When Todd Uterstaedt was growing up, he spent his summers in Norwich, Conn. going to local farms with his grandmother and picking out fresh produce, which they'd use to cook homemade meals together.

"My grandma taught me to selflessly care about other people," Uterstaedt says. "Going to farmers markets and getting to know the people who give you your food "” it's very relationship-oriented and it's kind of like what we do today . . . . It's where this all started from."

Today, Uterstaedt is co-founder, president and CEO of Baker & Daboll, an executive coaching firm in Cincinnati, which seeks to increase an organization's value by helping their leaders discover their unrealized potential. Named after Uterstaedt and his partner Kyle Steele's grandmothers and the values they instilled in them, the company prides itself on the importance of listening, the virtue of kindness and support, and the proper way to treat others.

"Help them see their gifts'

"I love helping people grow," Uterstaedt says. "It's so fulfilling to open someone's eyes to help them see their gifts."

Baker & Daboll provides one-on-one executive coaching, executive team coaching and the design, management and measuring of mentoring programs for four different market areas, which include senior managers to CEOs, professionals such as attorneys or architects, healthcare professionals and former military personnel.

And as a former Army intelligence officer, Uterstaedt says helping military personnel transition into corporate America is something he holds very dear.

"I did things in the military that few people ever get to do," he says. "At a very early age, I developed leadership skills. I had mentors who taught me what being a leader is all about  and I learned to find my own leadership voice."

Uterstaedt, in turn, works as a senior executive coach for many military officers, along with other professionals, mentoring them to identify and translate their strengths into their work environment.

Know who you are

"You have to help people know themselves," he says.

Even before Uterstaedt and his partner started Baker & Daboll, the first thing he did was take a hard look at his own strengths and weaknesses.

"I took all my school report cards from the time I was in kindergarten and all my work evaluations, military evaluations, and asked myself "¢do I have what it takes?' I went around asking people about myself, and one word that permeated through all that stuff was enthusiasm. So I thought, you know, maybe I have enough enthusiasm to do this and to get us through the hard times."

It was Uterstaedt's enthusiasm and his partner's creativity, he believes, along with the help of countless other individuals, that turned Baker & Daboll from a dream into a reality.

"I'm a big supporter from Cincinnati and I'm not from here," he says. "Cincinnati is going through a renaissance right now that I feel so privileged to be a part of. So if you see an entrepreneur, take them under your wing and help them fly ... I've lived across the country and the world, but in my humble opinion, there's no better place to start a business."