Dorothy Baker


Dorothy R. Baker, affectionately known as Dot, was a steadfast leader in the Miami community. She died peacefully on May 25 at age 83. Baker served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the MiamiDade Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years, from 1984 to 2004. She leaves behind a legacy of immense accomplishments and accolades, all rooted in service.

Baker epitomized the consummate educator, leader and professional. She was a proud graduate of Tuskegee Institute where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. She also 83 received a Masters of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts.

Her professional career included serving as a teacher in the Florida Public school system for more than 10 years.

Baker went on to become a college professor and administrator at Florida Memorial College in Miami, Florida, Area Development Director for the United Negro College Fund and President/CEO of the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce.

Baker also served as a business consultant and had a leadership role in international trade missions to Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Spain and France. She was a guest lecturer to numerous colleges/universities and other developing chambers of commerce across the country.

Always active, Baker served on the Board of Directors for the Dade County Council of Chambers, Goodwill Industries, Beacon Council, U.S. African American Chamber and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. She was also on the Board of Trustees for the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Throughout her life, Baker received several awards and honors including county, regional and national Minority Business Advocate Awards, the Family Health Center’s President’s Award, the National Sojourner Woman of the Year Award, the National Council of Negro Women Award, Dade County’s “In the Company of Women Influence” Award; the U.S. African American Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service Award and the New Women Entrepreneur Center’s Women Leading the Way Award.

Baker was also heralded as the Minority Business of the Year Advocate at the local, regional and national levels.

Even with all of her numerous accolades, Baker was most proud of her role as a wife, devoted mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. Her husband Syerenees “Sy” Baker said, “Dot had a life well lived and I certainly have a lot to smile about. We had 60 wonderful years together.”

Baker leaves to cherish her memories and carry out her dreams: a devoted husband, Syerenees; four daughters: Sabrina (Gregory), Katrina (Gary), Yolonda (Meredith) and Tonya (Delon); one stepdaughter Darlene (Wallace); a brother Robert (Jackie); one niece (Angela); 13 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and a host of other bereaved relatives and friends.

She was buried Tuesday at Tallahassee National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the Dorothy Baker Scholarship Endowment at Tuskegee University. Checks should be made payable to Tuskegee University indicating Dorothy Baker Scholarship in the memo section and mailed to PO Box 13615, Tallahassee, FL 32308, Attention: Katrina Rolle.