ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 18, 2019 — Chris Baeten has joined the ranks of the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, an award that recognizes young leaders in the Central Florida region who play a key role in shaping the community.
According to the Orlando Business Journal (OBJ), Orlando is a fast-growing U.S. city and that means there are plenty of leaders who not only helped put it in that spot, but who also are moving the City Beautiful forward.
That includes a slew of young professionals who have chosen to remain in Central Florida and help make it a better place for everyone to live, work, play and learn. In today’s business environment, young people make up a huge chunk of the professional workforce. They start companies, work in fast-growing occupations and are diverse in many ways. Understanding this group of professionals is key to anticipating the needs of the workforce — and business-to-business consumers — of tomorrow.
The OBJ received hundreds of nominations and a special judging committee — which included some former honorees — narrowed that down to the class of 2019. The winners were chosen based on going above and beyond to achieve impressive business accolades, despite their youth, while also making a difference through their community involvement.
Baeten was selected because as a young leader he is shaping our community. He has proven his potential by taking leadership roles in his business industry by the strength and growth of his company Knight Federal Solutions, a provider of simulation and training, cybersecurity, information technology, finance and intelligence analysis solutions to the Defense and Intelligence sectors, focused on developing mission driven, cost-effective solutions empowering results. Also, he is dedicated to improving the life of others in the community, which sets him apart. At age 38, he truly reflects the vision of Central Florida as an inclusive and diverse business community with innovative young leadership.
As a visionary, Baeten is creative and thoughtful in how he has evolved Knight Federal Solutions since he acquired it back in 2013. He is a CEO that leads people with the flexibility of empowering them to fulfill their potential. Within five years, he has grown the company and scaled it to impressive heights – it now ranks on the Inc 5000 List for 2019!
What sets Baeten apart from others is his willingness to be open-minded and also to take calculated risks. Sometimes the end result is not easily seen but only attainable by making the jump to the other side – in his words “Charge On.” It is that creativity and youthful energy that propels Knight Federal to stand out among many small businesses and generate the type of loyalty from employees that few companies truly embrace. Entrepreneurs can be creative but sometimes not willing to listen to advice or counsel and then experience pitfalls or challenges that become insurmountable.
Baeten is approachable and trustworthy and surrounds himself by talented people. He has high expectations but his team delivers because he develops the strategy and tools that help achieve success.
Understanding the true value that employees play in a company’s success is what makes Knight Federal’s team all the more loyal and willing to go the extra mile. These are not words but rather a mantra and philosophy that he puts into practice and delivers. The authenticity and genuineness that he has as a leader sets him apart from others. Baeten has implemented an employee awards and recognition program that showcases the talent he develops. He has invested in speakers that motivate and energize his team and understands the role team building and professional development play.
Additionally, as a younger CEO he is willing and open to form partnerships and alliances with other companies and teaming partners, but also sees the value and relevance of experience, as was indicated by his decision to recruit senior talent in the appointment of Tim Baker to lead the Purple Knight Initiative.
Baeten has created a true team environment and works to build up and mentor his employees. The trust and value he places in them shows and has propelled the company to achieve new opportunities but also has strengthened its performance with current clients to cultivate a reputation for quality, consistency and reliability that help to elevate it from competitors. His company is an equal opportunity employer and he fosters teamwork at all levels.
Baeten is a father and loyal husband. He represents how a man can embrace the corporate world but also integrate his family values. He serves as a mentor and is giving back to his university, community and employees. He shows respect for the country by honoring the most vulnerable in the population – combat wounded warriors. Baeten puts into practice true leadership and service, traits that are representative of special leaders.
Click here for a full list of Orlando Business Journal’s 2019 40 Under 40 honorees.
Visit this link for the story and slide show about the award.