If you told Tamara Baker’s younger self that she would one day own a business, she would have believed you. She has been an entrepreneur since the age of 12 when she started a dance camp for young girls. Her engineering and construction career began in 1992, and since then she has held many different positions including rodman on a survey crew, draftsman, drill-rig manager, truss designer, geotechnical engineer, structural engineer and business owner. She can run business meetings or crawl under dusty buildings — the point is, she’s not afraid of hard work or getting dirty.
After working at a national design-build firm, Tamara decided to start her own business in 2004, at the age of 32. She has never looked back. Today, Baker Klein is a successful design-build consulting firm with average annual revenues of $12 million. Baker Klein recently topped the Florida Fast 100, an annual list highlighting Florida’s growing businesses.
Tamara holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering (Materials) from the University of Florida. She is in the process of completing her doctoral degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
One of Tamara’s engineering passions involves reviving historic structures and working within historic commercial zones. She has been involved in several cornerstone projects, and has won nine City of Jacksonville Historic Preservation Awards and a 2012 ABC Merit Award. In 2011 Tamara was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year for Jacksonville’s Women in Business list.
Tamara has been an adjunct professor at the University of North Florida, teaching Mechanical and Electrical Systems, Structures, Surveying, Drafting, and Estimating to students of the Building Construction Management Program. She is a member of the St. Nicholas Preservation Society, the Associated Builders and Contractors, and the Florida Structural Engineering Association. Tamara is actively involved with her church, Southside United Methodist. In 2014, she and her husband Bobby welcomed their daughter Olivia Bell. In 2015, Tamara won her fight against breast cancer. In May 2017, Tamara and Bobby welcomed their second child, Nathaniel Banks.