Matt Baker, business owner, founder
Being chief adventure officer (yes, that’s really his title) is Matt Baker’s day job.
He founded Terrapin Adventures in the woods of Savage so people can enjoy organized fun on a ropes course, climbing wall and zip lines.
Baker, 63, who earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland in 1983, is a world traveler.
But he also finds adventure and natural wonder in Howard County.
Here are three things you might not know about him.
He’s on his third career
The Massachusetts native and Columbia resident first worked as a solar energy economist during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.
Then after earning his master’s degree, Baker worked in the health care industry for 25 years.
“That helped me cut my teeth because I learned how to run businesses, on someone else’s dime at that point, [and] to then create Terrapin Adventures.”
He seems to attract lightning
Once when he was a teenager, lightning hit the ground 10 feet behind him while he was playing ball.
Another time when he was hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine, a huge storm came in and he almost got hit there by lightning as well.
“And then my third time, I was just at my apartment building, when I lived in Alexandria, Virginia, [on the top floor] and it hit about six feet above my head on the roof of the building.”
He’s been closer to volcanoes than most
A self-admitted “adrenaline junkie,” Baker said he’s mountain-biked with his son down the side of an active volcano in Ecuador. He’s also done something called “volcano surfing” in Nicaragua.
“You put on this mechanic jumpsuit, and you climb up this dormant volcano,” he described. “They give you this skateboard-ish thing, and you slide down on your butt on this thing. You get up to about 40-50 kilometers per hour. It’s pretty crazy.”