Woman of the Week – Barb Smoot

Julie  -  Jan 23, 2012  -  No Comments

My Name:
Barb Smoot

My Current Job/Company:
Executive Director/Women for Economic and Leadership Development

My Birthdate:

My Work:
I advance women’s leadership in our community and help women achieve their career aspirations through WELD’s programs.  When women embrace their collective leadership power, they can move mountains and help our community prosper.

My Passion:
My family and friends, my faith, supporting women in achieving their aspirations.

My Family:
I come from a huge family!  I love it when we get together.  Our three children keep us busy–Tanija (age 20), Kevin Jr. (age 16) and Waymond (age 13).

My Heroes:
Definitely my parents!  Their unconditional love and support mean everything.  They each worked multiple jobs at the same time to raise their children–they did this at a time when there were far fewer opportunities for African-Americans when compared to today.

My Escape:
Exercising, cooking, reading, having funny conversations with friends until we pull stomach muscles from laughing so hard!  My inner circle of friends drops each other random voice mails to uplift each other or make each other laugh.  I’ve learned not to listen to their voice mails in public because I have attracted undue attention from the uncontrollable laughter these voice mails sometimes create!  Can’t look too sophisticated when you’re cracking up and laid out in the grocery store aisle…

My Pet Peeve:
People/organizations with power and influence who choose to use them to bully rather than to protect and uplift others. This just makes the “Madea” in me want to “come out and play.”

My Indulgence:
Lays Garden Tomato Basil Potato Chips and Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar Chips, and I’m not talking about indulging with just the “advertised portion size.”  I’m talking “bring-a-whole-bag-to-bed-while-I’m-watching-‘Biggest Loser’-and-wake-up-to-the-crinkling-sound-of-an-empty-bag” indulgence.  I beg these companies to please STOP making them!

My Roots:
Faith.  Gratitude. Humor. Being productive and contributing.  Close family. My Sisters R Us friends who have a “sisterness” about us.

My Future:
Directed by God.  All I need to do is listen and remain steadfast in faith.

My Love:
My children.  Every day when my children come home safe and tell me that they love me and that I am a great mother is a great day.  My children are precious to me and are one of God’s blessings He has given me.  I hold on to each and every moment with them (even the challenging ones!) because children do grow fast!

My Movie:
Coming to America, Waiting to Exhale, Diary of a Mad Black Woman and True Lies.  (I just couldn’t stick to picking one!)

My Quote on Life:
“To whom much is given, much is expected.”

My Accessory:
Coats–if you can call a coat an accessory.  My mom always shakes her head at me because usually I’m carrying one over my shoulder instead of wearing it in the dead of winter like I’m supposed to.

My Advice to Young Women:
Don’t be afraid to take good risks! Quickly learn the difference between a “good risk” and a “bad risk.”  Also, cultivate a few deep and life long friendships with women who will be there for you in good times and in bad times–women you can be comfortable with letting them see your “ugly cry.”  These are the women who will see you through, build you up, and help you fly.  And when you do soar, these are the women who will clap the loudest for you.

How I Balance it All:
By not trying to act like “superwoman.”  I am not afraid to ask for help, say “no” or trim “the list.”  I also am a firm believer in being focused, having good back up plans, being organized (my darling children often tell me I have OCD), rethinking standards and not sweating the small stuff.  I have a definition of balance that works for me.  Each person has to find his or her own unique definition.

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