Coaching Team

Classes, workshops, training & consulting programs that work. Period.

Coaching Team

Ken Brookings

Ken Brookings
Founder and Chairman, The Aspire Institute

Ken Brookings was born with a wrench in one hand and paint brush in the other. His father was at once a painting contractor and an auto shop owner. Ken became a Vice President with a Fortune 500 company by age 27. After that company was acquired Ken founded and sold two other successful businesses before beginning his consulting career. Focusing on high level strategic and operational business consulting Ken worked with the senior management teams at clients including Apple Computer, Texas Instruments, Goodyear, British Petroleum, Firestone, SPX and other major corporations.

Ken then changed up everything, “The high-level corporate consulting business was interesting and financially rewarding but something important was missing. The work, no matter how important didn’t really change anybody’s life. It just didn’t seem to matter. My head and maybe my ego led me to this kind of glamorous work – but it was my heart that brought me back to the kind of work that matters.”

Ken repurposed the successful business that he had built to focus entirely on helping small businesses. According to Ken, “The heroes of the business world are the small business owners and managers. They do the real work and produce the most jobs in this country. Sadly, they seldom get the rewards that their honest work deserves. My focus became, and remains, to change that.”

Ken has been a featured speaker at countless industry events to tens of thousands of business owners. He has written for and been featured on the cover of trade publications and holds four industry related patents.

For over 20 years now Ken’s company, The Aspire Institute, has focused on the two business segments in which Ken grew up; the Automotive Service Industry and Construction Contractors. Thousands of business owners and their families are more prosperous today through Aspire’s work. Ken is proud to still have a paint brush in one hand and a wrench in the other.

Brent Baker

Director of Coaching and Curriculum, The Aspire Institute

After a great 40-year run as a premier builder of high-end custom homes, large-scale remodeler and commercial contractor, Brent sold Baker Construction to his long-time partner to become the head of The Aspire Institute’s coaching team. Brent has a real passion for helping other contractors find their dreams by reshaping their businesses.

After graduating with a degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University, Brent married his wife Laura and began his career as a woodworker. Eventually Brent and Laura were able to buy a ranch in Idaho where they raised their four children and today that ranch is alive with visits from their four grandchildren. They bought a home in the South of France where they spend a couple of months every year. Community service has been another passion for Brent. Just a fraction of Brent’s contribution to his community include; a gubernatorial appointment to a water quality board, founder of an Educational Research and Development Organization, Chairman of his county’s school district board of trustees and Commissioner of his local fire district. Brent also co-founded a high school residential carpentry program and designed and implemented an experimental youth job skills training program.

As a senior manager at Aspire, Brent designs educational programs as well as develops and manages a team of talented construction industry business coaches.

Jeff Patterson

Contractor Business Coach

Jeff Patterson was born to build. A 5th generation builder, Jeff was groomed from an early age to be a part of the construction contracting industry. Originally hailing from Southern California, Jeff was drawn to the north where he developed a passion for log home construction, eventually founding his own company which he later sold.

Jeff has worked as a Jobsite Superintendent, Project Manager, Production Manager, Construction Manager, Director of Sales and General Manager on countless projects including: two Disney hotels, projects for Universal Studios in Orlando, FL and on houses ranging upward in size of 20,000 square feet. He has been long-associated with the International Log Home Builders’ Association, serving as Treasurer on the Executive Board and on the Board of Directors at various times throughout.  Somewhere in there, Jeff found time to teach construction at a collegiate level for more than 10 years.

Jeff and his wife, Martha, have raised two beautiful daughters and now reside in North Idaho. They spend their free time scuba diving in exotic waters around the globe.

As a coach at Aspire, Jeff utilizes his multitude of experience over many decades to help our clients implement The Aspire Method™ to help them realize their dreams and reach their goals.

Zan Brady

Contractor Business Coach

Zan is a small business coach who leads small business owners at every opportunity to push the envelope of their personal and professional goals. Zan blends industry leading practices with a creative problem-solving approach to produce tangible results for his clients and is passionate about working alongside contractors to create thriving and profitable businesses.

A Certified Professional Coach, Zan also earned a BS at Montana State University and owned profitable contracting businesses for over two decades. When his skills are defined, analytics, organization, and job site production come to the fore. Zan is a businessman who loves the trades.

Off the jobsite, Zan raised an energetic family of 5 children with Cindy, his wife of 30+ years. He spends much of his time pursuing outdoor hobbies and gives his creative outlet to leatherwork.

When working with Zan you will experience high energy and engagement while seeing the impact of Aspire’s comprehensive business solutions.

Frank Wakeley

Coaching Advisor

Frank began his construction career as a civil engineer. One of his first projects was on the team for the World Trade Center where he was on site from the first stick of steel to the last. In his 40 year career, Frank has been a luxury home builder for Fortune 500 Executives and CEO’s, along with building many complex commercial projects.

For Aspire, Frank’s wealth of experience has been an invaluable asset to the coaching team, where he serves as our coaching advisor. He’d prefer to be completely retired, but we just won’t let him – he knows too much and makes outstanding contributions that help our coaches deliver great results for our clients.

If we ever do let him retire, Frank will spend more time traveling, tending his orchards and raising natural honey.

Bridger Paull

Coaching Coordinator / "Swiss Army Knife"

Bridger studied Business Management and Psychology at The University of Montana. While in college, he served as CFO for a student-run entrepreneurial endeavor to launch Royale Entertainment – a successful electronic and hip-hop music promotion company that still operates to this day in Missoula, MT. Bridger stepped back in his role there to join the Aspire Institute.

At Aspire, Bridger has held a number of positions including new business development, database administration and coaching coordinator. One could say that Bridger is the glue that holds things together for several departments at Aspire and is viewed as the “Swiss Army Knife” for the company. When he’s not developing new data and productivity tools, helping the coaching team stay on point or contributing to new business development, he is helping maintain the Aspire web site and bolster our publicity efforts.

A native of Sandpoint, Idaho, Bridger now resides in Portland, Oregon. He remains passionate and involved with the electronic music scene by supporting up-and-coming artists in his free time. Additionally, he independently continues his quest for further knowledge relating to Business Psychology and “The Human Element”.