In our 2023 issue, we’re shining the light on some outstanding leading ladies for all their accomplishments and contributions to society.
Executive Vice President, General Merchandising, Walmart U.S.
Julie Barber grew up in Searcy — a small town in central Arkansas — with her parents and two siblings. She was involved in several activities growing up. Her dad is a huge Razorback fan, and her family would drive up to Fayetteville to attend games at the University of Arkansas. They always had such a fun time, and her many childhood trips is ultimately what led her to want to attend the U of A for school. While a student at the university, she attended the Walton College of Business and had the opportunity to learn a lot about Walmart. She even visited the Walmart campus a few times during her college years. It was only natural that Walmart was her first job out of college, and she’s still there 18 years later! Julie and her husband, Keith, live in Rogers with their three kids.
B.S.B.A. Marketing, University of Arkansas
Did you always know what you wanted to do?
No, a younger version of Julie would never have guessed where I’d end up as an adult. My dream job growing up was to be a stay-at-home mom. I loved having my mom at home when I was a child, and I wanted to be able to do that for my kids.
Have you stayed on a straight path to your career goal?
While my career has always been in retail, within Walmart I’ve taken on several different challenges over the years that weren’t planned, but it’s been fabulous and very rewarding.
Best part of your job:
I love to solve problems and help remove roadblocks that are hindering others’ successes. I also am a big fan of the people I get to work with every day!
Qualities you admire most in women:
Our ability to move a mountain if we are motivated enough! Never underestimate a woman’s ability to take care of all things.
What nonprofits are you involved with and why?
– I lead the Retail Advisory Board at the University of Arkansas.
– I am an advisor to the Board of Directors for NextUp Northwest Arkansas.
– I currently serve on the Friendship Foundation Board of Directors and the Boys & Girls Club of Benton County Board of Directors.
Each of these represent things I’m passionate about, and I want to give back to my community in meaningful ways.
What do you do for fun? Any hobbies?
I love to run! It’s a great way to stay in shape while working off stress. It is also something that I do with my husband, which I love. If I get other free time, I also like to ride my bike, read and listen to podcasts.
I have two: “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” and “things will always work out the way they are supposed to.”
Best advice you’ve ever received:
Take care of yourself before others. It likely sounds selfish, but I’ve learned over the years that I can’t do a good job of taking care of the people and things I care about if I’m not at my best.
Thing you’re most proud of:
My family! My husband and I are raising three amazing kids. I am also proud to lead such an amazing group of people in Merchandising.
Most used app on your phone:
Outlook and then Pandora probably takes second place.
You can view Julie’s page in the Leading Ladies segment of the 2023 3W Magazine here.