IBJNews

2012 WOMAN OF INFLUENCE: Marcia Barnes

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

President and CEO, Defender Direct

Sphere of Influence: In her role as the top executive at a fast-growing local company, Barnes preaches leadership and public service.
 

barnes-marcia-15col.jpg(IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Marcia Barnes believes if her company can help employees be better people, the business will take care of itself.

As the CEO and president of Indianapolis-based Defender Direct, she leads a nationwide home services company with a philosophy of public service and self-improvement. The company gives employees five paid days a year to serve in their communities, and offers a service-project challenge that gives employees an opportunity to win cash for the charities they serve. Finally, the company sponsors Homes of Hope, a project that sends employees and their families to Mexico or the Dominican Republic to build homes.

Considering Defender Direct has more than 2,300 employees nationwide, including around 800 in Indianapolis, that is a major financial commitment.

“We’re a business, but we’re a business full of givers,” said Barnes. “It’s hard to quantify the bottom-line impact, but that’s not really why we do it.”

They do it to help every employee develop as leaders, asking them to work harder on themselves than they do on their jobs. Defender Direct sees growing leaders as its lasting legacy.

The company does this with a four-pronged approach it calls the Four Passions: self-improvement, systems are the solution, developing leaders and ever-expanding influence.

Barnes met Defender Direct founder David Lindsey in 1999 when her 85-person call center company, Team Associates, did work for Defender. They found their values and business approach compatible and merged companies in 2005. She joined Defender’s executive team, becoming president and CEO in 2011.

While Defender Direct may be best known as a home security business, it bills itself as a home services company, also offering satellite television and home heating and cooling systems. From 2005 to 2010, annual revenue grew from $20.1 million to $255 million.

Barnes, who grew up on a family farm in Sunman, Ind., spends her days teaching and mentoring employees. “Most of the teaching I do is about leadership, not necessarily job training,” said Barnes, a self-learner who estimates she reads between 50 and 60 non-fiction books a year.

“I always felt guilty I never became a teacher,” said Barnes, who studied journalism at Indiana University. “Until one day about 15 years later, I looked at my schedule, and everything for that day was teaching in one way or another.”

She has two sons, R.J. and Ryan, from her first marriage. Ryan has cerebral palsy. While some parents with a special-needs child decide to limit their outside activities, Barnes took a different approach, taking her sons to work with her.

She decided to integrate her two main roles, mother and businesswoman. Today, both of her sons work at Defender Direct.

She married Brad Barnes just over a year ago, blending a family of five adult children between them. Her quest to serve others has a religious foundation, and includes volunteering at Shepherd Community Center and Habitat for Humanity.

“I probably lead from faith more than any other tool in my toolbox,” Barnes said. “I don’t spend time telling people what to believe. I spend time showing them what a believer does.”•

_____

Click here to return to the Women of Influence landing page.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I keep wondering why I keep hearing about this problem of corporations leaving America, and I never hear a reasonable proposal to lower corporate tax rates and raise personal rates on income from capital gains and dividends, especially for high earners. It is just too simple of a solution for Congress to embrace?

  2. Are you financially down and you need money to settle your dept,or you need money to start up a business or to invest on a huge business,we also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at low interest rate , loan terms determinant,Loan amount between the sum of $5,000.00 to $100,000,000.00. US Dollars And Euro. Loan for developing businesses a competitive edge/ business expansion. We Offer The Following Kinds Of Loans. Personal Loans (Secure and Unsecured) Business Loans (Secure and Unsecured) Consolidation Loan FIRST INFORMATIONS NEEDED ARE: BORROWER’S DATA’S INFORMATION,FILL AND RETURN FOR QUICK START UP PROCESS. Name:_________ Last Name:_________ Age:_________ Contact Address:_________ Country:_________ Amount Needed as Loan:_________ Loan Duration:_________ Phone Number__________ Monthly Income/Yearly Income:_________ Purpose for Loan:_________ Occupation:_________ How Soon is Loan Needed__________ Email via: albertbrownfirm@outlook.com

  3. is a disaster. SR37 already needs to be built to interstate standards between 465 and SR144. Southport Road is a mess each morning and evening.

  4. Bass Pro Shops would be good for the mall as well as a Giant Eagle Market District or a Jungle Jim's International Market Place grocery store like the one near Cincinnati Ohio.A Disney quest indoor theme park would be good.An Academy outdoor store would be good too.Indoor Circus shows and magic shows would be good as well. A casino with sports bar would be good.A Disney theater inside that shows movies and Broadway shows would work.Nashville Tennessee concert shops with indoor neon lights would be good.How about a theater that shows travel shows and theme parks. A train store would be good.How about a giant toy store with high tech video games.

  5. This development is in addition to Allpoints Midwest 5, Aitrtek, a recent FedEx and more in Plainfield. Greenwood and Brownsburg also have similar projects.

ADVERTISEMENT