John Baer is a senior project manager for Woolpert and has grown through the ranks over his 15 years with the company. He has been a project manager for the last seven years and has led more than 100 airfield projects, which include 20 runway paving, grading and electrical projects.
Under Baer’s guidance, some of the largest and award-winning airport infrastructure construction projects in Indiana have come to fruition. These include 20-year airport planning documents, as well as new and rehabilitated infrastructure that enhances airport safety, growth and development while reducing environmental impact.
Baer said looking to the future, he’d like to see continued growth and innovation at airports.
“Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), for example, is expanding the boundaries of aviation and moving the industry into a new era,” he said. “I’d also love to help educate the public and help them understand the importance of aviation in every community. Too often, particularly with our general aviation clients, we hear people make comments like, ‘Oh, that’s just a rich man’s playground.’ Airports are vital to the success of every business and every community, and it is critical that the public understands that and can leverage these resources to promote economic and regional development.”
Baer said while there isn’t one specific experience that led him to where he is today, there is one piece of advice that he was given that helped him to be successful.
“Every mentor I’ve had throughout my career has challenged me to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. One of those mentors, who was also a very close friend, told me to learn to ‘be comfortable with being uncomfortable,’ because it is in those uncomfortable spaces that we learn and grow,” he said. “That continues to resonate with me, pushing me to do things outside my comfort zone and, ultimately, pushing me to be better.”