10 Questions for Barbara Bry, Chief operating officer of Blackbird Ventures
Barbara Bry is the chief operating officer of Blackbird Ventures, which invests in early stage technology companies. She is also the producer and co-host of a radio show called “I’m There for You Baby: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which airs weekly on
Barbara is also the founder of San Diego Athena, San Diego’s premier organization for women technology executives and entrepreneurs. She spent 10 years at UCSD where she was the first associate director of CONNECT, which has received international recognition for its efforts in linking technology entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. She also served as the founding editor and CEO of Voice of San Diego.
Barbara’s early career was as a business and political writer for the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times. She has a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and a masters’ degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. She is married to entrepreneur Neil Senturia, and the couple has four children.
Q: What brought you to La Jolla?I met my first husband - San Diego real estate developer Pat Kruer - in 1977 at a builders conference in San Francisco when I was a reporter at The Sacramento Bee. A few months later, I moved to The Los Angeles Times, and we had a commuting relationship. In 1981, when I was eight months pregnant with our first child, I moved to San Diego where I continued working for the Times until 1984. In 1983, we moved from Mission Beach to La Jolla because we wanted a yard for our two-year-old daughter Sarah and black Labrador Sabra.
Q: What makes La Jolla special to you?Walking at the cove early in the morning, being able to do all my errands in a radius of a few blocks and having lots of friends close by.
Q: If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?I’d increase our sense of community.
Q: If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?My mother Adelaide Bry, Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton, Abigail Adams, Marie Curie, Wendy Wasserstein, Margaret Mead and Jane Austen.
Q: What are you currently reading?“Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow.
Q: Who or what inspires you?My greatest inspiration and role model is my mother, Adelaide Bry, who died too young in 1983 when she was only 62 (she lived in La Jolla for the last few years of her life). My mother was a woman ahead of her time. She was an entrepreneur, psychotherapist and author. She broke many glass ceilings. I also admire Hillary Clinton for her effort to become the first woman president of the United States. She clearly demonstrated that a woman can be commander-in-chief, and she paved the way for the next serious woman candidate.
Q: What is your most prized possession?A sapphire and ruby peacock pin that belonged to my mother and grandmother.
Q: What do you do for fun?Long walks at the beach with my husband, any time with my two daughters, and producing and co-hosting “I’m There for You Baby” with my husband.
Q: Please describe your greatest accomplishment.Personal: My two daughters Sarah and Rachel
Professional: Starting Athena, which has become the premier organization for women executives and entrepreneurs in the San Diego technology and life sciences community.
Q: What is your motto or philosophy of life?Grand passion and relentless pursuit will take you further than good grades. Never ever underestimate the power of timing, luck and fortune or overestimate your own influence over those events.