From the Military to Mobility: International Franchise Welcomes Retired Army Officer as New Leader
Mark Baker has always understood the importance of mixing compassion with firmness as a leader — call it his military training. When asked what kind of leader he is, he’ll tell you he’s one who sets high expectations. He encourages the best from everyone on his team, and he proudly admits it.
“I’m all about the team. I like to surround myself with people who are subject matter experts and give them leeway,” says Baker. “I’m very direct and I’m pretty demanding. I set high expectations.”
It’s this mentality that brought Baker to 101 Mobility, one of the largest providers of mobility and accessibility solutions in the United States. From stairlifts to wheelchair ramps, 101 Mobility sells, rents, installs and services products meant to help people with disabilities get around their homes with ease. The franchise recently welcomed Baker as its new president, and he plans to march the company into new territory.
For much of his life, all Mark knew was the military. Both he and his wife come from military families (with strict allegiance to the Army and the Navy) and service to the country served his family well. It was during his 20 years of service in the military that the father of two gained much of his leadership experience. He served on active duty in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer and retired from the U.S. Army Reserve at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Mark’s transition into civilian life led him toward a career in the franchise industry, holding several executive positions within the real estate and home services franchise sector. Baker also formerly served on the board of the International Franchise Association (IFA), Institute of Certified Franchise Executives. He was previously a board advisor for the Metropolitan State University Center for Innovation’s franchising program, and he earned the IFA’s Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) designation.
Now, as the new leader of 101 Mobility, Mark intends to oversee the company’s growth across North America. The brand has a presence in 30 states and several locations in Canada. Over the next three years, Baker hopes to double the size of today’s system and anticipates adding 60 more franchisees.
“I believe that 101 Mobility is the market leader in the industry,” says Mark. “They have a great brand promise, and they have a huge opportunity for growth. In your time of need, we’re there. It’s a big deal to help people have a better quality of life, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re helping people have a better quality of life.”
It’s not surprising that a high-ranking military veteran would choose to lead a company that serves those in need of help. 101 Mobility was created in 2008 to deliver mobility and accessibility solutions to people who are faced with limited physical mobility. Mark acknowledges and appreciates 101 Mobility’s efforts to assist those in need, including our country’s veterans, both by helping clients with disabilities and by offering a discount to veteran franchisee candidates.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re old, young or somewhere in the middle; there’s a huge need in the U.S. for this kind of service. Every community needs someone like us, and 101 Mobility’s franchise owners make a difference in people’s lives.”