Joan E. Baker began serving a first two-year term on the USTA Board of Directors in January 2013. She is the chair of the Audit Committee, serves as the board liaison to the Delivery System and Education Council and also serves as member of the Budget Committee.
A longtime player and volunteer at both the local and national level, Baker served as chair of the USTA National Nominating Committee, and in the last term served as council chair to the Youth Growth Council. In addition, she has served on numerous USTA national committees, including as vice chair of the President’s Committee. She also served two terms on the USTA Strategic Planning Committee, was vice chair of the Delegates Committee and was a member of the Finance, Audit and Evaluations Committee.
Previously, Baker was active in USTA Northern. She was as a member of the section’s board of directors before serving as treasurer, 2001-02, president, 2003-04, and section delegate, 2005-06. In addition, she founded the USTA Northern Investment Committee, on which she still serves, and she is also on the Northern Tennis Foundation board of directors. Baker was inducted into the USTA Northern Hall of Fame in 2009. She received the Albert Teeter Adult Sportsmanship Award in 1997 and is the only volunteer to receive the USTA Northern President’s Award three times, in 2002, 2006 and 2008.
Professionally, Baker founded and served as president of Advantage Benefits, Inc., an employee benefits company she ran from 1991 to 2004. Prior to 1991, Baker was a financial planner with IDS, now part of American Express Advisors. Early in her career she was a computer programmer and systems analyst.
Baker earned her B.S. with honors from the University of North Dakota and her MBA, with honors, from the University of Minnesota. She received her Certified Financial Planner designation in 1991.
As a player, Baker was ranked No. 1 in women’s 35 singles in 1983 and No. 2 in the USTA Northern Section in both 1982 and 1986. She remains an active USTA League player. Her various 4.5 teams have advanced to compete in the USTA League National Championships on 16 occasions. In 1989, Baker and her daughter, Tara, were national quarterfinalists at Flushing Meadows in the Mother/Daughter Equitable Tennis Challenge.
Baker and her husband, Rich, live in Minneapolis and Bonita Springs, Fla. They have three children and four granddaughters. All members of the family, including the grandchildren, play tennis. Two daughters played Division I collegiate tennis and their son, a state doubles champion, played intramural tennis. Baker is a member of the USTA Northern Section.