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Board Member Spotlight: Barbara Jennings

Community Volunteer

Barbara Jennings is a retired university administrator who earned three university degrees—in education, urban studies, and the law. She worked at Case Western Reserve University and The Ohio State University and as a professional businesswoman for a total of more than thirty years. Her community involvement has included Leadership Manatee Alumni Association, ArtCenter Manatee, Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County, Tiger Bay Club, Women’s Leadership Initiative and United Way. She served on the Planning and Zoning Board for the City of Palmetto for six years, serving as Chair for two terms.

What do you think is the most pressing need in Manatee County?
More affordable housing!

What initially drew you to become involved with the Manatee Community Foundation?
Opportunity to learn, grow and work with others to help our neighbors and try to make a meaningful difference, while protecting the precious culture of our community.

Favorite hobby and why?
Walking, often with dogs. It gives exercise, clears the mind and allows an opportunity to meet and socialize with others in the neighborhood or park.

What’s the most interesting or unique skill or talent you possess that others might not know about?
I truly try to be open and honest, and vocal, so there is not likely much hidden from view. My best attribute is the ability to “look at the big picture” rather than getting caught up in micro-managing problems.

What advice would you give to individuals who are interested in getting involved with philanthropy or serving on a nonprofit board?
Select a cause that you are personally passionate about and you will always get more from your experience of giving your time and talents than you can ever give.

What’s your favorite inspirational quote or motto that guides you in your personal and professional life?
The Golden Rule rules! And, love thy neighbor as thyself.