Barb became Employee #1 of the Mansmann Foundation in 2014. She worked closely with Joe Calihan to realize the vision of supporting small business owners through never-ending ups and downs. As she likes to say, when she started the organization from her dining room table, she had a pen and some paper clips–not even a stapler!
From her decades of owning a trucking company, Barb knew how beneficial it is to have other business owners to talk to, learn from, and grow with. Initially at Mansmann, she set up a one-to-one mentoring program, pairing a new entrepreneur with a more seasoned business owner advisor. But she and Joe quickly realized that the business owners needed more of each other to feel less isolated, to problem-solve and to celebrate with. In 2015, a small group of Hazelwood residents became the first Mansmann peer-to-peer group, and the rest is history.
Barb’s vast knowledge of business and her intuition about human motivation and mindset are reflected everywhere in our program. She has an unending desire to keep learning, and she's always been open to changing the program in any way that helps members. It’s no surprise that Barb has both an MBA and an M.S. in Education, both of which informed our program.
She personally recruited our current CEO, AJ Drexler and introduced her to Joe Calihan to help steer the organization as we grow from the strong foundations she built.
Barb would like to acknowledge the people who collaborated in Mansmann’s earliest years to create our program: Joe Calihan and his family, Susan Mazur, Terry Doloughty, Andrea Fitting, Harold Behar, Kelly James, Chelsea Sebetich, LaToya Johnson-Rainey, and Katie McMahon.
Our members have always been at the center of every decision Barb made. In creating and developing the program, she always looked for what would make them more successful business owners. The founding members of our earliest peer groups provided candid feedback and insightful ideas that shaped the program. Our earliest community partners The Hazelwood Initiative and The Greater Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce gave our unknown organization credibility in their communities and introduced us to our first peer group members.
This is Barb’s second non-profit as the Founding President. She previously co-founded PowerLink, an organization dedicated to supporting women business owners. It has served more than 300 members over the past 25 years. In addition, Barb's community leadership has been acknowledged through numerous awards she has received including awards from the Small Business Administration, the YWCA, and the National ATHENA Foundation through the Allegheny Conference.
We are so grateful to her leadership. Our program would not have been possible without the vision, generosity, dedication, and leadership of the late Joe Calihan and the confidence he placed in Barb.
You will be missed!
What are your organization's Key Performance Indicators? Learn how to monitor the critical numbers in this free webinar!
Do you have documented Standard Operating Procedures in your business? Learn how to create them in this webinar with professional organizer Carrie Wulf.
Our first Spanish-speaking peer group begins meeting in December. Under the leadership of its new facilitator, Kevin Moforte, the group has ten Spanish-speaking small business owners from Massachusetts. There are still two openings for Spanish-speaking Entrepreneurs to join the group! To apply, please fill out this form.
Nuestro primer grupo de empresarios hispanos se reunirá en diciembre bajo la guía de Kevin Moforte, Facilitador. El grupo cuenta con 10 pequeños y medianos empresarios de Massachusetts y todavía quedan dos plazas disponibles para empresarios hispanos que quieran aprender técnicas, desarrollar habilidades para aumentar sus ganancias y hacer crecer sus negocios. Para aplicar, por favor completa este formulario.
If you had a website before 2020, you or your web person probably installed Google Analytics on the backend so you could track the activity, traffic, etc. Many small business owners don't ever look at it and if you fall into that category you are not alone. But you have probably received dire warning emails from Google and you don't know what to do.
Here's the deal: the old Google Analytics interface called UA (you may have installed a UA tracking number in the backend of your CMS) is completely going away in July 2023. So you must switch over to their new and yes, still totally free Analytics 4. It should be quick and painless (once you find that log in).
Why bother? Well that new system is configured for how we use the web now (this blog has the best explanation of it we have seen) and you really should get it connected to your website as soon as you can.
“I love the group and their great approach to business. I love hearing all the ideas for approaching business questions that affect all business owners. I have learned so much!” - Worcester, MA member