Meet our CEO and Founder Shavaughn Baker

We are super excited to have the opportunity to sit down with our CEO and Founder of The Corporate Concierge Group, Shavaughn Baker. We learn about Shavaughn's entrepreneurial journey, prior to launching The Corporate Concierge Group. Readers will come to know what drives the face behind the brand, and how it aligns with The Corporate Concierge Group's overall mission. We'll also discuss our new entrepreneur membership program, OakSTART. This is a 3 part, transcribed interview which we'll update to our blog over the next three days.

Part One

K.E.: Tells us a little bit about yourself

S.B: My name is Shavaughn Baker. I am from the Bay Area, an Oakland native. I’m a sports fanatic (Generally, I root for all Bay Area teams!). I love Basketball, Football, Boxing, I only watch Tennis to see the Williams sisters compete.

I’m a “people person”. I know it sounds cliché however, I truly enjoy the company of great people and having thought provoking conversations. I love meeting unique individuals and hearing their stories and backgrounds, while learning new perspectives.

I enjoy hiking (laughs hysterically) nah let me stop. I tried hiking once and got lost from our group with another person for 30 minutes-that was it for me with hiking.

I am however, very passionate about helping people, especially when it comes to achieving their goals. I know how important it is to have someone that not only believes in your potential, but is willing to help you reach it. That’s truly a blessing.

KE: What role do you work in at The Corporate Concierge Group?

SB: I’m the CEO and Founder of The Corporate Concierge Group.

KE: The Corporate Concierge isn’t your first business correct?

SB: No, The Corporate Concierge Group is my second business.

KE: What kind of startup was it and what made you start the first company?

SB: I started my first business for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, I’m a huge believer in honing in on your strengths and skills set, while finding ways to monetize those assets. That is your greatest power. At the time, I had worked in finance for over a decade. I was searching for new ways to transfer my skills, and background in finance to earn a decent salary.

I felt like I had reached this glass ceiling, which led to me being pretty frustrated with the lack of opportunities available for upward mobility within the companies I worked for. In addition to that, the banking industry became extremely “volatile” once the economic crisis hit in 2008. I was unfortunately faced with several layoffs over the years due to government regulations, which resulted in companies having to downsize or close altogether.

That’s where the idea came from to start my first company.

My first company was an outsourcing solutions company within the financial services industry. I decided to launch my own business, while working a 9-5. I wasn’t in a position to quit my job and jump into entrepreneurship full time. I had bills to pay and no support system to help “carry me” until my “dream” took off, so I had to figure out how to make it work, while working a full time job.

KE: Can you elaborate a little more on your first business? What exactly did the company do?

SB: Financial institutions often use companies to outsource various functions from insurance services, to operational related tasks. My company focused on operations consulting, with the goal of facilitating in helping the organizations meet and or exceed their goals. I worked primarily with mortgage companies, brokerages and financial institutions. I had a strong background working in both sales and operations so I figured it was an “easy” transition to create services that focused on those areas.

I learned that the “journey” was really an “informal” educational program with various “professors” that came in the form of hard lessons, peaks of “highs and lows” advice, people, and processes.

K.E. What’s the one thing you knew going in that would be your greatest challenge with starting your business?

S.B. First, I didn’t have a lot of money to get started. I had to be resourceful and use what resources I had to get started. If I “waited” to have everything in place, I would’ve never gotten started. One thing I knew going in was the ins- and outs of the industry, so this wasn’t “unfamiliar territory”.

What I didn’t know was how to start a successful business in the financial services industry. I began researching for hours, days, and months how to start and launch a successful company. I personally do not come from a family with a history of entrepreneurship which meant, I couldn’t lean on my network to provide resources, expert advice nor capital. I did not have any mentors to guide me through the process of building a business. I was definitely on my own.

When you don’t have a “blueprint”, you pretty much try to figure things out along the way.