HARTFORD – A former vice president of corporate and government communications for Webster Bank has stepped out on her own to start a communications firm.
Sarah Barr, a familiar face around Waterbury where the bank is headquartered, and statewide from her time as a news anchor on WFSB, has opened Washashore Writing.
Barr said she wants to share her knowledge with professionals of all levels who need guidance with their overall communications – speech writing, media training and public image coaching.
“Whether it’s addressing a group of people at a convention, writing an op-ed piece, or helping to answer tough media questions, I can help,” Barr said.
Her decision to leave the corporate world to start her own business is a recent development and a natural career progression.
“There comes a time in everybody’s lives where they take a step back,” she said. “For me, it was all about what’s best for me and my family and what I’m passionate about. I reached that point two months ago and decided that I needed to take the next step in my career. It was time for me to evolve myself.”
Barr said she is most passionate about empowering women to succeed in business, government, politics, non-profits and education.
“Throughout my career, the common denominator is working with women and making an impact,” she said. “It all came together for me and I want to have a positive impact on others.”
She said that women need to have a stronger and more competitive voice and she can help them “step up to the plate” instead of being invited.
“Women will gain that confidence. This empowerment is very important. They will be able to step up, raise their hands and volunteer, as opposed to waiting for permission.
They will say, ‘I’m ready to do the job!’ so they can lead,” she said.
Bob Guenther, a former senior vice president at Webster who supervised Barr said she is skilled at coaching executives on how to hone their communication skills and develop messaging that connects with audiences.
“Her passion for developing women in leadership roles will be readily appreciated and evident to her clients,” he said.
Barr said she offers over 10 years of corporate and government leadership experience to draw on.
“I’m well-connected and can help with community relations, too,” she said. “I know the leaders in different community groups and I can network with them to raise their profile.”
With 20 years of experience as a television anchor, reporter, writer and producer, Barr is looking forward to helping clients not only with their written and oral communication needs but also with hair, makeup, and wardrobe advice.
Judy Casperson, who has served four terms on the West Hartford Town Council, said she took Barr’s media seminar while she was a vice president at Webster. Casperson was a part of the Women of Webster leadership group Barr started at Webster to empower and coach women.
“She helped me to have more confidence in delivering onscreen and impromptu interviews,” Casperson said. “I was greatly impacted by her coaching of my posture, voice and presentation delivery.”
Barr said she is in the “networking and building” stage of her business. She is working with student leaders and college graduates.
Her vision is to quickly grow the company organically and to attract a nice combination of company and individual clients.
Washashore Writing services are available on a per project basis, at market rates.
This article is by Alicia Sakal. The feature originally appeared online and on the Business front page in the October 23, 2017 edition of Republican-American, a regional daily newspaper in 36 towns and cities in Litchfield County and Greater Waterbury, Connecticut.
Photo: Burchell Henry & Contributed