In this edition of our newsletter we feature
Michael Baker from Matra Construction.
Q: What were you doing before you started Matra Construction in 1992?
A: I emigrated to Canada from England in 1976. I started my career as an Apprentice Bricklayer then progressed to Project Management Positions within National & International Construction Companies. I came to Vancouver from Calgary in 1988 and eventually started Matra Construction Inc., named after my favourite French Le Mans sports car of the sixties.
Q: Tell us about your team at Matra.
A: My fellow Matra team, without a doubt is my biggest achievement. Just short of fifty, we’re a group of real people who all share the same philosophy, to be the best we can and actually enjoy working together to learn and improve ourselves and our service to our clients. Over the last eight years, three people in our team were selected to continue my business philosophy on my retirement in January 2016, Mr. Jason Moore, Mr. David Dalbo and Mr. Arfan Khan. I continue my part ownership of Matra and peripheral involvement in company business, cocktail parties, golf tournaments and other fun stuff!
Q: Most of us know that you have retired from the day-to-day business, what do you spend most of your time doing now?
A: I live in Nanoose on a five acre estate with my beautiful wife Nancy and dog, Sparks Baker. If anyone out there wants advice on retirement please do not hesitate to call me! This is my second year being retired and I now feel like an authority on the subject. Most people are unaware of my carpentry, masonry and other trade attributes, but now I indulge myself with home front projects and improvements. Onward in search of happiness, fulfilment and contentment, Ye Ha!
Q: If you were 30-years-old and starting a new career right now, what would it be?
A: I always thought I would like to walk around an airport with a pilots uniform, with at least four gold stripes on my arm pulling one of those overnight cases. However, my father decided my destiny at the age of 15 and I have no regrets!
Q: What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re in the city?
A: Visiting my kids (proud father of two sons) and friends. I recently spoke with a client, who is also a close friend, and we both agreed that we have families, but in life you choose your friends, and real friendships are invaluable. I am very fortunate to have my fair share of friends that are an important part of my life!
Q: If you could choose anywhere in the world to live, where would that be?
A: I am so fortunate to live in North Vancouver, complimented with our home in Nanoose, what more could I wish for, nothing! Except for one thing, the cold, wet and dark winters drive me crazy! I crave light and warmth so I need to travel South during the winter months to maintain my sanity!
Q. What’s your favourite cocktail?
A: Like most business people, drinking has been a significant part of my business and social life! My drink of choice is quite simple really, Pinot Grigio! Although I can’t have more than 4 glasses otherwise I don’t sleep and apparently it kills brain cells, which I desperately need! Since retirement I have acquired a distinct taste for Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, straight!
Q: Tell us something about yourself that may surprise us.
A: I’ve been told I have a lovely singing voice. I try to continue developing it by singing to my dog, Sparks, I’ve even written some original lyrics to sing to him!
For those of you that never met the short-haired Michael Baker
One of our favourite trips of all time, 2015 in New York City.
Happy 70th Birthday Michael, celebrated recently with great friends!