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

Senior 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.

Rick Friesen

Contractor Business Coach

Rick Friesen helps business owners reach their growth and profitability goals.  As the 4th generation in line to work as a locomotive engineer, Rick swore he’d never work for the railroads.  After moving to Idaho in 1999, Rick transitioned his business experience in technology services to construction services.  After many years of on-site construction work with tool bags on, to operations, business strategy and marketing with a national brand, he shifted his career focus and found his passion in business consulting. “As a creator and fixer, wherever I see a business problem, I try to solve it.”

Rick gained a unique industry perspective transitioning from working on the job, to working on the business. While in operations, Rick created new software tools and procedures that aided business operations in increasing estimation accuracy, studying job cost analysis and tracking payroll.  Transitioning to business growth strategy and marketing, Rick leveraged targeted-marketing-based growth strategies in establishing web, SEO, email, social media, and referral programs; all resulting in making companies more profitable and competitive.

Rick lives in North Idaho with his wife Shanna and 2 daughters, where he has also been involved in public ministry for over 16 years.  You can often find him hunched over a table playing board games with friends.

As a coach at Aspire, Rick leverages all of his years of industry, specializing in business strategy, sales and marketing and field and business operations. “I help businesses tell their own story, as well as accomplish their story.”

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.