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Partner - Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell L.L.C. President - National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC)
Education: Rice University, bachelor's degree in psychology
Career highlights: Baker worked in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions at Deutsche Bank Securities in San Francisco for two years. In 2004, he joined transportation lobbying firm Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell (CC&H), where he serves as president of the NRC, coordinates the OneRail Coalition and manages the American Railway Development Association. He also lobbies on behalf of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Making a difference in rail transportation: "The government affairs side is where you have the potential to make large impacts on the direction of federal policy. And essentially, all my work is to push for more rail — more rail grants, better tax structures for rail, more workable regulations. It's hard to pick out what I've personally accomplished because that's not the nature of federal policy. But I've been a part of it, and that's something I'm really proud of. I feel like I'm lobbying for the good guys."
Five-year goal: "The job is plenty challenging, but at this point I have some idea of how to do it well — which is how I want it. Five years from now, if I'm doing exactly the same thing but maybe a little bit better and a little bit bigger, I'd be quite happy."
His philosophy: "I'm a believer in the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. You keep it simple and you try to have fun doing it. Life is too short to be miserable."
Interesting fact: "I love the Baltimore sports teams, the Ravens and the Orioles, but that's hardly something people don't know about me. I mean, I'll wear my Ravens jersey to an NRC conference event if the Ravens are playing that day."
Nominator's observation: "Chuck is the youngest CC&H partner and is playing an increasingly important role in the transportation industry. He has combined an understanding of private business with experience in formulating sound public policy. His knowledge and experience is a real asset to the railroad industry." — Keith Hartwell, CC&H