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Outlook on Leadership

by Dan Wyant

Chairman & President

Welcome aboard, Barbara Stankowski!

We are delighted to announce that Barbara Stankowski has been named a trustee of the Edward Lowe Foundation!

A trailblazer from the get-go, Barbara began a 28-year military career in 1970, joining the Navy at a time when women only represented 1% of its staff and weren’t allowed to serve in combat activity. Although her undergraduate degree was in liberal arts, Barbara was selected to pursue a master’s degree in computer science at the Naval Postgraduate School and worked with cutting-edge technology not introduced to industry until a decade later. Rising to the rank of captain, she spent more than seven years in command of large shore-based commands, with more than 1,400 people reporting to her in her last post.  

After retiring from the military in 1998, Barbara initially worked for two private companies. Yet wanting to create a culture where people felt like owners and were empowered to do their best work, she launched AMTIS Inc in 2007. A provider of training and business-processing services to government agencies, AMTIS grew quickly under Barbara’s aegis, scaling to 300 employees by 2018 and making the Inc. 5000 list of fast-growing companies for six consecutive years. After successfully selling AMTIS in 2018, Barbara went on to establish Stankowski Advanced Strategies, which provides consulting and coaching services to small-business owners.

We first met Barbara through GrowFL, our Florida partner, when AMTIS was named one of GrowFL’s Florida Companies to Watch in 2012. Since then, she has participated in virtually every program we offer at the Edward Lowe Foundation — from leaders retreats and CEO roundtables to our American Academy of Entrepreneurs mentoring program, where she has been a mentor multiple times. Barbara was part of the inaugural cohort for our Legacy Council program, and in the past year, she has served as one of our Entrepreneurs Emeritus and helped create programs to accelerate growth for women veteran business owners.

Those who know Barbara remark on her passion for giving back. Among her many strengths, I especially appreciate Barbara’s ability to really listen to others and her unique leadership style — a blend of being very intentional and decisive, yet always putting other people before herself. Over the years, Barbara has received a slew of accolades, and GrowFL has even named its alumni award after her.

We look forward to Barbara bringing her leadership skills and experience as a second-stage business leader to our board. She knows first-hand what it’s like to start, grow and exit a company. She also understands how we work with partner organizations to deliver our programs, which will bring us fresh insights at the trustee level as we continue to hone our programs and look for ways to become even more relevant in the second-stage space.

In closing, I say: Hail entrepreneur and welcome aboard, Barbara!