Byron R. Baird

Byron Baird

B.S. EE 1959
Former Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Baird's Bakeries

The Baird family has roots in Fort Worth, Texas, dating back to the early 1900s. Byron R. Baird is the grandson of the founder of Mrs. Baird’s Bread, Ninnie L. Baird. In 1908, she started selling bread, cakes and pies that she baked in a wood-burning stove. Her small business soon grew into a successful company that produces bread and baked goods stocked in grocery stores throughout Texas, Oklahoma and surrounding states.

While in high school, Byron Baird’s interest in electronics and amateur radio drew him to the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas in Austin, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1959.

After graduation, he worked in a variety of positions across Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries in maintenance, production and sales. He served as project engineer for the construction of the South Freeway plant in Fort Worth and later became manager of that facility.

Baird soon realized that he needed additional business experience, so he enrolled in night school at the University of North Texas College of Business. He graduated with his MBA in 1978. Eventually, Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries grew to 11 plants and 3,000 employees.

Baird was elected to the board of directors for Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries and later became chairman of the board. He has been an advocate and leader in the baking industry, serving as president of the American Society of Baking in Chicago and a member of the American Bakers Association. In 1998, Baird oversaw the sale of Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries to Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican baking company. He retired in 1999 after 40 years with the company.

The Ninnie L. Baird Foundation was formed in 1997, and Baird was elected president in 1998. He continues to serve on the board, supporting charities across Texas. Throughout his career and into retirement, Baird has been devoted to community service and served on boards for many philanthropic organizations, including First United Methodist Church Trustees and Foundation, YMCA Endowment Board in Fort Worth, UNT Business Advisory Board and the Cook Children's Hospital Foundation.

Baird’s wife Marilyn is also active in community service. They reside in Fort Worth. The couple has two children, Byron Baird, Jr., and Steven Baird, as well as five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.