Barbara Glanz, Hall Of Fame Speaker

Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, Hall of Fame speaker, has been a teacher all her life. The oldest of four children, she grew up in a small town in Iowa where she taught swimming all the way through her college years. She was also an accomplished pianist, winning several State contests and accompanying most of the vocal groups in her high school. Her father, who read a book a night and taught her a love for reading, was the Postmaster, and her mother, who always encouraged creativity, was an Art Teacher.

She went to the University of Kansas where she majored in Music Therapy and Piano and finished her degree in English Education. While there, she won nearly every honor the university bestowed: Mortar Board, Treasurer of Student Union Activities, VP of KU-Y, the Dean’s List every semester, and Outstanding Gamma Phi Beta. Her educational career finally culminated in being chosen as a Hilltopper in the first edition of the Yearbook, the highest award anyone at the University could achieve.

After meeting her husband-to-be the summer before she was a senior in college, Barbara accepted a position as an English teacher at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois, so she could be near Charlie Glanz, who worked for the Chicago Tribune newspaper. They were married one year later, and Barbara continued to be a highly popular English and drama teacher, even directing David Hasselhof of “Knight Rider”,”Baywatch”, and “America’s Got Talent” fame in his first high school play!

When their first child was born, however, Barbara chose to stay home and make her children her career. Barbara and Charlie were blessed with four children, three on Earth and one in Heaven, and a St. Bernard puppy named Nanna. During those nineteen years, Barbara had a business plan and goals to make sure her children were exposed to as many learnings, people, and experiences as she could possibly provide. Two of the non-negotiables in their family were that the children could open a gift, but it did not become theirs until they had written a thank you note, and they all were required to take piano lessons from their 7th to their 12th birthdays!

She also kept her professional skills alive and growing by doing some part time things at various times over the years that did not interfere with her family life. She taught English as a Second Language at Argonne National Laboratory and in Adult Evening School, she taught some college writing classes, she did workshops on communication for various organizations, and she volunteered in the school system, creating an Intergenerational Sharing Program that became a model for many schools throughout the country. In 1980 she finished her Master’s degree in Adult Education, taking one class a quarter for five years at Northern Illinois University.

Business – Training, Speaking And Writing

In 1988 when their oldest son was leaving for Dartmouth College, Barbara became a contract trainer for The Grammar Group and did a two day seminar on the English language in Fortune 500 companies around the country. Soon, she was asked to become the Manager of Training and later Director of Quality in Training, for Kaset International, a Times Mirror company dedicated to enhancing customer service in organizations around the world.

While with Kaset, she helped design their facilitator certification process, grew the training staff from 11 to 44, contributed to many of their developing programs, and began to speak to large groups at their executive conferences and client meetings. In 1993 she wrote her first book, “The Creative Communicator—399 Ways to Make Your Business Communications Meaningful and Inspiring, “and in 1994 she wrote “Building Customer Loyalty—How YOU Can Help Keep Customers Returning.”

In 1995 she began her own company, Barbara Glanz Communications, Inc., to help create workplaces of passion, purpose, creativity, and service. She wrote her third book in 1996, “CARE Packages for the Workplace—Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work,” and in 1998 she wrote “CARE Packages for the Home—Dozens of Ways to Regenerate Spirit Where You Live.” During her first four years in business, she was blessed to speak on four continents and in 46 states through only word of mouth and referral. She also participated in two of Westcott Communication’s most successful live satellite TV presentations broadcast naitonwide.

In May of 2000 Barbara lost her husband of nearly 34 years to cancer, beginning a series of life-changing events and a time of reflection and re-evaluation of priorities. In November of 2004 Barbara sold her home of 27 years in Illinois and moved to a condo on the beach in Sarasota, Florida, where she continues to help organizations and individuals worldwide.

In 2002 “Handle with CARE—Motivating and Retaining Employees” was published, a book based on research with over 1200 non-management employees, asking them what their supervisor or manager could do to help them do their best work, and in May of 2003 she finished “Balancing Acts—More Than 250 Guiltfree, Creative ideas to Blend Your Work and Your Life,” a book focused on Work/Life balance.

In July 2005 she co-authored a book with Ken Blanchard titled “The Simple Truths of Service – Inspired By Johnny the Bagger®.” It is based on her signature story about a young man with Down Syndrome who completely changed the culture in the grocery store where he was employed after hearing Barbara speak. To date, this book has sold over half a million copies and is being used by hundreds of organizations worldwide in their customer service training. A short 3 minute movie based on this book has received nearly 5 million YouTube views since its release in February of 2007. Later that same year a production company invested $250,000 to make an inspirational 17 minute movie called “Johnny the Bagger® – a True Story of Customer Service.” You can preview it at

In 2006 Barbara wrote “180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm,” and “The Simple Truths of Appreciation—How Each of Us Can Choose to Make a Difference” was published in 2007. Another new book on how to help the friends and family of persons who are grieving, titled “What Can I Do? Ideas to Help Those Who Have Experienced Loss,” also was released in early 2007, and when the massacre at Virginia Tech occurred, the publisher sent copies to each family who had lost a child, each church in the area, and each school chaplain as their way of offering comfort.

Finally, in April the fourth book in the CARE Packages series was published, titled “CARE Packages for Your Customers—An Idea a Week for Customer Service.” Her latest book, “Priceless Gifts – Using What God’s Given You to Bless Others,” was an idea inspired by her late husband, Charlie, and is truly a “book of the heart.” She is currently working on two new books, one on the circus and one on the Human side of Change.

Since 1987 Barbara has trained thousands of people in North America and has spoken worldwide to conferences, associations, government organizations, and companies both large and small. Some of her clients include Nordstrom, Disney, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, AAA, Honda, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Social Security Administration, IBM, American Express, AT&T, the New Zealand Institute of Travel and Tourism, Southwest Airlines, Merry Maids, Nationwide Insurance, Chick-fil-A, USAA, Hilton Hotels, Kroger Company, Bank of Montreal, the States of Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, and Wyoming, the Hellenic Management Association, Allstate Insurance, Waste Management, the GAP, Petroleus de Venezuela, Sea Ray Boats, Boeing, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dominos Pizza, Great Clips, Delta Airlines, the Pampered Chef, SYSCO, Toyota, Shea Homes, Swarovski International,and the US Department of Energy.

In January of 2007 Barbara became the first speaker on record to have spoken on all seven continents and in all 50 states. She has earned the highest designation the National Speakers Association awards (Certified Speaking Professional), and she was selected as a “Legend of the Speaking Profession” by the Veteran Speakers in 2010. In 2011 she was inducted into the prestigious CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame with such members as Art Linkletter, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and Zig Ziglar. Recently, she was honored as an ABC-TV “Amazing Woman”

Every year ince 1997 she has been one of the top rated speakers at the Society for Human Resource Management’s International Convention, and in 2006 she was the ONLY FEMALE in the top ten rated speakers. She has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX-TV, PAX-TV, WGN, CNBC, and on radio and in print nationwide.


Barbara formerly served as a Trustee at Northern Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, and she has served as a member of the Core Team of Impact XXI, a part of Campus Crusade for Christ; on the Advisory Board of the Loyola University Center for Ethics and Social Justice; on the Board of Trustees of the National Speakers Association Foundation, and as the Chairperson of the Community Development Committee for NSA. She served a three year term as a Director of the National Speakers Association, an organization of 4000 professional speakers worldwide.

She currently serves as a member of the Advisory Cabinet for Guideposts International, the organization founded by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and she is a member of the Board of Ken Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus Foundation. She is a member of the National Speakers Association, NSA Central Florida, NSA New England, the Society for Human Resource Management, Kappa Delta Pi, Gamma Phi Beta, and is included in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in the Midwest, and Who’s Who in Entertainment.

Barbara has three additional “claims to fame”: her great-grandfather laid the cornerstone where the four states come together (Page, Arizona, is named after him); she played the piano on the TV show “Talent Sprouts”; and she directed David Hasselhof of Knight Rider, Baywatch, and American’s Got Talent fame in his first high school play!


Barbara says her greatest blessing is the number of precious family members, clients, and friends all over the world who add such joy to her life. Her son, Garrett, and her daughter-in-love, Ashley, live in the Seattle area where Garrett works for Microsoft. They have blessed her with her first grandchildren, Gavin and Kinsey and one grand dog, Sophie. Her daughter, Gretchen, and her son-in-love, Randy, both webmasters, live in Portland, Oregon, with Ramona, Lucy, and Maisy, her other “grand pets,” and her two precious grandsons, Owen and Simon , Her daughter, Erin and grand kitty, Cricket, also live in Portland where Erin works in Fashion Design.

Barbara volunteers in several organizations in her new home of Sarasota, Florida, and either swims a mile or walks three miles on the beach outside her condo every day she is not traveling. In the last several years she has visited (and shopped in!) every continent and almost every large city in the US. Her favorite pastimes are reading, movies, theatre, the opera, dancing, and any kind of surprise or adventure. She continues to speak and write about how ONE PERSON can make a difference, and even through her pain and loss, she has managed to live and breathe her personal motto, “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™!”

Her personal mission statement is: “I am here as the Lord’s helper to spread contagious enthusiasm and to lovingly and creatively help other people and myself to see the CHOICES we have to make a difference in the world.”

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