Stephen W. Baird

Background and expertise: Steve Baird, Chicago, IL, is the president and chief executive officer of Baird & Warner. Established in 1855, the firm is the oldest residential real estate brokerage in the United States and currently ranks among the nation's top 12 with an annual sales volume of over $6 billion. Under Baird's leadership, the firm has grown dramatically, currently with a sales force of over 2,200 sales associates who operate from 30 strategically located offices throughout Chicago and its suburbs. The Company also operates subsidiaries in residential mortgage banking and title services.

Steve serves as chairman of the Realty Alliance – a consortium of the nation's top real estate firms – and has testified before the US Congress on matters of vital interest to the real estate community. In addition, he has long worked for the preservation of open space as past-president of CorLands, the Openlands Project, and currently as a national board member of the Trust for Public Land where he serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He holds memberships in the World Presidents Organization, the Chief Executives Organization and the Commercial Club of Chicago. He has served as a trustee of the Morton Arboretum, Children’s Memorial Hospital and the local advisory board of US Bank.

Steve also was selected by Fortune Small Business Magazine as a "Best Boss" for 2004. Steve is actively involved with Public Radio serving on the Board of WBEZ in Chicago for the past 10 years and as its Chairman for three years. Steve also is involved with Harvard University through its schools and scholarship committee. He coordinates all interviewing for the Chicago area.

Steve lives in Chicago and the North Shore with his wife, Susan. They have 2 daughters, Lucy and Abby.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: "My family and I share The Trust for Public Land's belief in the importance of open space in people's lives. In cities and the wilderness, parks are where people connect and community is built. Creating a better, more open environment is critical to a better society in general."

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: "My family and I have supported The Trust for Public Land for decades because we believe its work changes lives. From preserving nature to giving more children access to a park close to home, The Trust for Public Land reaches more communities and creates more parks."