“Brad Barth is that rare professional who fully understands and embraces both the marketing and the sales process. With extensive experience, Brad is able to bridge the gaps between executive, marketing, human resources, and sales departments…”
“Brad Barth is a public relations professional… he fields inquiries in a professional and timely manner. When you’re constantly on deadline like I am, it’s great to know I can count on Brad…”
“Brad is an extremely creative artist. Working with Brad we have been able to achieve results much faster than we thought. Brad has a wide variety of experience and will always go above and beyond the call of duty and what one expects.”
I was raised in a small town in the Midwest by loving and hardworking parents. We were poor, but we were happy. My father was a full-time minister and musician and my mother a part-time drama teacher. While things weren’t always easy, my mom and dad knew that if they kept their faith in God, faith in themselves and their faith in the greatest country in the world, they, too, could provide a better life for their children.
That dream, we discovered, was for my parents to own their own home and watch their three sons develop their talents for a better life. Those dreams required that my father work many hours and untold sacrifices to support our family.
The first dream was realized in a modest split-level home on Jacobssen Street. I can still recall the excitement of the day, as he surprised us—even my mother—when he drove us to our new home.
Their second dream for their youngest son came as somewhat of a surprise as I developed a talent for art. At an early age, I began to win prizes for drawing and writing in the local newspaper. I was also encouraged by my parents in music and theater, but being an artist was my true calling. At one point my mom was going to pull me from the high school art class so I could focus more on music and my art teacher quickly talked my mom out of it. Thank goodness she did!
I followed my heart to Denver, Colorado to study Visual Communications at the Colorado Institute of Art. Continually active, I was involved not only in the school but took advantage of the freelance program—it was my first taste of being an entrepreneur. I also honed my fine art skills at the Arts Students League in lower downtown Denver.
After graduating with an undergraduate degree in communications, I settled in Milwaukee, WI and obtained an Art Director position with the second largest PR firm in Wisconsin, Morgan & Myers Public Relations. I thought I had already achieved my American Dream on the top floor of the Milwaukee corporate headquarters with a corner office. But I quickly realized I wanted something more. Always splitting my time between commercial and fine art, I applied and was surprised to be accepted into the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts graduate painting program. The oldest art school and museum in the country, I relished the historical culture of Philadelphia and the access to some of the most important works of art in the country.
But the challenge of running a business was too hard to ignore and upon completion of my graduate studies I founded my first business Trace Design Studio in my hometown of Bloomington, IL, south of Chicago. Owned and operated for twelve years, I had the opportunity to work with several Fortune 100 companies in the region which included print, web and video production. Clients included State Farm Insurance, Caterpillar, Inc., Jimmy Johns Gourmet Sandwiches, United Healthcare, the United Center, Chicago, IL, as well as over 150 regional and community businesses. My firm was honored to accept awards including a national website award from QSR Magazine, 3 International Economic Development Council awards, a Silver Medallion for Exhibit Design from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations and a personal appointment by the Mayor of Normal to the McLean County Branding Committee.
During this time I met the love of my life Joy, a true southern belle. And together, we started our journey to achieve our Dreams.
I could have been content with growing my small business in Illinois. Instead, after consulting with my wife, we decided to take one of the biggest risks of our marriage: picking up our young family, relocating and accepting the call to become Public Affairs Director at The Roger Bacon Academy, an educational management company with a growing reputation in the charter school movement in NC. As this new opportunity on the coast arose I was able to sell my business and move my family to Wilmington, NC.
A strong supporter of education, I saw this position as a way to be passionate about my work as well as help the educational needs of a great number of disadvantaged students. It appealed to me that marketing and public relations can serve a higher purpose and change lives. I also believe in being an advocate of community service, “If you want a great community, you have to get involved and make it great.”
My success in the media for our organization, as well as countless hours volunteering got the attention of the Executive Director of the American Red Cross – Cape Fear Chapter who invited me to join the Board of Directors. In 2012, I accepted the seat as Vice Chair and continue to volunteer for this exceptional organization.
Today, I serve as a consultant for marketing and public relations and am also developing several websites and apps for mobile devices in the health and fitness community.
Despite the many professional commitments of my life, I continue to enjoy the time spent with family and friends. As my family grows, I know that I have an extraordinary obligation to get and stay in shape to be a healthy, active and attentive father for them.
The paramount joys in my life are my wife, Joy, our four children, Caleb, Cooper, Copley and Colton, and my dog, Grace.
I am grateful for the many professional successes I have enjoyed. I am grateful for the steadfast loyalty and unwavering love of my family and friends. And I am grateful for this country that is so exceptional that it affords me the opportunity to achieve my American Dreams.
And I’m just getting started!