David C. Baker


I was born in Michigan, but lived in San Miguel Acatán, Guatemala with a tribe of Mayan indians until I was eighteen years old, after which I moved to the United States. I spent six years in graduate school, earning an advanced degree in ancient languages and theology. I’ve taught at the undergraduate and graduate level, primarily in modern and ancient languages, as well as applied history. (I wish I had majored in anthropology rather than learn 10+ languages.) More of us, it seems, are bringing expertise to areas not closely associated with our majors!

I managed a publisher and mail order book house (Eisenbrauns) from 1983-1988 and then owned and ran a marketing firm in Warsaw, IN, from 1988-1994.

I live in Nashville, TN with my wife Julie. We have two grown boys: Jonathan (with his wife Sarah and daughter Addie and son Nash) lives in Atlanta and is a partner at Monday Night Brewing and Nathan (with his wife Colby and daughter Emme and son EJ) lives and works at Raven Tools in Nashville.

I am a fan of fine woodworking, teaching racing to already expert motorcycle racers, and flying 25 different types of airplanes and helicopters. Most of all, though, I express myself primarily through photography.

I speak to, write for, and consult with the expertise marketplace via ReCourses, Inc. I’ve worked with 900+ firms under that umbrella, and tens of thousands of others have been through our seminars or attended a speaking engagement.

I own RockBench Publishing Corp., a traditional and electronic publisher of courageous thought leadership insight. Through it we give sharp thinkers the sort of platform they deserve. Search for “rockbench publishing” at Amazon and you’ll get a feel for the quality of the offerings.

I have been a featured speaker at nearly every marketing industry conference (APDF, HOW, AIGA, PRSA, Counselors Academy, MYOB, SEGD, BDA, PROMAX, Y, etc.), as well as nearly every association that serves this field. I have spoken at multiple TEDx events.

I have been a frequent contributor to nearly all the major publications that serve the marketing industry (Critique, Communication Arts, HOW, Rough, Creative Business, PR Intelligence Report, Creative Planet, In-Review, Graphic Artists Guild, Agency Insider Report, Post Industry, Internet Professional Publishers Association, etc.). I edited Persuading for its entire tenure of six years, earning accolades from subscribers all over the planet.

My work has been discussed in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fast Company. Inc. Magazine, Forbes, MarketingProfs, and BusinessWeek. I have also contributed portions of Cameron Foote’s The Business Side of Creativity, Robert Bly’s Internet Direct Mail: The Complete Guide to Successful E-Mail Marketing Campaigns, and the new AIGA book on Professional Practices in Graphic Design (also translated into Chinese). I have contributed to a dozen other publications by leading authors, and a three-part booklet series was published by NewPage, entitled David C. Baker Speaks. The 10,000 copies were sold out. Probably a highlight of my career was when David Maister asked to include some of my work in his own published material.

In addition to the book noted above, I am the author of three RockBench titles: Managing (Right) for the First Time, Financial Management of a Marketing Firm, and The Business of Expertise.