The podcast Guiding Growth: Conversations with Community Leaders from the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and event and meeting venue Modern Moments explores the human journey of leaders. There are stories of humility, triumph, roadblocks, and lessons learned. The podcast is now sponsored by the Gilbert Independent and yourvalley.net. This partial transcript of the most recent podcast with Letcia Barwick has been edited for brevity.
Leticia Barwick, with a 35-year career in the industry, is the owner of Meritum, a credit card-processing company.
A local and family-owned business, Meritum stands as a testament to her commitment to her community.
Beyond her professional success, Bartwick’s heart belongs to travel, her creative passion for scrapbooking, cherishing precious moments with loved ones, and her love for the Dodgers. She also has a passion for cigars, which she enjoys in her leisure time.
She's a member of the Gilbert Leadership Class 23, a program of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce. Leticia's six-year tenure on the Gilbert Leadership Board underscores her commitment to fostering growth and unity within her community.
Would you rather find your dream job or win the lottery? Win the lottery.
Would you rather host a party for all of your friends or enjoy a dinner for two? A party with all my friends.
What's on your nightstand? A charger.
Last TV show you binge watched? Oh, this is embarrassing. I binge watched all 10 seasons of Beverly Hills 90210. By season six I was done. But I had to because I wanted to see how it ended.
Fill in the blank: Success is …: Honestly the first thing that came to mind was I thought beautiful.
What song makes you smile? Anything by Tom Petty.
Are you more cautious or bold? Combination of both. Depends on what it is, right in the middle.
What is your favorite rainy day activity? Staying home, watching a movie.
What is one thing you are grateful for? My life.
Let's talk about the beginnings of your childhood and talk about your family. What was that like where you grew up? I grew up in a small city, Pico Rivera, which is about 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. And actually life was great there. You know, growing up your friends, you go out and play, very much like all those little things you read on Facebook where they're talking about how you grew up when the lights came on, you had to go home that's. That's the way I grew up and it was really nice.
It was first-generation Hispanics that live there mostly. And every time I go back there I smile. I had a great life growing up. Unfortunately, you know, parents get divorced. I was 11. But I'm grateful we got to stay in the house, and we still live there and lived there till I was 30.
Did you go to school in LA? I get asked this question about where did you go to college? I didn't go to college. Life has taught me everything I know. I did graduate from school, obviously from high school there in Rancho High School. And then I moved to Mexico City. … I said I'd go for a year and I went for a year and came back. So it was great.
When you think back before you did the Mexico thing, people that inspired you that, that kind of guided you mentored you, who comes to mind? I always think about growing up, my father and my uncle were both entrepreneurs. There was a restaurant. My uncle owned a dairy. They owned apartment buildings, and they just were always doing little adventures. And I found that very inspiring.
It taught me to want to work for myself. And then I had a lot of cousins that started their own businesses and I was kind of watching and seeing how that was going. I thought, you know, I was born to do this. That inspired me. Family inspired me.
After you got back, what did you do? I went into the travel industry for a couple of years and then I met a boy that could sell anything, and he got into the credit card industry and then I started working with him, started a company with him.
And then eventually when I turned, I think it was like 31 or 32, I decided that I wanted to venture on my own. I put in a lot of time, worked a lot of hours, did a lot of stuff, and I learned what I wanted to do and not do. And so I ventured on my own, and David — he's my business partner and ex-husband — he pushed me and really said, ‘come on, you need to do this on your own, get started.’ So I did everything to start the business.