We had the good fortune of connecting with Shon Barnwell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shon, every day, we hear about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Upon deciding to write a book on leadership, it was very important to me to chart my own path. As a result, Barnwell Publishing LLC was founded. Additionally, it was equally important to create a platform where people who served in the military – especially women and minorities – could also share their stories with the world.
What should our readers know about your business?
We’d like the world to know that, “We are listening!” Whether a writer is seeking consulting advice on the self-publishing process, seeking a quality publishing imprint, or both, we stand ready to lead, serve, mentor, coach, and cheer! Barnwell Publishing was created to launch my first book “Leadership Is About Behavior, Not Titles”. Along the self-publishing journey, the need to create a platform for other military members to also share their stories was part of the foundation of building the company. As a workforce development and training consultant, founding the company allows me to protect my intellectual property as well as have instant access to updating workbooks and training content. Our customers enjoy the immense interaction delivered in our training sessions, so it’s vital that we stay dynamic in our methodology. The publishing company is relatively new – we launched in August of 2020 and our first publication released on April 15, 2021. The greatest challenge so far is deciding which projects to accept – we have 25 interested people who would like to publish on our imprint! To deliver quality support to our customers, we will start small – accepting only a handful of projects each year. Lessons learned thus far are to bring people smarter than yourself to every undertaking and set clear goals so you stay on track!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
That’s a great question because a few years ago my event planning company hosted a tri-city event in Middle Georgia for Juneteenth. Our day would begin with breakfast prepared by a local veteran chef, followed by a visit to the Harriett Tubman Museum for a few hours. Prior to Covid-19, lunch at the Tic Toc Room is a must. The historic building once showcased the talents of Little Richard, James Brown, Otis Redding, and Johnny Jenkins. Lunch at The Pond in Warner Robins is another awesome choice. Our afternoon would be spent tasting wine at the Tilford Winery in Kathleen – the only black-owned winery in the state of Georgia. In the evening, we would retreat to the marvelous Courtyard by Marriott in Warner Robins where massage expert, Lisa Thorpe would work her magic to restore our muscles to perfect fluidness. Molds of her hands should be in a Smithsonian Museum! For late night fun, we would boogie over to Rigby’s Entertainment Complex for music, bowling, roller-skating (my favorite), go-carts, putt-putt golf, billiards – and so much more. People who travel with Shon Barnwell Events know that we always find gems hidden in plain sight – we like introducing people to local treasures.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Whoa, that’s a loaded question for someone who’s lived in seven countries. That question requires a vast response because many hands, minds, and hearts have poured into me during my upbringing, 25-year military career, and 7-year entrepreneurial journey. For the sake of time, please allow me to send love to all the Warriors who have been my battle buddy at some point in time for their friendship and support. The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) has been a phenomenal resource and supporter of my entrepreneurial efforts. My family in Detroit, Michigan and beyond are always cheering for #MamaShon. My wonderful husband, Andre and our Superstar daughter, Aliyah have made many sacrifices as this self-professed workaholic treks off in a new direction to solve some new problem and I love them madly for understanding! My dad was the first person who taught me what excellence looks like, imparted the value of building great relationships, and showcased the importance of having a great work ethic – his examples of impactful leadership are with me every day.
Katrina Meyer and Andre Barnwell