Baker Family’s Legacy of Service Celebrated at the 2023 BakerRipley Experience

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BakerRipley celebrated the Baker Family for their enduring contributions to the Houston community at the 2023 BakerRipley Experience on Miércoles, Octubre 4, 2023 at The Revaire.

The prestigious event, sponsored by Shell USA, Inc., was graced by the presence of Honorary Co-Chairs, The Honorable James A. Baker, III, and Susan G. Baker, along with Chairs Barrett and Susan Reasoner. More than $575,000 was raised to support BakerRipley’s mission at the event. Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse was the event emcee and welcomed more than 380 individuals in attendance. 


The Baker Family’s legacy of service dates back more than a century when Captain James A. Baker and his wife, Alice Graham Baker, initiated a tradition of selfless dedication that continues to impact Houston for generations. Captain Baker’s leadership extended across the region’s premier law firm, the banking industry of Houston, and the realization of William Marsh Rice’s vision through the establishment and sustenance of Rice University. 


Around the same era, Alice Graham Baker identified the pressing challenges faced by immigrant families residing in Houston’s Second Ward, characterized by overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions. Her inspirational leadership paved the way for twelve civic-minded Houston women to establish the Houston Settlement Association, later transformed into BakerRipley. 


The 2023 BakerRipley Experience was a night of community and connection, where attendees united to explore the transformative power of generosity and its ability to create something entirely new.  


The gourmet dinner menu included burrata salad, presented with pickled peaches and tomatoes, garnished with lemon oil and tarragon, beef short rib and pan-seared Chilean sea bass served with smoky mashed potatoes, haricots verts, and a rich demi-glace. The dessert was a decadent flourless chocolate cake, adorned with salted caramel and a dark chocolate mirror glaze, garnished with caramelized cocoa nibs, edible gold leaf, and sea salt. 


Former Harris County Judge Ed Emmett offered welcoming remarks. Judge Emmett delivered a heartfelt speech, lauding the Baker family legacy and BakerRipley’s remarkable response in establishing an emergency shelter following Hurricane Harvey, during his tenure as Harris County Judge. 


The event also featured an inspiring video that reflected on Captain Baker and Alice Graham Baker’s legacy. The Honorable James A. Baker III, escorted by Mrs. Susan G. Baker, graced the stage during the event and delivered a poignant address. 


“Leadership means being a leader in your own daily life: in your family, your school, your church, mosque or synagogue, and your community organizations,” Baker said. “It means leaving a positive legacy for those who come after you. That can-do spirit is vibrant today here at BakerRipley, under the guidance of Claudia Aguirre. She represents the dedication and passion of those who came before her. They personify what has become a hallmark of BakerRipley leadership; the same tenacity of purpose that refused to be stopped by obstacles, which described my grandmother. I’m really proud that the Baker family has had such a long and storied history with BakerRipley. But my friends I’m even more proud of my hometown, for continuing with the same revolutionary spirit that has made BakerRipley a first-class organization and makes Houston such a magnificent city.” 


The 2023 BakerRipley Experience was a testament to the enduring impact of The Baker Family’s legacy and BakerRipley’s commitment to building a stronger and more inclusive Houston.