AWM Member Spotlight - Barbara Glass
AWM Member Spotlight
1. Can you give us a few personal details about your life?
I’m a Yankee of southern extraction, and a Texan since 1999. Born and raised on the east coast, I graduated from Northwestern University (Go Wildcats!) with a degree in English. Although I cursed my mother when she made me take a typing course in high school, this skill ironically has been my life ever since. From pencils to manual typewriters to electrics to keyboards, I’ve been writing since childhood. When in high school and college, I played the guitar and sang in groups. I’ve given away all my guitars, except for one, which I play occasionally.
Much of my life has been blessed with children – 3 sons and a daughter – all of whom are married and live far away. From them, I have several young grandchildren who are as spoiled as I can make them from a distance. I have no relations living in Texas, but have an enormous family of close friends.
2. How did you get into the industry and what was your first job?
I started in the business right out of college at Blair Radio in Chicago. In those days, the business was quite different: led by Harry Smart – a legend within Blair and the Chicago advertising community – Blair had two television divisions, covering large and small markets, plus and a large radio division consisting of mostly AM stations. FM Radio was relatively new. There were just a few formats – Rock, Country, Easy Listening and Beautiful Music. No “owned & operated” television or radio rep firms existed, and Blair had the big stations in every market. The ratings were huge and the shares massive by today’s standards. There were no female reps at that time, and all the guys wore pinstriped suits & white shirts. Lunch hours were two hours long – sort of like “Madmen” on the rep side.
I remember when Don Imus visited our office one day – he was the Morning Drive personality at WGAR Cleveland, and did some hilarious bits on air. You just knew he was going to be a major market personality one day.
3. What can you tell us about your current job?
When MMT closed its Dallas office in 2009 and the job market was so extremely soft, I changed careers and went into senior living. It’s an area I had studied for several years so the transition was fairly easy skill-wise, but did take some time to effect. It seems everyone wants to hire folks with experience in a specific job. I’ve always enjoyed writing, so I started with marketing and writing for The Senior Voice – a longtime Dallas 50+ newspaper – whose editorial content and design are extraordinary. I transitioned from there into sales and marketing for two communities, and, recently, have entered the home health field. I am now Business Development Director/ Administrator for Home Health Companions, a Dallas-based non-medical services provider that supports seniors in independent settings, either in their own home or within a community. My business life directly touches peoples’ lives: my goal is to make these lives a little better every day.
4. What advice would you give someone new to the industry?
Embrace whatever job you can get, learn as much as possible about the business from fellow workers and management, and develop good working relationships with as many people in the industry as possible. These outside relationships can be developed by joining organizations such as AWM, where there is a ready-made network for job referrals and the opportunity to learn about managing people and situations – always helpful if the new person wants to go into management. Every job I’ve ever had has been accomplished through networking.
The corollary to this is ‘never burn a bridge’ behind you. Even if you were miserable in a job, speak only of the positive aspects, not the negative ones.
Beyond that little nugget, always recheck the destination before pressing the “send” button.
5. Have you had a mentor?
My career has spanned several cities and a few decades. There have been many mentors: Harry Smart, Tom Cinquina and Bob Pates in Chicago; Jim Coy in Evansville; Alan Sawyer, Bill Hoffman and Lynn Overstreet in Atlanta; Stockton Holt and Tammy Moss in Charlotte; Susie Doucette in Houston; Rick Mills and Donna Coomer in Dallas.
6. What has been your biggest achievement in your career thus far?
My biggest achievement is not a career point – rather it’s a resilience that has come from so many extraordinary life experiences and amazing people. Clearly – starting with my youth – my life has not followed a script. Not following the beaten path, however, has its costs. I feel that I am still learning life’s lessons.
7. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Know what your core beliefs are and stick to them. The advertising business is very seductive – it’s easy to be absorbed by the fun and the money. At the end of the day, you do have to look yourself in the mirror and know you’ve done the right thing. There is no one way to accomplish dreams; there is only the right way for each one of us.