co-founded Multinational Concepts, Ltd (MNC), one of the most profitable international full-service direct mail lists and global cooperative database firms before establishing MyUS.com and Baird Inc. The Sarasota-based MyUS.com (formerly known as Access USA) was founded in the late 90s. The company initially started as a mail-forwarding enterprise and quickly became a leading shipper of American products to customers across the world.
As the company developed, Eric realized it was time to transform it into a viable business. With the help of financial and other resources, he built the company’s foundation and expanded its headquarters. Over the few decades, he transformed MyUS.com into a global enterprise, with more than thousands of customers across the globe. His insight and innovation garnered him several accolades, including The Review’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2009.
In 2012, Eric officially sold the company and with the help of an extensive network of global connections and shrewd business acumen, and laid the groundwork for a new endeavor—Baird Inc—a top-tier business investment firm that primarily focuses on asset-based and senior-secured lending. Currently, Eric spearheads the company as the CEO and propels it to greater heights with his leadership and profound intellect. He also undertakes several vital roles to ensure delegating his responsibilities in an efficient manner.
Venturing into Several Verticals
Founded in 2013, Baird Inc is a private debt and equity firm. It serves as alternative capital opportunities for small, growing, and established businesses that may not fit conventional capital markets’ requirements. The company is focused on managing a diversified investment strategy specifically in secured and asset-based lending, private equity, and commercial real estate. Baird Inc takes pride in its ability to execute quickly while developing an understanding of customers’ needs and desires to help creatively structure access to the capital required to alter their growth trajectory.
Baird Inc partners with small and mid-size businesses providing them with access to growth capital in exchange for equity in a founder’s business. For upstarts and smaller companies, a lack of collateralizable assets creates challenges in acquiring access to growth capital via secured debt through traditional financing, however, an equity partnership aligns the interest of Baird Inc and the other companies it works with to create strategic partnerships.
Baird Inc also has a growing real estate portfolio located throughout the Southwest Florida area. The company specializes in acquisition and operations across the gamut of commercial real estate including—multifamily, office, retail, and marinas.
Decorated Philanthropic Laurels
During his career as a leader, Eric has received various prestigious awards and recognition. However, he believes that awards are not an important achievement for his organization as compared to the recognition of his work and his team to benefit the local economy and the people it supports.
Eric’s prominent philanthropic laurels have garnered him tremendous recognition within the local community. Throughout his entrepreneurial career, he has provided useful resources and support in the form of monetary and financial aspects. For instance, he made it to the headlines by donating $350 directly to each and every teacher working in Sarasota County. While philanthropy in the field of education is relatively common, this style of direct donation to the highly-trained professionals working in Sarasota’s classrooms was somewhat unusual. According to Eric, the donation was made in honor of his late mother who encouraged success in others by providing them with what they needed to do their best work.
The Gail Foundation
Eric attributes his entrepreneurial skills to his mother Gail Linda Baird. To honor Gail’s memory, he established The Gail Baird Foundation, following her struggle with ovarian cancer. According to him, hard work, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship have always been a source of the family’s tradition. It is a tradition in which the Foundation continuously seeks to expand upon and for which Sarasota and the broader Floridian community are grateful.
The primary mission of the Foundation is to increase awareness of ovarian cancer, as well as to support initiatives committed to researching and finding a cure. The Gail Baird Foundation also maintains Gail’s commitment to creating opportunities for aspiring women entrepreneurs and enriching the lives of veterans and seniors throughout the community. Currently, Eric serves as the acting President of The Gail Baird Foundation and ensures catering to its organizational values and motives.
Read Full Magazine: The 10 Most Influential Finance Leaders of 2023