Jim Baker

CEO

With a passion to help clients optimize their working spaces, Jim is driven to assist customers achieve their desired environments. Beginning in 1991, he gained extensive knowledge of the furniture industry before launching Baker Interiors in 2000, which was sold to Allied in 2004. Innovare was born out of Jim’s desire to offer unique and innovative furniture solutions for all budgets and project scopes. Jim’s mission with Innovare is to successfully deliver satisfaction and convenience. Jim graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He maintains memberships and affiliations with the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, Building Owners and Managers Association, and Office Furniture Recyclers Association. He lives in Lansing with this wife and four children, coaching football at Lansing Catholic High School and spending weekends up north, where he golfs with friends and spends time with his family.

Matthew Starkweather

Designer and Operations Manager

Matt coordinates what is necessary to execute any task to perfection. Matt has more than 17 years of experience in the furniture industry and more than 20 years of background in computer-aided design, which makes him the dependable go-to guru of Innovare. Serving as the liaison between the client needs and the workforce production, Matt ensures that every customer’s experience with Innovare is smooth and seamless. Matt has a degree in mechanical design from Lansing Community College. His education and many years of experience helping clients feed his detail-oriented work ethic. He enjoys spending his downtime with his wife and four children.

Ada Truesdell

Leed AP, NCIDQ

Ada's primary focus is to liaison with the architectural and design communities, helping to take their ideas and concepts and see them brought to life through collaboration. She also services the health care and contractor industries. With more than 25 years of experience as a representative for major furniture manufacturers and also being a designer, Ada uses her 25 years of experience in the furniture manufacturing and design industries along with her NCIDQ and LEED AP certifications to enhance the services she offers for Innovare clients. She represents premier lines such as Teknion, KWALU Healthcare/Senior Living, Teknion Architectural Walls, Studio TK, and other well-known manufacturers for Innovare. Ada enjoys keeping current on all interior trends as well as being involved in the architectural and design communities.

Jeannine Gonzales

Executive Assistant

Jeannine ensures that all Innovare clients’ plans are in place and that all their needs are met to achieve and exceed their goals. Jeannine graduated from Central Michigan University with a major in interior design and a minor in industrial engineering and technology. Her education and previous work experience make her an indispensable Innovare team member. Jeannine gained her first industry insights as a designer for J.C. White Architectural Interiors in South Florida and as freelance design consultant. The various hats she’s worn have made Jeannine an invaluable behind-the-scenes asset for Innovare to ensure client satisfaction. She and her husband have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

Tim Farhat

Lead Installer

Ensuring that concepts and ideas are fully formed into real-world tangibility is the focus for Innovare’s Lead Installer Tim Farhat. When Tim completes a task, clients are left with job specifications that are fashionable, functional, and fulfilled to excellence. The HOPE Academy graduate has supervisory experience at Fasco Motors, worked as a consultant for North Coast Systems, and as a director of operations at Partners Book Distributing. He and his wife have six children and four grandchildren. Tim enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, grilling, and watching sports.

Larry Varney

Installer

As an installer for Innovare, it’s Larry’s goal to see every client’s plan is installed to perfection. With Larry on the job, clients can rest assured that quality and complete work is guaranteed. The St. Johns High School graduate's professionalism and perfectionism is firmly rooted in his encompassing handyman skills developed through his experience as a journeyman carpenter, roofer, forklift operator, as well as factory and warehouse work. Larry and his longtime girlfriend have seven children and 12 grandchildren. Outside of work, Larry enjoys spending time playing with his grandchildren. He is also an outdoorsman, enjoying activities such as hunting and fishing.

Taylor Martinez

Design/Administrative Assistant

Innovare’s Design Intern Taylor Martinez brings a fresh perspective to project with her creative mind and refined eye. While honing her skills at Michigan State University, Taylor is taking her first steps into the design world by offering our clients her creative vision, which combines aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces. Her hobbies of refinishing furniture and visiting vintage markets are parlayed into her design work to bring new life and vitality to traditional office designs. Taylor is interested in sustainability and enjoys staying current on the innovative, eco-friendly materials and technologies being introduced into the market. Taylor is supported in her work by the continuous love and encouragement of her family, boyfriend, and her two dogs, Zaxby and Kehlani.

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  • “We have received endless compliments from clients and prospects on our office style and furniture. Jim has always been great to work with.”

    -Laura at Michigan Planners

  • “We were originally referred to Innovare by a long-term client who said they were the best. After working with them for more than three years, I would most definitely agree with what we were told. Jim Baker and his team were instrumental in the design of our new home office and have been very effective at recommending a furniture plan that fit our culture as well as our function. Recently, we opened a satellite office with a more restrictive budget. Innovare suggested and delivered refurbished goods, which look brand new and are ideal for the setting without us having to feel like we compromised a single thing. I would absolutely recommend Innovare to anyone interested in dealing with a talented and professional office furniture and design organization.”

    -John at Michigan Planners

  • “The George F. Eyde Family has used Innovare over the years for several important projects. We are a family business and it is essential that we collaborate. Jim and the entire Innovare team are professional and down to earth. They take time to listen to our needs, rather than tell us what we need to do. They collaborate with us to bring our vision to reality. It’s a great partnership.”

    -Evemarie Eyde at Member Eyde Corporation

  • “Working with Innovare on projects is nothing short of perfect. They are responsive, patient and are willing to work on solutions to any of your problems. Ada and Jim have been fantastic, and I would highly recommend them as a partner.”

    -Terese at BIGGBY

  • “While planning the launch of a North America office for our U.K.-based parent company, we found ourselves in the market for office furnishings and design support. I was fortunate to locate and contact Innovare. Their response was immediate and professional. Jim Baker and his team were eager to assist and went the extra mile to review concepts and show us office designs and furnishing alternatives. Innovare team member, Ada Truesdale, LEED AP, NCIDQ, attended our design meeting at the architect’s offices and assisted us with color and material selections for not only the furniture, but also for the complete office space. Ada was very helpful with the final office design, flooring, kitchen layout and materials, color selections, and overall layout— her experience and keen eye for design were a huge help. The office project planning, coordination, ordering, and furniture installation were smooth and professional. Furthermore, it was a real pleasure working with the Innovare team. I would recommend Innovare to anyone in need of office furnishings and interior design assistance. We now have a beautiful workspace that meets our needs.”

    -Phillip DeBerry at AB Dynamics, Inc.

  • “Working with Jim Baker and his team at Innovare was a professional, customer-based experience. Innovare combined our ideas and vision with their expertise and experience to design an efficient office workspace that works in concert with our laboratory spaces. Throughout the entire design and construction process, Innovare’s attention to detail was second to none, and we would highly recommend them to anyone who is looking to build out new or renovate a commercial or retail space. Thanks Innovare.”

    -Todd Welch at Viridis Laboratories

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905 Southland Ave
Lansing, MI 48910