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Baylor Business Women Host Dynamic Duo

Nov. 9, 2007

Nancy T. Richards, founder and chairman of First Preston Management, Inc.; and Lisa Barrentine, president of First Preston Management, Inc.; spoke to a packed house for the Baylor Business Women's final fall event on Nov. 8 held at the Cashion Academic Center. This dynamic duo spoke to attendees about the integration of faith and work.

"We didn't really have to integrate our faith into business," Richards said. "Our faith was always there, and it definitely got us through some hard times. Our faith is what connected Lisa and me."

A Baylor graduate ('76), Richards started the Dallas-based company of First Preston Management, Inc., in 1988. First Preston functions as a real estate advisory, management and marketing company, which specializes in online property sales. The company has handled a portfolio value of over $20 billion and has sold over 250,000 assets for corporate and government clients.

Barrentine joined the company as an accountant in 1991 and was appointed chief operating officer in 2001.

"Lisa and I connected mainly due to two reasons: We both had a deep underlying faith, and we are probably two of the most competitive people," Richards said.

First Preston Management, Inc. was ranked as the fourth largest woman-owned business in Texas by Women's Enterprise Magazine in 2005. Women's Enterprise USA ranked the company 10th on its list of "Top Woman-Owned Businesses" in the United States in 2005. Also in 2005, Richards and Barrentine were selected as the "National Entrepreneurs of the Year" by Ernst and Young.

Both women said the foundation of loyal employees who stood behind the company was crucial to its success.

"We recruited people of great faith," Richards said. "Employees of faith are a huge asset."

Richards and Barrentine have enjoyed the company's success; however, they realize the importance of giving back. First Preston is involved with several nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA.

"Money was never our ultimate goal," Richards said. "If we gained success, we wanted to give back."

"We worked hard, were determined and believed this was what we were supposed to do," Barrentine said. "God placed many people in our path along the way who were instrumental in the company's success."

Both advocates of entrepreneurship, the women encouraged attendees to pursue their ideas.

"Be aware of what's going on," Barrentine said. "Have a positive attitude and expect great things to happen."

For more information about Baylor Business Women, visit the website at http://www.baylor.edu/business/women/.

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