Meet the Partners: Barbara Bowman

Get to know Impact Giving Partner, Barbara Bowman, through a fun Q&A round we had with her recently!

Tell us about yourself.
I am originally from Philadelphia, PA and graduated from NYU School of the Arts. Long before I got to NYC, I knew I wanted a career in entertainment. I began college at Ohio University where I worked in the Radio Station, the TV Station and local cable outlet in many capacities. I left that part of the country because I am a coastal person (everyone has their own feng shui) and went to work in Philadelphia as an intern and then associate producer for a network TV show before heading to the University of London, England for a filmmaking program before NY University School of the Arts.

I began working for ABC TV from midnight -8 AM and went to school during the day. I was pretty lucky because I edited film and the TV network was looking for women with skills and trained me to edit video tape. This was just before the digital developments and there was a lot of heavy equipment, long hours and general harassment from both the eager and reluctant men who were afraid that women would ‘steal’ their jobs, livelihoods and probably so much more. I was the first of many who have followed! I worked with Wide World of Sports, and traveled the world with baseball, football and the Olympics. It was quite exciting to work with that generation of ‘greats’ and to be a part of productions awarding me with 3 Emmys. Eventually, I became a writer and producer and finally, director of the TV Network Affiliate Marketing division and ABC moved me to LA to interface with the studios and entertainment community.

After 26 years, I left ABC and was a principal founder of a medical information company and Apple developer. Our company created one of the first mobile prescription and computerized patient record apps: EZRx and EZMed notes. It was very exciting but we were years too early. I enrolled in a UCLA business program and it became evident that the marketplace wasn’t ‘there’ yet. We closed the company but no regrets, I learned a lot.

We bought a home in Laguna. I got to work with a local agency and did some PR for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, then was a partner in Madison and Mulholland, a marketing and product placement company.

Old network friends hired me to produce parts of the Emmys, Oscars and other events. I was lucky to have those ties.

I credit an ABC friend for a teaching opportunity at Long Beach City College. It was a gift for me. I realized that a person doesn’t know what they know until they share it, and I got to experience fruits of what that sharing is all about. It was very rewarding.

Somewhere in there I got certified to teach Pilates and was told by the program director, you will be doing marketing and teaching older clients. I did.

What are you responsible for outside of Impact Giving?
I live in Laguna and have 2 step granddaughters who are the best and not far away! I am so lucky to have entered this family, since I never had my own children. I have a 16 + year old dog who takes up a lot of time and energy now, but, I don’t mind because it is the “contract.”

In your spare time, what hobbies or experiences do you partake in?
I am an avid audible fan, and listen to all those things I didn’t pay attention to in school and get to do it as I walk. I still do Pilates but rarely teach, although I can. It’s fun to have the time to spend with friends and family. I am taking tennis lessons and enjoying the sport after many years. I was a lover of travel but not at the moment. We are in the planning stages of renovating our home and this is a time consuming endeavor.

Do you have any personal goals you hope to achieve in the next few years?
More time with friends and chosen family. Staying healthy, engaged and relevant.

How are you involved in the nonprofit community?
Continuing to learn about and support what makes sense to me which varies. At the moment, food supply, nutrition, and health are so basic and the foundation for a population and opportunities.

Why did you join Impact Giving and what is your favorite part about being a Partner?
One of my ‘leader’ friends who I admire for so many reasons: her energy, generosity, sense of community, graceful engagements and connections on a unique and deep level… Sam Dawson, need I say more? IG was forming and she said – “YOU WILL JOIN!” I am so grateful that I can be a part of truly accomplished group of other generous women and have the chance to give back to our communities locally and globally – as the mission goes.

What is your role within Impact Giving? Have you sponsored a grant recipient or participated on a grant committee?
I have sponsored a couple of organizations. Sadly they didn’t make it the first time they applied, but have since. I enjoy the committee process and am humbled by the experiences I have had serving with our partners. There are some very accomplished, intelligent women who enrich the experience of participation.

Do you have any advice for future Impact Giving Partners?
If you want to learn about local and global opportunities to participate in our communities, meet incredibly interesting women, learn about the inner workings of new and established non-profits that contribute to helping the planet and our people to have opportunity to be their best, become a partner. It’s a no brainer.