Laser Institute of America’s Executive Director Peter Baker Retires After Decades in the Industry

Retirement comes after more than 28 years of leadership at LIA


Laser Institute of America (LIA) Executive Director Peter Baker officially retired from his position on May 1 after decades at the organization’s helm.

Executive Director Peter Baker’s retirement comes after more than 28 years of leadership at LIA.

Baker’s initial experience with LIA was as a speaker at its very first conference for materials processing in 1980. He was elected as LIA’s executive director at the 5th ICALEO® in 1988. Baker and his wife, Sunny, opened the Orlando office in April of 1989.

Noting that Baker served LIA for more than half of its existence, LIA’s 2017 President Paul Denney wrote in the March/April issue of LIA TODAY that within that time frame, Baker “has taken an organization that consisted of a handful of academics and engineers to an organization that is recognized as a world-leading society for laser safety and applied laser technology.”

Denney admits that finding “the next Peter Baker” will be no easy feat, and he is hard at work with the Selection Committee trying to secure the right leader for LIA’s vision. During the transition, Baker will be available to help guide the new executive director in the role, and LIA will continue to benefit from his mentorship.

At the end of 2016, Baker was the first recipient of LIA’s Leadership Award, which was designed to highlight an individual who exhibited outstanding leadership in an organization and who significantly benefited the laser industry. Going forward, the award will be named after him, signifying his profound worldwide impact and advancement in laser sciences and applications.

After more than 28 years with LIA, Baker says he is extremely grateful to have worked with various members, presenters, instructors, and staff. By the same token, his years of business, leadership, and management experience have not gone unnoticed by LIA.

“I can’t even begin to express the impact that Peter has had during his time with LIA—not only in the expertise and leadership he brought, but also regarding growth in my own career. I know he has impacted countless others here at LIA over the years as well,” said Jim Naugle, LIA’s Marketing Director. “I wish him the best and will definitely miss his presence and direction here at LIA.”

Baker’s unique experience and background allowed him to bridge the technical and business communities that make up the laser industry, guiding LIA to a position that supports laser safety and applications in manufacturing, R&D, medicine, and education. He leaves LIA as a viable organization that is primed and ready to grow with the changing economic climate.

About LIA

The Laser Institute of America (LIA) is the professional society for laser applications and safety serving the industrial, educational, medical, research and government communities throughout the world since 1968., 13501 Ingenuity Drive, Ste 128, Orlando, FL 32826, +1.407.380.1553.