Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Karenthia Barber, CEO of Professional Development Associates, LLC.
Her consulting practice provides management consulting, diversity, equity, and inclusion audits, workforce training, coaching, and government relations services.
Karenthia’s firm has positively impacted over 200,000 individuals and organizations, representing a broad range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Karenthia Barber: My name is Karenthia A. Barber, and I am the CEO of Professional Development Associates, LLC. a consulting practice that provides management consulting, diversity, equity and inclusion audits and consulting, workforce training, coaching and government relations services.
Under my leadership, the firm has provided a wide range of programs and services for companies of all sizes including federal, state, corporate and non-profit organizations throughout this country and abroad. We work with individuals on all levels of an organization, representing a broad range of racial, ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic diversity.
Recognized for expertise in the areas of leadership, communication, conflict management, diversity, equity and inclusion, customer service, community engagement, and workplace violence; we have provided services that have positively impacted over 200, 000 individuals and organizations.
We are dedicated to helping our clients better understand their organizations and build individual and organizational capacity to improve efficiencies. Utilizing a set core of capabilities, we assist our clients with developing strategies for sustainable growth and impact.
I served as the first woman Chair of the Board of Trustees of Maryland Automobile Insurance, providing governance and leadership to the 100-million-dollar insurance carrier.
In addition, I have taught at the university and community college level. In addition, I have served in both appointed and elected office and am a respected advisor to many corporate executives, elected and public officials. This broad and diverse experience uniquely positions PDA to provide a wide range of services and support to our clients.
Committed to community service, the PDA team volunteers thousands of hours annually.
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffet, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Karenthia Barber: I would share that Professional Development Associates, LLC. provides individuals and organizations with the strategies, tools and support to get from where they are to where they would like to be.
We are uniquely positioned because of our vast experience in business, education and politics which helps us to provide a comprehensive array of services including, organizational assessment, surveys, curriculum design and facilitation as well as team building, diversity, equity and inclusion audits and consulting and coaching.
Our biggest strength is our amazing team of extremely talented and credentialed individuals who are committed to supporting individuals and organizations through their journey of transformation into a more effective and efficient version.
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle keeping talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are adapting to the current shift we see?
Karenthia Barber: It is imperative that leaders recognize that employee expectations have changed. Employees today want a more human employment value proposition. They want employers to recognize their individual value and in turn provide value to them on a human level.
Therefore, companies must be intentional in their efforts to create an organizational culture of diversity, equity and inclusion and belonging where all team members feel seen, respected, embraced and trusted. This includes welcoming different perspectives, ideas and thoughts.
In addition, there must be open, honest and effective communication including ongoing feedback. All employees should be encouraged to share their experience and point of view. Providing growth opportunities is also important. Offering growth opportunities, whether it’s training, coaching or mentoring demonstrates that the company is comitmitted to investing in their employees’ future.
This not only creates a career path for future advancement but can also improve employee productivity and engagement and satisfaction.
I believe effective communication is essential to individual and organizational success and helps to facilitate understanding. That is part of the PDA culture and I cultivate an environment of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging that is open, respectful and supportive of all individuals.
Online business keeps on surging higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for the year to come and how are you capitalizing on the tidal wave?
Karenthia Barber: Recognizing that the global pandemic has resulted in a surge in online business that we anticipate will continue to evolve, we at Professional Development Associates have launched and expanded our online trainings, coaching programs and consulting services.
In addition, we now offer several ebooks in multiple languages and will be adding to our ebook catalog.
Christopher Hitchens, an American journalist, is quoted as saying that “everyone has a book in them” Have you written a book? If so, please share with us details about it. If you haven’t, what book would you like to write and how would you like it to benefit the readers?
Karenthia Barber: I agree that “everyone has a book in them” and I have several in me. That has been the challenge for me and I have been working on writing a book for some time now.
One literary goal is to write a book that highlights how I have journeyed from a 9-year-old entrepreneur to an award-winning businesswoman who is committed to serving her community.
My goal is that it will encourage, and inspire, motivate and empower others to set aside the self-defeating limitations and go after their dreams.
2020, 2021, 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into businesses on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned and what advice would you share?
Karenthia Barber: Based on the challenges presented to us in 2020. 2021. and 2022, I believe it is incumbent upon all business leaders to recognize that a mind shift is essential to remain relevant and successful in business.
Old ways will not lead to success in the new global environment. Some leader may have to enhance their knowledge and/or learn new skills. I would encourage all leaders to assess their skills, strengths and interests and identify areas of transferability in order to broaden their opportunities.
In addition, expanding business contacts, networking and collaborations will be essential to thriving in 2023 and beyond.
What does “success” in the year to come mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Karenthia Barber: The past few years prevented us from spending time with many of the people we care about.
Thus, success for me in 2023 and beyond means spending more time with my family and friends as well as more international travel without the many necessary restrictions we have had to endure.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Karenthia Barber for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Karenthia Barber or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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