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  BY: CASSANDRA SPRIGG
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR – SOUTH BEND, IN

It is always bittersweet when a employee steps into the next phase of his or her life: retirement. That is just what  Tim Baker did at the end of March. After serving the company for 22 years, Tim stepped down from his long-held role as Senior Vice President of Asset Management, transitioning into a new role as a company investor.

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As the Senior Vice President of Asset Management, Tim was responsible for maximizing the company’s value to new and existing tenants, preserving company assets and maintaining quality returns to property owners. Tim worked closely with the Property Management department, to ensure tenant and owner satisfaction, while seeking out opportunities for new management contracts and investments. He was instrumental in growing the company from a small, internal team, to one of the fastest growing real estate management firms in the Midwest.

To celebrate his retirement, each of the Indiana branches were invited to a surprise party held on April 11 in South Bend. Under the ruse of his protégé, Wills Gardner, Tim arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn’s Gillespie Center expecting to make a brief stop inside to pick up some “important documents” from John, before heading out for a special “birthday lunch for Wills.” Unbeknownst to him, 90 of his co-workers were anxiously waiting inside of Parlor A to surprise him. The look of pure joy on his face upon opening the doors said it all…

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The tables were decorated with teal, silver and purple balloons, as well as ornate bowls filled with handwritten well-wishes and messages for Tim. In the front of the room, a large poster of memories of him overlooked a long buffet table filled with delicious appetizers, Carrabba’s catering, and 3 cakes.

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After the guests finished moving through the buffet line, President and CEO John Phair shared stories about Tim, how he came to work for Holladay, and what he has meant to the company. At the end of the event, after all of the messages were collected from the bowls on the tables, Tim was presented with a leatherbound scrapbook which would soon be filled with the kind words of his peers. He was additionally presented with $950 worth of gift certificates to the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, which he and his wife will be sure to enjoy in the coming months.

digCassie Sprigg presenting Tim Baker with his scrapbook.

 

Joy, tears and lots of laughter filled the hall that afternoon. And while we are sad that we will not see Tim’s smiling face at work every day, we are incredibly excited for his new adventure, and look forward to his frequent visits to the office. It just goes to show you: You can take work away from Tim, but you can’t keep Tim away from Holladay.

Congratulations, Tim!

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