SJR STATE ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS
Greg Baker, CPCU, CLU, ChFC (1967)
Chairman of Thompson Baker Agency
Each week, St. Johns River State College will honor one of its own in an alumni salute, celebrating the career milestones, community contributions and personal reflections of those who began their collegiate journey as SJR State Vikings.
Greg Baker earned a respectable reputation in St. Augustine for his expertise in the insurance industry and for his 45 years of work with the Thompson Bailey Agency. His journey began when he graduated from SJR State with his Associate in Arts degree in 1967. Afterwards, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in risk management and insurance from the Florida State University College of Business. Along the way he devoted the time to earn a Masters Degree in Insurance Management from Boston University. In 1970, Greg launched his career by joining the Thompson Bailey Agency. He later became the co-owner, changing the name to the Thompson Baker Agency. Greg currently serves as Chairman for the Agency, which will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year.
In 1992, he was elected mayor for the City of St. Augustine. He served three years as Mayor and a fourth year as commissioner.
Greg’s previous leadership roles include serving as board chairman for Flagler Hospital and the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, as well as a trustee for the State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities. Recently, the Florida Association of Insurance Agents awarded him the Mitchell Stallings Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the insurance/risk management field.
His most recent altruistic work involves serving as chairman for the FAIA Good Works Fund. The organization helps foster workforce development programs for students of community and state colleges in Florida. He has also given back to SJR State by partnering with the College to offer the insurance specialization program. This scholarship program was introduced to alleviate the shortage of qualified insurance account managers in the Northeast Florida area. Graduates with a two or four year degree who obtain the nine semester hours of approved insurance education can qualify for their license without further testing.
Finally, Greg and his wife, Lillian, have teamed up to provide financial counseling to singles and couples in the area through the Fiscal Fitness Center. The couple stated they began the program with the intention of helping people through financial stress.
When asked about his experience at SJR State, Greg recounted how much the College had shaped his current career. “When I enrolled at SJR State in 1965 . . . my interest in the pursuit of academics was recharged; the school literally put me back on track,” he said. He recalled a story of how, while he was selecting classes in the business department, the then Chair of the department, Clyde Ashworth, suggested Greg take risk management and insurance courses. This would be the start of his road to success. “I will be forever grateful for my time and experiences at SJR State.”
SJR State Highlights:
- President’s List 2007
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Director of Public Relations and Publications