Karen Barbour, founder and president of The Barbour Group, LLC and one of The Daily Record's 2013 Influential Marylanders, is a 28-year veteran of the surety bonding industry, where she is well known as a thought leader and expert within the industry. Karen's career is underscored by a fierce commitment to enabling the competitive positioning and growth of client companies - a leader willing to go to Capitol Hill to drive legislation for the benefit of start-ups, small businesses and Fortune 1000 firms alike.
Beginning her career in the surety industry, Karen developed a keen insight into the needs and challenges that construction executives face. Backed by a strong understanding of the construction industry and a dynamic leadership style, launching her own agency was an obvious progression.
Currently, Karen serves as co-chair for the Governor's Commission on Small Business (MD), Vice Chair of the Advisory Board for the Small Business Development Center (MD), and as a board member for the Carroll County (MD) Economic Development Corporation. The Barbour Group, along with Gaines and Company, hosts an annual Party For a Cure to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Maryland. The gala has raised over $200,000 to benefit children and families afflicted by neuromuscular disease.
Karen has received numerous awards and distinctions for her contributions to the success of contractors in the building industry. In addition to being named a 2013 Distinguished Woman by the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, Karen was recognized as the 2012 Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine. Baltimore SmartCEO Magazine awarded Karen a
2010 Future50 Award, and she became the first surety professional to be recognized with The
Daily Record's 2010 Innovator of the Year Award, an award that recognizes passion for change.
Barbour holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola College of Maryland and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore. In 2010, she earned certification as an Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding (ASFB) from the American Institute for Chartered Maryland Property Casualty Underwriters.