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barnett-angieAngie Barnett

President and CEO
Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland

Angie Barnett started her career in social work but soon discovered she excelled in leadership roles in nonprofits, which led to a career change in 2001 when she became the vice president of membership for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce for six years.

“I was able to combine my nonprofit leadership, community engagement experience with the knowledge and experience of serving in a statewide business organization that was membership-driven.”

Barnett has been the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Greater Maryland for almost 15 years.

“The BBB is a tad bit like social work, parenting or a strong society – doing the right thing for the right reason; being fair, equitable, consistent; engaged for excellence and improvements; and building a trustworthy community.”

Barnett has guided BBB as the relationship between businesses and consumers has evolved.

“Fourteen years ago, we received 12,000 to 14,000 complaints about Maryland businesses. Today, people are filing complaints less and posting reviews online instead,” she said in February.

“This is not fair to businesses because there’s no opportunity for dispute resolution. Businesses can only improve if they understand what a customer is unhappy with so they can figure out how to make it right and prevent it from happening again. And it’s not fair to consumers who may be influenced by false positives.”

Barnett is also guiding BBB through the pandemic by making tough but necessary cuts to provide opportunities to help small businesses. “The pivot to adapt, adopt and serve more than ever before has been the most amazing transformation of our organization and one in which we have generated measurable success.”

Barnett believes that BBB’s business standard, when practiced, builds trust and consumers.

“We are a standards-based organization, and you have to meet or exceed those standards to become an accredited business. We call out substandard behavior through our consumer alerts, media reports and through our ratings and business profile products/services. In the end, I believe we have over this last decade especially helped create a stronger community of trustworthy businesses through our work, our voice and our engagement.”

“We are a standards-based organization, and you have to meet or exceed those standards to become an accredited business.”

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Icon Honors awards.

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