Aaron Baker

New executive director Aaron Baker.

After months of searching, the Anthem Community Council Board of Directors named Aaron Baker the new executive director.

Baker begins his role Dec. 1.

Baker is coming to Anthem from Mesquite, Nevada, where he has spent the past 15 years working in public service. He started as an assistant planner and GIS analyst and worked his way up to city manager. Besides his work experience, Baker earned master’s in public administration from the University of Nevada.

“Aaron is anxious to move with his family to Anthem and get started with the tasks of being the executive director, to help the community’s staff and board keep Anthem the premier place to live, work, and enjoy the quality of life that we all expect,” said Bob McKenzie, chair of the ACC Board of Directors in a statement.

Baker could not be reached for comment.

The executive director serves as city manager and chief executive officer. They are responsible for managing millions of dollars for the annual budget, reserve fund and assets; 100 full-time employees and 100 part-time or seasonal employees; and the maintenance of facilities.

“Generally, what the executive director does is manage the organization, direct traffic for three senior executives and execute orders from the board of directors,” McKenzie said. “We have a couple of (projects) in the works that would fall to the executive director.”

Anthem has been searching for a new executive director since July. The position was previously held by board chairman Terry Mullarkey. He volunteered to step in as an interim executive director in September 2020 to help during COVID-19 and returned to retirement in July.

Besides finding someone with the right background and experience, McKenzie said it was important to the council that the new executive director matches the Anthem Way values such as treating people with respect and maintaining fiscal responsibility.

Baker was chosen from a national search conducted by an independent, third-party firm that sent the job posting out to thousands of potential candidates. McKenzie said Baker’s background in public service has given him expansive knowledge in planning, economic development, working with local government, budgeting and motivating staff.

Baker comes to the executive director position after unexpectedly resigning from his city manager position in May. 

The thorough application and selection process found Baker to have a character aligning with the Anthem Way values on top of his extensive experience for the position.

“With his strong work ethic, experience working with city councils and with city staff at all levels, and good sense of humor, Aaron will fit right in with our excellent team,” McKenzie said. “The council is excited that Aaron accepted the job, and he is anxious to get here and get to work.”