Barbara Bry at Fashion Valley

Barbara Bry at Fashion ValleyIf you don’t know who Barbara Bry is, maybe you’ve heard of ATCOM, CONNECT, or Pro-Flowers. Ms. Bry has been instrumental in the creation and success of these companies. In addition to these successes, she has had numerous others. Once you read her bio you’ll want to RSVP for the next Dynamic Divas Network, who is bringing you up close and personal with this dynamic woman on February 29th in Fashion Valley. You can RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/events/228661680554712/  In the meantime read on and be inspired!

While attending Harvard Business School, Bry organized an innovative class on business and the media. After graduating with her MBA, she worked for eight years as a national business reporter for the Sacramento Bee and then the Los Angeles Times.

In 1986 Bry accepted an offer to run the newly founded CONNECT Program in Technology and Entrepreneurship at the University of California, San Diego. Three years later, she founded and became the executive director of Athena, a nonprofit organization for women technology executives. Because of her long relationship with CONNECT and Athena, Bry was fortunate enough to know  “all the technical people in town.”

Such connections came in handy when in 1995, Ms Bry was having lunch with one of these “technical people” who sketched out an envisioned hotel kiosk where travelers could get and send e-mail. Bry was able to raise the needed funds and assemble a team. The result was ATCOM/INFO, which soon became the premier provider of software for high-speed, remotely monitored, public-access connectivity. Four years later  ATCOM was acquired by CAIS Internet. The transaction was valued at over $80 million.

However, in 1998, a year before the CAIS acquired ATCOM, Bry received a phone call from a friend in the electronic greeting-card business who had an idea to sell flowers online. With Ms. Bry’s expertise, ProFlowers was born!

With the success of Pro-Flowers, in 2005, Ms Bry moved on.  With her husband Neil Senturia, she started Blackbird Ventures, as a vehicle to invest in diverse businesses. In addition to being the COO of her own company, she spent time as a radio co-host on Saturday afternoons for “I’m There For You Baby, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

But she has not stopped there. Ms. Bry also created Run Women Run, which focuses on electing pro-choice women in San Diego. In addition, she is also a board member of the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation, the San Diego Jewish Women’s Foundation, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, and a lifetime board member of CONNECT. As a way to further empower the girls and women in her community, she also serves as a mentor at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Business and an advisor to the UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge.

To top it off, because of her commitment to empowering women, Barbara Bry,  is being inducted as an “Empowerer of Women”  into the 11th annual San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame hosted by the Women’s Museum of California!  Now that you’ve been inspired, go RSVP so you can be empowered at this event! http://www.facebook.com/events/228661680554712/

-V Jones

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