The Company We Keep

THE BAKER GROUP of COMPANIES Client list and certifications had been extensive. The cornerstone of any successful development company is the company the keep

Certifying Agencies
  • City of Chicago
  • City of San Francisco
  • City of Oakland
  • City of Philadelphia
  • City of Los Angeles
  • Fulton County (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • Wayne County (Detroit, Michigan)
  • East Bay Municipal Utility District)
  • S.E. Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
  • Regional Transportation Authority
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • California Dept. Of Transportation
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • The Associated General Contractors of America


Leo Burnett
Mellon Stuart Construction
Wood Work Corporation of America
American Telephone & Telegraph
Stein & Company
City of Chicago, Dept. of Housing
Chicago Housing Authority
Art Institute of Chicago
Marshall Fields
Schal Associates
J.H. Pomeroy
City of San Francisco
Chicago Department of Aviation
Sheridan Road Development Partners
State Farm Insurance
Illinois Department of Transportation
Bill Moorehead & Associates
Chicago Park District
City of Atlanta
Turner Construction
Department of Housing & Urban Development
Northwestern University
Winfield Moody Healthcare Organization 


Completed Projects (short list)

Chicago Transit Authority Chicago, Illinois
Waterproofing, masonry and tile at the Southwest 105 facility

Navy Pier East End Building Project Chicago, Illinois
Demolition and concrete work for renovation

City of San Francisco San Francisco, California
Concrete pour a Sunnydale Waste Water Treatment

Village of Westmont Westmont, Illinois
General Constructor award winning design public library

Leo Burnett Corporate headquarters Chicago, Illinois
Installation of 31 floors of architectural mill work

State of California Sacramento. California
Interior renovation of the State Capitol

Landmark On The Lake Chicago, Illinois
Developer and General Contractor 30 story, 96 unit condominium with 2000, sq ft of retail space and parking

Custom Residence Sherman Oaks and Brentwood, California
5,800 sq. ft. luxury custom built homes  

Global Green Tech Structures - Green Construction Technology
Strategic Partner

Luther Dickens of Radford, Radva Corpo's CEO, shows the certificates and awards presented to him by Russian officials.(Photo by Gene Dalton)

A decade later, Dickens started making trips to Russia and exploring the possibility of a ThermaSteel production plant there. The Radford company proved the durability of the material by constructing three model homes. The Russian plant was built about 80 miles north of Moscow and has been turning out product and shipping it throughout Russia and other former Soviet Republics.

"The main plant started in 1993. We were going there before that, and we actually shipped some product from here before that, "Dickens said. "The system is now pretty well established here. It's literally created an industry in Russia. "The product performed well in the Arctic regions of Russia. It has been used in Alaska, too. The Russians also recognized Mike Farrell, project manager and interpreter for Radva, with a certificate of honor. "The award that I got was, I guess you'd say, a level lower." Farrell said.

The Honored Builder of Russia award, he said, "is from the ministry in Moscow. It's a federal or national level acknowledgement. "In Russia, there are profession holidays, such as for the medical or education trades. The builder's day is when nominations are made for both levels of awards. Farrell began studying Russian in the 1970's at age 13, when he was a scholarship student at a Massachusetts prepschool--the same one, incidentally, that both George Bushes attended. In 1974, the year before he got his degree, he went to Moscow as a cultural exchange student.

In the 1980s, he worked for a translation bureau in Washington,D.C. Hemet Dickens while he was escorting Russian visitors in this country, came to work in Radford as a part-time translator for visiting Russian delegations, until Dickens hired him full-time. Dickens brought back a small medal and two proclamations, written in Russian, document in the award.

Radford engineer hailed by Russian officials Luther Dickens is the first American recognized with this builder's award. By Paul Dellinger

Courtesy of Luther Dickens

A building outside Moscow is covered with ThermaSteel panels, a Styrofoam-like

material that presentation ceremony took place just last month. "They make a big deal out of it in Russia," Dickens said. "If you were a Russian living in Russia, there are some benefits." Recipients would get perks such as special utility rates, he said. Dickens became CEO of Radva in 1998. He had been president of the company from 1965 to 1998. A Carroll County native, Dickens earned a degree in chemistry from the University of Richmond and became

an engineer at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. He and three other RAAP researchers developed a plastic packaging wrap. It started as a sort of hobby, but they took it seriously enough to found Radva. Radva's business grew, and Dickens left RAAP to devote all his time to the new enterprise. He is the only one of the original founders still with the company. In 1976, Radva patented a building panel material made ofa Styrofoam-like material that took the place of wood-frame construction. Dickens then became president of ThermaSteel Corp., which developed its own production facility in Radford.

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