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20 Questions - Posted December 26, 2014 9:31 a.m.
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Photo by Shannon Richardson

20 Questions With Mary Barlow, Director of Corporate Communications – BSA Health System

What was the best advice you received when you were beginning your career? Don’t ever call doctors by their first name! I don’t know that it was the best advice, but – I promise – to this day, when I call a doctor by their first name I still think of that boss and wonder if she just heard me.

How do you maintain balance? The best way to maintain balance between work and personal life is to have one husband, five kids and 16 grandchildren. That keeps life in perspective!

What was your wisest investment? Without a doubt, my degree from WTSU (now WTA&MU). I was the second person in my family to get a degree, right behind my sister.

What is the best part about your job? I have had the incredible opportunity to meet many decision makers, from the hospital level to the city level, the state and the national level. The one I am most proud of is the evening I got to spend with Gen. Colin Powell when we brought him to Amarillo for our annual Lyceum.

Which living person do you most admire and why? I know this sounds biased, but being married to a law enforcement officer, I stand in awe of men and women who get up each day, clip on a badge and strap on a gun to go to work. They do this not knowing if they will come home that night but knowing that we depend on them to do their job and do it right.

Which over-used word or phrase makes you cringe? It is a three-way tie between “state-of-the-art”, “cutting-edge” and “transparency.”

What is your business philosophy? Much of my job is very public and much is not so public. My philosophy is quite simple. “If you don’t want to carry your own boxes, you don’t want my job.”

Which quality do you most value in an employee? I love my co-workers who are as loyal to BSA as I feel that I am.

What personality trait has most helped you succeed? I am very tenacious and want to see projects through to a successful conclusion. I even carry it over to our family vacations, where each family gets a notebook with all the information they would ever want to know about the trip.

Who is your favorite author? The one author I have read repeatedly since I was 15 is J.R.R.Tolkien. I love “The Hobbit,” and “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” These are stories of right vs. wrong, friendship, perseverance and unwavering loyalty to a cause that is just and fair. Tolkien never blurs the line between his heroes and his villains.

Most important tech tool: My I-Phone. It never leaves my hand.

Best time management tool: My DayTimer calendar that is always on my desk, even when the computer goes down.

I can’t live without my: Lipstick – Revlon’s Wine with Everything.

My favorite thing about Amarillo is: It is small enough that I run into people I know in the grocery store but big enough to offer fantastic services to many of the people who need assistance with daily life.

Most unusual task or job: One day, our CEO, Bob Williams, told me he would like to send a group of volunteers to help in the aftermath of the horrible earthquake that hit Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. I had to figure out how to find 17 BSA volunteers, inoculate them for diseases, get them passports, purchase supplies and equipment for them to take, make their flight arrangements and coordinate their trip through the Miami University that ran the temporary hospital in Haiti. And then, I had to stop worrying about them for the nine days that they were gone!

-- the AM Team

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