As noted by someone who knows her well, Linda Barron “wakes up every day with the gusto of a John Philips Souza march.” There is perhaps no more fitting tribute to a woman who has been a one-woman-band in every sense of the phrase since she arrived in Burlington nearly 17 years ago.
Linda got her sales and marketing training during her 20-year career at International Paper. As founder of L. Barron & Associates, a manufacturer’s rep company, Linda moved in 2001 from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Burlington, NC to be closer to her largest customers which included Cato, Shoe Show, Nordstrom, Belk and Saks. Her honey, John, a native of Burlington, owned a home here. Linda told him that Burlington is where she wanted to grow old together.
From the moment she arrived, Linda was a presence in the civic life of Alamance County. She joined the Chamber of Commerce, even though none of her customers were in the immediate area.
“I did it to meet people,” Linda said. “I’m not someone to wait around to be discovered – I’m a take charge kind of gal.”
And take charge she did, joining the board of Women’s Resource Center and serving as its Board Chair, a position she would serve in again in 2014-2015, ultimately serving as its acting director for six months while the organization sought a new Executive Director. Then as a true mentor, Linda took the new WRC ED by the hand and led her all over Alamance County to introduce her to the community. Susan Watson keeps her close by on speed dial as a sounding board for advice, source of inspiration, hugs and laughter. She has been active in Alamance County Democratic Women and served in leadership roles with Alamance Reads. Linda has been recognized on a state level with the NC Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service and was a 2016 nominee for the Founders’ Award of Women’s Resource Center in Alamance County.
In 2015, Linda was called upon to once again lend her business savvy to an organization in need – her own church, Holy Comforter Episcopal where she became board chairman of their dual language, multicultural playschool.
“At 66 years old, and having never gotten around to having any kids or grandkids of my own, I was suddenly the overseer for 25 three- and four-year olds,” Linda said. “What an eye opener!”
Last year, Linda retired from L. Barron & Associates, which had pivoted in 2004 to focus on the “geography, geology, chemistry, production and distribution of packaging as it related to wine.” She maintains a passion for wine, and works with her honey to run a 3rd Wednesday Wine class for Alamance Arts.
Cheers to you, Linda! We celebrate your tremendous impact on our region and your tireless determination to make your community a better place to live. We are lucky to call you a friend!