By Rich Polt
Published March 28, 2013
This week, I’m featuring a well known personality on Maryland’s nonprofit scene: Angie Barnett, President/CEO of Better Business Bureau, Greater Maryland. Angie’s background includes over 20 years experience serving in executive roles for nonprofit organizations. She assumed the leadership position as President/CEO of BBB Greater MD in March, 2006. In 2010, Angie was named the Brava! Women in Business Woman of the Year by SmartCEO magazine. Next month, BBB Greater MD launches its 2012 Torch Award nomination process recognizing integrity, ethics and performance within Maryland’s business community.
The 10 questions
IN JUST ONE SENTENCE, WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?
To be an advocate and an instrument for positive change; whether in the journey of raising a daughter, serving families and children through administration of social programs, or engagement in marketplace trust through BBB, my own journey has been guided by this purpose.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU “EXPIRE?”
I want to train on an Audi race car track and actually drive FAST. . . . intentionally, safely, and without getting a ticket!
IF YOU COULD MEET WITH ANYONE (ALIVE), WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM?
Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton was sworn in as Governor of Arkansas in 1979 at the age of thirty-two. His wife, Hillary Clinton, served as Arkansas’s first lady for twelve years, and gave birth to their one and only daughter Chelsea in 1980 – only a few months before my own daughter was born. As a native Arkansan at that time, and a young adult and parent who was becoming more aware of the world and the world of “influence,” I felt like Arkansas had its own Camelot. This young, successful and very charismatic family took on important social causes such as public education teacher testing. They worked to establish programs directed at improving the lives of families and children. I was mesmerized by Hillary Clinton then and continue to be as she “stood by her man,” made an earnest run for the country’s highest political office, and now travels the world on a mission of diplomacy and democracy for the benefit of our society and people around the world. I would ask her to define her career path drivers that inspired her to achieve roles of power and influence. I’d like to know what it would take for her to be satisfied knowing she has tackled and achieved enough.
WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR BOOK BE?
The Sum of the Parts (or The Whole is Greater).
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU, IN A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE?
Susan Sarandon! She is playful and sexy, has (well, at least sometimes) great RED hair and appears to have “balance” in her life!
WHAT IS A BELIEF THAT IS CORE TO YOUR BEING?
To do the right thing, for the right reason and . . . . personally, like the poster says, “Happiness is a choice, not a chase.”
WHO ARE YOUR HEROES?
Any woman who paved the way for equality, any woman working in a “man’s world” and creating larger footprints to follow, and my parents and their generation who raised us baby boomers to do better and to be better than what they had and they were! Oh, and Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter as they champion causes “literally” across the world. I would also add the Beatles – who else changed our universe more through peace and love?
TELL US SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’m a Libra, so balance in life is incredibly important. That balance was underscored at birth by my given and full name: Angela – meaning “messenger of God” and Pandora – the one of Greek mythology who unleashed all the ills of the world (wow, what a message to send to God!). I’ve never met another “Pandora”. . .have you?
WHAT QUESTION DO YOU WISH I HAD ASKED?
“Did you go to college?”
Yes I did! I graduated high school at 17 and completed my undergraduate degree in three years; obtained a Masters in Sociology, a Specialist in Community College Teaching (Sociology), plus an additional 24 hours of graduate coursework in Counseling - four degrees of study in nine years. Way back then university tuition in Arkansas was $30 a credit hour and learning was (is) fun, so why not?