Rachel Barron founded Next Level Communications in 2002, choosing the company name after hearing numerous clients say they needed help in taking their organizations to the “next level” of visibility and brand recognition. Prior to that, she was senior vice president of public relations for Fyock & Associates, an agency that specialized in crisis communication. The agency’s clients included FedEx Express, Novant Health, and The Gap.
After beginning her career as a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal, Rachel joined the advancement office of Salem Academy and College and became Salem’s director of public relations, using her knowledge and understanding of the media to boost Salem’s image in the public eye. She also wrote, edited and managed production of fundraising materials, alumnae publications and the College catalog.
Rachel’s years of experience in working with media, advising clients on maximizing their marketing and public relations budgets, and writing clean, concise, imaginative copy – often under deadline pressure — now benefits a wide variety of non-profit and for-profit clients. Along with her associates at Next Level Communications, Rachel writes content ranging from brief descriptions of products to complex annual reports and newsletters. Through her grant-writing skills, Rachel has helped executive directors, board members and fundraising professionals secure approximately $2.5 million in funding for local non-profits, including Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County.
Rachel is a former president and board member of the Stratford Rotary Club of Winston-Salem, and is a founding board member of the Camel City Jazz Orchestra. She was a longtime member of the mayor-appointed Public Assembly Facilities Commission and continues to serve on its committee for the annual fair. She is a past board member of Leadership Winston-Salem and Family Services, Inc.
She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and is the author of young adult biographies about scientist Lise Meitner (a discoverer of nuclear fission), jazz great John Coltrane, and former President Richard Nixon. Her hobbies include running (slowly), art, photography and travel. She and husband Richard M. Barron are the doting parents of two rescue dogs.
Joanne’s work and devotion has been with the local nonprofit sector and educational community for more than 25 years. Since graduating from Wake Forest University, she has worked in development and program management at Salem Academy and College, Wake Forest University, the Center for Community Safety at Winston-Salem State University, and Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. She is a lover of live music and is a founding board member of the Camel City Jazz Orchestra. Her hobbies include playing old-time guitar, upright bass, and clawhammer banjo, as well as traveling with her husband to old-time fiddlers’ conventions throughout the Appalachian region. She plays bass with The Woodchuckers on their 2015 CD Sweet Milk and Peaches.