Barbara is a leadership coach, yoga teacher, writer and bereaved parent. Her diverse business background includes 27 years experience in the manufacturing, sales, marketing, engineering, education, and government sectors. Barbara’s career was derailed by nearly a decade of debilitating illness. This gave her the opportunity to refocus her energies toward reducing suffering in the world. This new direction motivated her to establish Forward Flowing Consultancy in 2002.
Tragically her beloved son, Jim, died in February, 2003. He struggled with the disease of addiction for almost 22 years losing the battle to an overdose of heroin and alcohol. Since the disease began when he was 13, Barbara pushed herself to learn about addiction, to help Jim where possible and to let go when it was appropriate. This experience has been a life defining challenge. She considers Jim one of her greatest teachers. In his eulogy, she committed to learning even more about life and addiction as a result of his death.
Additionally, Barbara’s brother, Bill, and niece, Amanda, also lost their lives as a result of this disease. The ups and downs of these three important people and promises made at Jim’s death have led her to the work she does today. Establishing Shatter the Stigma is an important means to share knowledge and help other parents know they are not alone.
Barbara is straight-spoken with a coaching and teaching style that is direct, open-minded, and collaborative. She intentionally integrates humor into her work. Barbara has been an active member of The Compassionate Friends since 2003. She currently serves as Regional Coordinator for Maryland and Delaware and often speaks at conferences and other gatherings.