Dr. Barbara Ann Woods is a business and management expert with more than five decades of entrepreneurial and human resources experience. Since 1999, she has been a project manager for SVR Inc., LLC, where she handles general operations and employee oversight for a team that monitors and supervises the dissertation process for students at various colleges and universities. Dr. Woods has been the founder and leader of numerous businesses since the early 1970s, and describes building a successful company as one of her major callings in life.
Born into a family of nine children, Dr. Woods was an exceptional student with big dreams who found limited family support for her ambitions. After graduating high school as a straight-A student, she began working at her local probation office transcribing interviews. She continued her education at Ashford University, where she was named to the honor society, and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts.
Dr. Woods’ attention to detail and record-keeping experience allowed her to launch her first business endeavor, a typing company, shortly after. She would later expand into data specialist and research companies, starting her largest project, FirstData, to specialize in contracting with companies to retrieve and file information. At its largest, FirstData employed a staff of more than 120 before market changes affected its operations. Dr. Woods remained in the data and research sector until 2007, working with LexisNexis for over 15 years.
Dr. Woods attributes the decline of the data market to changes in technology and the way business marketing is conducted. She considers the changes in corporate and social practices over time to be one of the most interesting evolutions she has witnessed in her time as a business owner, and cautions potential entrepreneurs to plan for the future and learn to adapt as standards change. In her current role with SVR, Dr. Woods most enjoys the opportunity to help others develop and reach their dreams, explaining that “I see people as individuals with individual potential,” and that often, the only thing standing between someone and their dreams is encouragement.
In addition to her entrepreneurial talent, Dr. Woods is a dedicated community advocate currently working on a development and infrastructure repair plan for her neighborhood. She plans to seek federal funding for her outline once it reaches completion, and hopes to make the area a model of recovery for other neighborhoods suffering from age or urban decay. When she is not working, Dr. Woods enjoys travel, and considers it key to broadening her perspectives. She credits her success to her tenacity, self-motivation, and dedication to her goals, and is proud to have overcome misogyny and a lack of support and resources to find long-term business and personal growth.