Commander Dennis 0. Baker - US Navy (Retired)- Tallahassee, FL

Education and Training Accomplishments:

• Doctor of Organizational Development (2006)
• Doctor of Organizational Leadership (22 Credit Hours) (2005)
Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
• Master of Science, Aviation/ Aerospace Management (1996)
• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona, FL 
• Bachelor of Science, Sociology (1992)
• University ofNew York, Albany, NY
• Delaware Valley Central School, Callicoon, NY (1970)
• ISO 9001/2008 Certification (2012)
• Embry Riddle Adjunct Aviation Management, Operations Master’s Program Instructor
• SACS/COE Education Standards Auditor Team Leader Certification
• Mercer College Professional Leadership Enhancement Program (2011)
• St. Johns County Leadership Enhancement Program (2004)
• Public Safety Program Management (01/06)
• Anti-Terrorism and WMD (11/10)
• Emergency Services training and operations (2002)
• Naval Postgraduate School, System Safety Engineering (6/82)
• Professional Leadership Enhancement Program (2/04)

Education and Training Accomplishments: (Cont.)

  • Jacksonville Lean Consortium Introduction to Continuous Improvement (3/05)
  • FAA Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic Certification ( 5/98)
  • Senior Aviation Maintenance Officer (7/92)
  • Aircraft Weight and Balance Officer (5/87)
  • Aircraft Modification, Executive Course (8/94)
  • Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist designation (1981)
  • Program Manager, Electrical Apprenticeship (10/01)
  • AE-S132 System Safety Management and Engineering (5/81)
  • Mentor for the Old Donation Gifted and Talented Center (1982)
  • Florida Firewatch Training (2022)

Professional and Employment History:

  • Florida Veterans Foundation, Volunteer, Coordinator, President, Chairman (2015-2023)
  • Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (2013-2014)
  • Wyle Laboratories, Quality Manager (2011-2013)
  • Florida Department of Education, State Supervisor Education Programs (2009-2010)
  • Flagler College, Administrator, Director (2006-2008)
  • First Coast Technical College, Executive Vice President (2001-2006)
  • National Aviation Academy, President (1998-2001)
  • Sunshine Kids Cancer Kid Foundation, Florida Coordinator
    United States Navy (1970-1998)
  • Director of four-year Business and Education College. Directed and implemented administrative, academic, and fiscal functions. Budget development and execution. Provided leadership, policy, and liaison with Florida State Legislators and agencies
  • Executive Vice President of Florida’s very first Charter Technical College in Florida. Multiagency accreditation, budget, and education of7,500 students in 45 Technical programs, five campuses covering three counties.
  • Plans, Programs, and Requirements Officer for six aviation industrial repair sites. Direct oversight of 10,000 personnel, and 360 tactical and transport aircraft. Contract Officer for DOD. Negotiator of $60M Omnibus contract. $500M equipment inventory
  • Twenty-eight years leadership in policy, aviation maintenance management, safety, quality assurance, risk management, logistics, processes, accountability, and operations Director and Chief Operating Officer for a FAA Part 14 7 Aviation school. Responsible for administration, operation, and education for 1,000 Aircraft Maintenance Technicians
  • Manager of Training, and Licensure of Postsecondary Licensed Practical Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant, Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician, and Paramedic program
  • ISO-900 I :2008 Certified Lead Auditor, Quality/Risk Manager of defense contracts
  • Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration Facilities Supervisor for online licensure training
  •  Leadership in licensure, certification, enrollment, retention, and placement of students
  • Communications, Media, Marketing, Grant Writing and Management
  • Council on Education/Southern Association of Colleges Accreditation Team Leader
  • Developed Personal Appraisal Systems for personnel production levels of accountability
  • Human Resources supervisor with personnel regarding rules and regulations
  • Networking-3,500 government agencies, businesses, and private citizens
  • Emergency Services Training and Operations/Hurricane/Disaster Preparedness Officer
  • Project Management, Process Mapping
  • State Supervisor Education Programs and Curriculum Standards
  • Program Manager for Emergency Management and Operations for three county operations
  • Published Author, Public Speaker
  • Word, Outlook, Visio, Versa, Laserfiche, MS Project, SharePoint, and Excel Proficient
  • Fundraising – Florida Veterans Foundation, Sunshine Kids, Tallahassee Business Association

Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans:

  • Effected the development of the Gadsden Flag License plate earning recurring revenue for the Florida Veterans Foundation for many years. Within the first 80 days of sales the foundation earned over $180,000 for direct services to Florida Veterans. The Foundation is currently tracking to earn over $500,000 by the end of this calendar year.
  • Initial monies are currently being used to ftmd all aging Florida Veteran Nursing Home residents with their dental health needs.
  • During his volunteer time as Special Projects Coordinator of the Florida Veterans Foundation he penned, received, and executed a $2 Mil Grant from Attorney General Pam Bondi and Attorney General Ashley Moody. The grant served at the precipice of serving Florida Veterans in financial need on levels far and above any before. Additionally, the grant provided for the health, education, and welfare of Veterans in Florida.
  • Developed and executed more than two million dollars’ worth of programs of which 97 .5% of the monies went directly to the Veterans
    • Has served over 8 years as Volunteer, President, and Chairman of FDVA’s Direct Service Organization, Florida Veterans nonprofit Foundation serving 1.6 million Veterans
  • Served on the Governor’s Suicide Prevention Challenge team since January 2022, bringing energy and partners from other agencies to team for good, which has had a positive in the reduction of Veterans suicide in FL
  • His leadership during Hurricanes Michael and Ian provided extensive relief for Veterans
  • Successfully solicited a private donor for $250,000 for the Florida Veterans Foundation
  • Teamed with two vendors that executed programs providing relief to dependents by way of financial support, most especially those who were on their way to the “other side”. He advocates comfort to Veterans and their widows through life’s challenges through their time of passing, ensuring the family left behind knows their Veteran has received the greatest recognition when they are gone. These rewards are by way of the Aid and
    Attendance benefit, which brings in Federal VA dollars and saving State Medicaid Funds
  • Synergized with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay providing influence and hard work to secure excess of three million dollars so that the Crisis Center could hire and train Veterans to serve as Veteran Peers for Veterans who call in with suicidal thoughts to effective follow-on treatment programs. Through the Crisis Center Pilot Program partnership over 10,000 veterans and families reached out for help- 30% of the callers are expressing suicidal thoughts or concerns – 2,500 veterans still receiving ongoing care
  • Created a meaningful response to the Veteran unmet need for transportation. He teamed with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and American Legion, Transportation Disadvantaged, and Community Transportation boards to educate counties and create a partnership statewide. The DAV partnership was established to provide transportation for Veterans. In one six-month period alone ofa three-year run, 7,701 Veterans were moved to appointments, marking 192,000 miles of driven, and over 34,000 hours by volunteers
  • Reached across the State of Florida to work with Bay Area Legal Services in providing resources to run a test “Veterans Legal Help Line.” The program was so successful that the successive legislative session funded the Veterans Legal Help Line Statewide, and today it provides Florida Veterans free legal assistance
  • Speaker at many Veterans events for the VFW, American Legion, MOAA, D.A.R., Tallahassee National Cemetery and high school awards convocations/presentations of awards of merit to high-performing students. One of the most sought-after speakers of Veteran issues and for his inspirational messages
  • His work with various pioneer organizations gained medical access and/or support to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for Trawnatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His understanding and articulation of the Choice Program proved invaluable to the veteran’s ability to undergo treatment
  • Through partnership with the Florida American Legion and their sponsored no-cost support group Project Vet Relief, he took a paid billet at the FVF staff and replaced it with a funded AARP worker training program at no cost to the Foundation. This allowed 100% of the designated money to go directly to the Veterans. The program is still powerful today providing emergency financial assistance to Veterans who fall on hard times and require funds to keep their electric on or to stay in their homes. This was
    artfully crafted whereby the American Legion’s 384 Florida Posts team to serve all 67 counties, and ultimately served hard-hit hurricane victims. Financial Assistance to Veterans exceeded currently at over $500,000
    • Responsible for completion of the Capitol Courtyard Brick Memorial, which has raised over $180,000 for veterans in need for housing and utilities, while at that same time honoring Florida Medal of Honor recipients and all Florida Veterans
  • As President of the Tallahassee Military Officers Association Chapter, he built the program and all services increasing the membership to an all-time high
  • He innovatively modeled and executed a unique personal approach to reach veterans through core subject matter expert support via Florida Veteran Summits awareness campaign. His relentless example to serve Florida Veterans has reached over 1.3 million in an unprecedented positive, productive manner
  • Provided full-on, targeted campaign to connect veterans to service providers for mental health with Florida Managing Entities and the Crisis Center
  • Acted as Pass in Review Officer for Wakulla High School Naval Junior Recruit Officer Training Unit’s Annual Regional Inspection
  • Was a driving force of support for FDV A in a more collaborative manner chartered as Governor DeSantis’ Forward March Initiative to ensure greater global impact for Veterans through development of best practices.
  • Created a referral network for Veteran Crises with the Tampa Bay Crisis Center to include Clean Slate, Five Star Veterans Center, and Heroes’ Mile
    • Connected over 3,100 Assisted Living Facilities with Benefits through AHCA resources of eBlast, educating eligible Veterans with Aging VA Benefits
  • Took charge of collaborating with Veteran Service Organizations to serve over 4 million FL Veterans and families. Supported a prioritized list of initiatives to the legislative menu for legislative session
  • Successfully lobbied House and Senate Bills during legislative session for resources to Florida Veterans for Emergency Financial Crisis, keeping them in their homes and not on the street, dental, and the Governor’s Challenge suicide prevention effort
  • Served on panel support for development of statewide Veteran Treatment Courts
  • Provided financial and administrative support to the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame Council, and ceremonies, and conducted FVHOF ceremonies through logistics of awards, receptions, and recognition
  • Financially supported the publication of the FDVA Benefits Guide, 2015-2023
  • Successfully inducted fifteen nominees into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame and assisted in several other write ups of inducted HOF members
  • Initially funded support of Five Star Veterans Center support of the matched Mental Health/ Wellness grant, transitioning homeless veterans for reintegration into productive citizens with residence. This initiative transcended into Legislative funding
  • Provided initial financial support of the Northeast Women Veterans Organization, leading to them receiving legislative funding for support of the Northeast Florida Women Veterans Program wellness program
  • Currently engaged with State Agencies to reach out to all Florida Rural Areas
  • Delivered services to countless homeless veterans through supporting Homeless/ At Risk Veterans Stand Downs Statewide
  • Served over 1 million veterans through Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) for education and benefits
  • Developed program to deliver over $1.5 million to over 1,800 veterans and their families for housing and utilities
  • Provided driver licenses, enabling Veterans to continue productive lives
  • Produced a Veterans’ Benefits video for aging veterans in Florida that was viewed statewide through all assisted living facilities
  • Worked to establish greater recruitment to serve Veterans Nursing Homes in Florida
  • Active Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Active Member and Past President of the Tallahassee Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)
  • Active Member of the American Legion Post # 13
  • Lifetime Member of Vietnam Veterans of America
  • Member of the Marine Corps League
  •  Counseled countless Veterans on Benefits and connected to viable resources
  • Visited Veterans in homes and hospitals for support
  • Member of AMVETS
  • Received Flags for the Fallen without families at the Tallahassee National Cemetery
  • Successfully nominated and inducted 11 incredible Veterans for the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame. Co-authored additional 7 nominations to successful induction, culminating in over 18 percent of all inductees into the FVHOF since 2016
  • Coordinated Wreaths Across America with Governor DeSantis as his first event
  • Authored the Governor’s Medal of Merit for Major John Haynes, (USMC), Colonel Glenn Sutphin (FDV A), and Colonel Charles Mohr (NG)
  • Authored letter of support for WWII Major John Haynes’ DAR Medal of Honor
  • Solicited and received $SOK from Attorney General Moody for 2023 Florida Veterans Benefits Guides, which will serve as an education of benefits to over a half-million Veterans

Civic Activities and Contributions:

  • Bone Marrow Transplant Mentor for patients and speaker at the FSU School of Medicine
  • Serves on the Governor’s Suicide Prevention Challenge (2022-2023)
  • Military Mentor, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) 2022-2023)
  • Board Member, Gabriel House of Care, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, raised over $85,000 for Veterans housing during their major organ transplants and bone marrow transplants (2021-2023)
  • Crisis Center of Tampa Bay “Sustainer” donor
  • Presented three “Hanoi Hilton” cell bricks to fonner Prisoners of War. One was presented in Columbus, OH
  • Instrumental in creation of Valor Program at Hospice and homes for Veterans prior to end oflife
  • Advisory Board, Heroes’ Mile, Daytona Beach
  • Served as Military Officers Association of America President for two years growing the active membership to a record 110 and recognizing students through scholarships
  • Served as an evaluator for the United States Military Academies for Congressional District 02 (Congressman Dunn)
  • Served on Senator Marco Rubio’s United States Military Academy Selection Panel
  • Acted as Pass-in-Review Officer for Wakulla High School Naval Junior Recruit Officer Training Unit
  • Speaker at high school awards convocations and presentations of awards of merit, and scholarships to high-performing students
  • Connected Ohio Supreme Court Justice, Evelyn Stratton, and her program with the Florida Veteran Treatment Court System in their meager beginnings to incite collective collaboration of ideas and processes
  • President Military Officers Association of America, Tallahassee Chapter
  • Member, EDC, and Chamber of Commerce, Putnam, Clay, and St. Johns County
  • Florida Coordinator for Sunshine Kids Foundation Cancer Kids National Non-profit
  • Member ofUSDVA Million Veteran Program
  • Lifetime Member of Military Officers Association of America
  • Lifetime Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Member of Scottish Rite and Masonic Lodge 220, Lynnhaven, VA
  • Board Member, Gabriel House of Care (Mayo Clinic), Jacksonville
  • Advisory Board, Heroes’ Mile
  • Active Member, AMVETS
  • Lifetime Member, Vietnam Veterans of America
  • Active Member, Marine Corps League

Awards and Honors:


  • Navy Meritorious Service Medal (Two Awards)
  • Navy Commendation Medal (Three Awards)
  • Navy Achievement Medal (Three Awards)
  • Maintenance Officer of the Year (1986)
  • Fighter Squadron 33, Fighter Wing One, Tactical Wings Atlantic Fleet Sailor of the Year (1979)


  • Received Letters of Appreciation from Governor Scott, FDV A Executive Director, AG Pam Bondi, LtGen Lawrence Snowden, and General William
    Webb to cite a few for efforts on the Florida Walk of Honor, Military Order of the Purple Heart, National Cemetery, Florida Veterans Foundation, Forward March, Florida Veterans at Risk/Homeless Stand Downs, and Veterans Treatment Court, Military Officers Association of America – Leadership as Past President and increasing membership for Tallahassee Chapter
  • Congressman Neal Dunn – Academy Selection Board Letter of Appreciation
  • Senator Marco Rubio – Academy Selection Board Letter of Appreciation
  • FDV A – Operation Forward March
  • Gabriel House of Care – Fundraising as a Board Member
  • FVF – Memorial Brick Program
  • Community Christian School – Fundraising
  • Sunshine Kids Cancer Organization – FL Coordinator and fundraiser
  • Awarded Silver Medal Award from the Military Writers Society of America (2014) for novel written for Fallen Heroes receiving accolades from Vietnam Veterans of America

Written Narrative:

Commander Baker not only exceeds all expectations in the preceding programs, but he also makes the time for team building of all echelons to include the legislature to recognize those who have already served and those who paid the ultimate price. The byproduct alone in getting the 60,000 eligible aging Veterans their benefits have the potential to bring in over $3.6 billion in Federal VA funds into Florida, which frees up state Medicaid money for others. This effort has garnered a $300K Kenan Family Trust Grant for helping aging Veterans to stay in their homes. His initiative in creating a license plate for the benefit of funding the Florida Veterans Foundation will bring in potentially considerable revenue to further support Veterans’ programs. This effort has the potential of earning over $25 mil, which was huge in Veteran advocacy in the State. He consistently lobbies for other Veteran Organizations throughout Florida.

As a Veteran’s Veteran, Commander Baker leads by example. He is a leader, collaborator, innovator,arbitrator and peacemaker. He networks with an attitude of “mutual trust, confidence, and respect” and wins just about any negotiation for the Veteran. His creative abilities are often looked to by senior state leadership to find amicable ways to solve issues and provide results. Has the ear of senior state leadership, legislators, agencies, and communities. His success in delivery of relief to countless veterans is without peer. He is the most effective Veteran Advocate in Florida and is without hesitation truly deserving the honor of selection into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame. Of note, I stood next to this man when he and I transitioned a lwo Jima Marine, Lt. General Lawrence Snowden, through his final days, helping him write his memoir and readying for his end of days with all the fanfare and glory that he so rightly deserved. Wow!!

Many of the programs set forth by Commander Baker showcases Florida as the model for the nation. He is often called upon by other states for the templates of success, which are demonstrated in his programs. He consistently exudes the mentality and reaches across lines to include those who have the knowledge and experience to transcend excellence of business for Veterans. A most important “connector” of Veterans to Services.

There is never a Veterans event that I have attended where Dennis was absent. Not only was he there for the pomp and circumstance but also to work, assemble, add to, and support those who were responsible for the event. He is seen by all as the inspirational orator that moves the masses to be a real part of the Veteran Advocacy movement. I witnessed his knowledge and ability to protect and serve others and learned a lot about service to others and passion of fellow Veterans through his example. His success in delivery of relief to countless veterans is without peer. As the President, and now Chairman of the Florida Veterans Foundation, I sought the wisdom of this prodigious talent for Veteran statewide programs. We were so much more successful due to Dennis’s insight. He is the most effective Veteran Advocate in Florida and is without hesitation truly deserving the honor of selection and induction into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame. Dennis Baker will serve as an Ambassador to the Hall of Fame Society and no doubt bring collective support and service to your honored organization. There is NO finer candidate to join the ranks of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, Class of 2023.

It is important to note that I did not search for awards and honors in paperwork. Baker is a modest man and places no tributes to himself in the workplace. Instead, he holds his team up to honor the countless volunteers who serve Florida Veterans. This merit alone is testimony to what this Florida Hall of Fame
Candidate represents. 

Dennis is the epitome of one who embodies all of those admirable attributes that is a true Veteran Hall of Pamer. I had the distinct honor of working closely with him during the Florida Veterans Walk of Honor, development and execution of more than two million dollars’ worth of programs of which 95% of the monies went directly to the Veterans. His unbridled energy and extraordinary esprit de corps bring military organizations together in unity to provide relief to Florida Veterans. Dennis sets the example of extraordinary service to mankind in a modest, yet prolific manner. Commander Baker served as a passionate advocate for postsecondary education and volunteered for many other civic and military organizations in the Tallahassee area. He is frequently asked to speak at public events and co-spoke with Bobby Bowden at a Commitment to Character dinner for a fundraiser.

Commander Baker still moves mountains to make a difference in Veteran Advocacy. He serves on a suicide prevention project to support Governor Desantis’ challenge to lower the number of those who take their life. His entire staff throughout Florida is 100% Firewatch Certified. His actions provided additional funding to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay to continue the Peer-to-peer program of having a Veteran answering a Veteran phone call when they are on the edge. His reach in and out of state certainly brings unparalleled benefits to Veterans. His collaboration in his network inspires others to join in the collective process of serving all Veterans’ needs. Undaunted by any challenge. A Doer on so many levels of Veteran Advocacy. The Best of the Best and number one selection for sure.

As a volunteer he still guides, advises, and provides his expertise on all Florida Veterans Programs as the Chairman. Baker IS the consummate advocate for Florida Veterans anywhere / anytime and deserves the honor of induction into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame. He still serves as the Chairman of the Foundation although he underwent a critical health challenge of a bone marrow transplant. He continued to do important Veteran work and provided continuity to the Foundation while undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Important to note is that he continued to recognize others during a considerable health crisis and then came back to stay in the fight without missing a beat. Nothing gets in his way to serve. Selfless and dedicated to others.