Great Bend native and President and General Manager of Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc., Joan Barrett, was named one of Wichita’s Top Women in Business for 2014. Barrett was among only 20 women who received the honor Aug. 26, at a special presentation hosted by the Wichita Business Journal.
Barrett has had an extensive career in journalism and management, having gone from reporter, anchor, producer, to news director before being promoted to President/General Manager in 2003. Under her management, Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc. grew from just being the CBS affiliate (KWCH 12) to owning the local CW affiliate (KSCW), managing the area’s only Spanish-speaking station (KDCU) and Spanish-speaking newscast, as well running multiple successful websites geared toward supporting the local community, from its businesses to student athletes.
Barrett is a co-founder of the Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism and has been a trainer and lead facilitator in the organization since its inception in 1998. Among the accomplishments that put her among the top professionals in the community, Barrett is the vice-chair of Goodwill Industries of Kansas, serves on the Wichita State University President’s Council, and is involved in numerous local organizations like the Kansas Food Bank and the Downtown Rotary.
Barrett is the daughter of Dorothy Schmidt and the late Leo Schmidt. Dorothy resides at Riverbed Retirement Community. Her sister, Trish Schartz is also a Great Bend resident.