01 Jun In Memoriam and Appreciation: Our Friend Bear Baker
A gifted and talented friend left us last month, and Washington is far poorer for it. Perry Baker—”Bear” to almost all who knew him—was a loving husband, a father of two teenage daughters, a serious fan of sport and music, and the maestro who directed video at 720 Strategies.
“Bear was a treasure and we will miss his talent and most of all, his friendship,” said Pam Fielding, founder and CEO of 720 Strategies. “Bear brought light to every situation. He was quick to jump in and help and never had a sour word for anyone. He was a great friend and a great colleague.”
Bear’s life was centered at home, with his wife Barb and daughters Audrey and Rachel. He volunteered at school and coached their soccer teams. He was also active in his community in tangible ways. As one colleague described, “he was involved in just about every neighborly project you could think of. Need a wall demoed? He was your guy. Need to borrow a chainsaw? He would come help you cut the damn thing down. Need a cooler for the weekend? He had you covered. Need help sneaking in a huge air hockey table on Christmas eve for the kids? He’d help you—and then help put it together.”
Bear loved to cruise on the powerboat and hang out at the boat club. He enjoyed being outdoors, camping, hiking—even surfing. Bear also loved to watch his Florida State Seminoles play, so much so that he was once asked to produce a video highlighting FSU sports.
Perhaps most important, Bear was relentlessly creative, from his trademark patterned shirts to the funny emojis of himself that he liked to text around. A self-taught musician, he played multiple instruments, recorded his own songs and jammed with neighborhood friends when he could.
That creativity was much in evidence in his career. Bear’s video camera took him all over the world, traveling to Rome, Brussels, London and elsewhere to shoot footage and complete projects. His work over the years at 720 Strategies, creating projects for major trade associations and Fortune 500 companies, won many awards for excellence in videography. “Bear’s talent was extraordinary,” said Vlad Cartwright, president of 720 Strategies. “He saw the world differently and that translated to his work. Bear could envision and create things that were unique.”
Today—Bear’s birthday—the Friends of the Baker Family are launching a campaign to help Bear’s family as they rebuild their lives. Bear’s friends at 720 Strategies will participate fully and we invite all of our colleagues to do the same. As the Friends of the Baker Family put it in their statement, “Bear was taken from us too soon and too suddenly and although we are left with aching hearts, we have the opportunity to pay forward all of his kindnesses, his endearing gestures, and his love for us all.”