Barbara Van Meter

Senior Branch Manager, Tacoma

Barb came to TERRA after a successful career in retail and risk management.  She established herself as a top-performing recruiter and has taken on a variety of leadership roles with TERRA.  In her current role, Barb leads a very successful branch and continues to develop her team to reach new goals and build on their tradition of excellence.

Barb is married with two grown children.  When she’s not working, she loves reading, crossword puzzles and camping.  She’s a big fan of new technology, trivia, movie quotes, memes, and the Seattle Sounders.  She also loves singing karaoke even though she admits she “can’t sing a lick.”

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Tell me about your first job

I worked at a neighborhood grocery store/deli for my best friend’s parents.They were very demanding, but they taught me how to be a good employee. Because it was a neighborhood store, there were many repeat customers. This was a great opportunity to learn about building customer relationships and the importance of keeping commitments. I also learned how to build a superb sandwich and can make a mean espresso – which my husband,kids and friends sure appreciate!

What other professions would you like to try?

I’d love to try singing (I’d need lessons) or being a trapeze artist (ditto on the lessons). I’ve done Loss Prevention in the past and that’s a pretty cool profession. I’d love to do more in the HR Field, but, honestly, it’s pretty tough to top the job I have!

If you could possess any super power, what would it be?

I’d love to have the ability to speak any/all languages!

What do you enjoy most about working in the staffing industry?

The thing I love most is having the opportunity to play an integral part in impacting people’s lives. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true!  I also love technology and learning, so being able to meet with our customers who make things, build things, and do cutting edge innovations is super exciting.

Best career advice you’ve ever received?

People don’t quit companies. They quit bowling leagues. This philosophy has morphed for me over the years in a variety of ways, but basically the idea is that people make up a company and that it’s the people who attract/repel talent, provide the impetus for change, and create the fabric of the company culture.