Barbara Mathews 

What is your current professional role? 

I retired in 2019 from Southern California Edison, where I served as Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Chief Governance Officer and Corporate Secretary. Currently, in addition to the Red Cross LA Region Board, I serve on the board of Public Counsel, the largest pro bono law firm in the country.  

What was your first job? 

I first worked in agriculture. My mom hired my siblings and I to pull weeds from her garden for 10 cents.  Then in my teenage years, I advanced to berry picking. My first big job after college was working for the Oregon Legislature as a committee clerk. 

Where did you grow up?  

I grew up in Portland, Oregon. We took the rain for granted, went skiing and played in the great outdoors.  

What is a fun fact about you or secret skill you have? 

Fun fact: I’m a New York Times Spelling Bee addict. (It’s a daily game where you make as many words as you can with a set of 7 letters.)  I’m obsessed with getting the Pangram (a word that uses all 7 letters) and reaching “Genius” level. Once I got the Queen Bee award by finding all possible words! My daughters play too, and I sometimes text them for hints about the Pangram or we get on the phone and play collaborative long-distance Spelling Bee.  

What is your personal connection to the Red Cross? My personal Red Cross connection: The Red Cross and Edison are both first responders when a disaster hits. So it made a lot of sense on both sides when I was asked to join the Board. Together, we launched Prepare SoCal with Edison as the Founding Partner. Serving as Chair of the Board was a privilege and highlight of my career. It was also rewarding when people around the company approached me and told me their Red Cross stories. A son was brought home from Iraq when his father was dying. A family was given shelter when their home was destroyed by flooding. What would the world do without the Red Cross? 


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