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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Coombs

Getting to Know Barbara:

Updated: Mar 29, 2019

My father passed on to me a strong appreciation for the small business owner. He began his career in the banking field, after serving in the Navy during the Korean War. The bank began giving him the ‘problem’ loans and by the time I was out of college, he was independently consulting businesses on good management practices and how to restructure to avoid bankruptcy. This is what he was doing when I graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies and Business. I was thinking about the developing solar industry but,my father asked me to help with holding the accounting department together of a small boat manufacturer while he worked on restructuring their credit. The company was effected by a luxury tax that was imposed on them during the Carter administration. Having to jump in and figure things out and above all meet payroll was an invaluable lesson. Today when our city government is spending the taxpayer's money- these decisions need to recognize the embedded trust to manage these funds carefully based on the hard work which generated those dollars to begin with. Eventually, I entered the 'environmental field' as a paper broker buying waste paper for the paper mills of Weyerhaeuser Paper Company, in Sacramento, California. I called on primarily distribution warehouses and printers, though after the sales quotas were met – I created the first post office recycling program in the country as well as many high-rise office programs. A design ordinance I wrote for the City of Sacramento to accommodate recyclables storage for the commercial sector has been duplicated across multiple cities. Following this position I was hired by the City of San Jose, California as their recycling coordinator. A bill had recently passed in CA. that required every city to reach a 50% recycling rate within five years of when I was hired. We reached a 64% recycling rate without mandating. I can get Dallas there today, but that is a different blog. Being a mother and a single mother has been the most challenging. The world would distract our children from their true potential. Parenting is an enormous responsibility and it is my desire since they ‘do not come with an instruction book’, to have resources easily available to support good parenting. While my son was growing up, I was active in his school and worked as an equipment rep in the recycling industry. I have held a real estate license in Florida and California and very briefly refurbished and rented out houses in Texas. Someone asked the other day how I ended up living in three states. I grew up in south Florida – 20 years, moved to California, living in Sacramento and the Bay area for 20 years and then moved to Texas in 1999 when our son was one year old. This year marks 20 years in Texas!

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