2023 Forty Under 40: Jonny Baker

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(IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

CEO | CoForce

Jonny Baker has turned setbacks into opportunities. A British expatriate, he initially came to the United States as a race car driver. While his driving skill would take him only so far, there was no slowing down his passion for motorsports. He turned to the business side, recruiting and developing drivers and building a kart racing program at a track in Florida. Those experiences led to launching CoForce, which evolved into a digital marketing and video production agency that specializes in serving the motorsports industry. Clients include Indianapolis 500 winners, IndyCar champions and Fortune 500 companies. He focuses on bringing in new business and managing those relationships while ensuring the company operates effectively. “Ultimately,” he said, “I am passionate about motorsports, and I enjoy being able to tell people’s stories within the industry.”

Getting here: He gained valuable experience at the kart track and as a general manager of a training circuit race team, he said, “before very much falling into the digital world simply because we felt there was a need for such services within the industry.”

First job: washing cars

Proud moment: Being able to create jobs for passionate, like-minded people.

Self-realization: I am more driven than I thought I was.

Mentor: Dan Andersen, a former race team owner who is now at the helm of the first three racing series that contribute to the only driver-development program of its type in the world. Baker drove for Andersen’s race team and said his mentor believed in Baker outside the car. Andersen, Baker said, “literally created” the job for him in driver recruitment and development and as corporate karting manager for Andersen Racing.

Givebacks: CoForce runs an annual fundraiser for Children’s TherAplay, an Indianapolis not-for-profit clinic that provides physical, occupational and speech therapy on horseback to children with disabilities.

Advice: “Don’t set stringent targets. You can miss opportunities when you’re looking the wrong way.”•

Check out more Forty Under 40 honorees.

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