Eric Baird is the founder and CEO of Baird Inc., a private debt and equity firm that serves as alternative capital opportunities for small, growing, and established businesses that may not fit conventional capital markets’ requirements. Baird also holds subsidiaries: Tarpon Pointe Marina, Baird Real Estate, Hotel Ranola, and Gail Baird Foundation.

A serial entrepreneur and investor, he founded the Sarasota-based, then Access USA as a mail forwarding operation before it transitioned to shipping American products overseas. Fueled by a competitive spirit and the burning desire to be better than the competition, Eric grew into a global company, serving over 400,000 led him to earn the 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year award by Review. was valued at more than $200 million when he sold the company in 2012.

Baird started his career at the American Stock Exchange on the options trading desk. He co-founded Multinational Concepts, Ltd (MNC), one of the most profitable international full-service direct mail lists and global cooperative database firms before establishing and Baird Inc.

What was once a simple idea over dinner with his mother, Gail, led him to make the empire of in the 90s, from a $30,000 loan he received from her. Fast forward to 2012, was valued at $200 million upon his departure. His success also earned him Review’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 award. He continues to be active in the business community in Sarasota, investing in local businesses and real estate.

All of these are just the tip of the iceberg as he’s interests far exceed annual revenues and sales. His business accomplishments are nothing compared to what he’s currently involved in with Gail Foundation, which has donated $1,000,000 to 30 different organizations since 2012. This entrepreneur and investor-turned-philanthropist is now channeling his time, efforts, energy, and money to charitable institutions. He wants to continue the legacy of his greatest inspiration: his mom. In the latter part of 2019, Eric surprised the Sarasota County School’s instructional staff and gave each teacher $300 that they can use professionally or personally. He made this gesture to honor his late mother. Eric said his mother encouraged others’ success by providing them with what they needed to do their best work.

The Gail Foundation has made a tremendous impact on several organizations for cancer research and aspiring female entrepreneurs. Some of the recipients were the Ovarian Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania, the American Cancer Society, Scholarships for Women Entrepreneur Majors at USF, and others.

Originally published at

Eric Baird founded — then known as Access USA — in Sarasota Florida in the late 90s. The company started as a mail forwarding