Barbara Grimsgard

Communications Manager
Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI)


Barbara manages all awareness and marketing efforts related to CWI's projects and services. She helped launch the organization’s Communications Department, bringing on additional staff to provide greater communications support on all levels. Barbara coordinated with Urban League of Northwest Indiana to bring a customized Diversity and Inclusion training to CWI staff and the region’s One-Stop (WorkOne) team. Before joining CWI, she served as Director of Education & Meetings for the Association Forum of Chicagoland, where she managed the association’s educational initiatives. Barbara also spent her early career in the convention and tradeshow department for Smith Bucklin & Associates, one of the nation’s largest association and nonprofit multi-management firms. Barbara holds a B.A. in Communications from Purdue University and sits on the Editorial Board of Northwest Indiana Business Magazine.

Q & A

What was your first job?

My first job in high school was working as a server in a local diner. It’s where I learned all about customer service and dealing with difficult people without using a blow torch. A huge plus--I learned how to make a mean chili cheeseburger, extra pickles, please.

What activity do you most look forward to post-pandemic?

We are a very social family, and I cannot wait to have friends and family over for barbeques and gatherings. I miss hugs, stories, and laughter!

What would you tell your teenage self?

Follow your gut. We underestimate that feeling when it surfaces. We need to trust it.

2021 Workforce Innovators