Verified ID

Barbara Anne Gardenhire-Mills

Business Solutions Strategist & Leadership Coach

Mount Laurel, NJ, USA


business consulting

overcoming challenges

executive and leadership coaching


civility, inclusion, equity, diversity, belonging

resource identification

Expert Bio

Barbara Anne is a “Solutions Navigator” and servant leader who has directly assisted over 2,000 businesses in the past two decades and provided training, coaching, and technical assistance to countless companies, teams, entrepreneurs, and individuals throughout her career. She is the founder and owner of Purpose-Filled Solutions and Evolutions LLC, a business consulting & leadership coaching company that partners with people, leaders, companies, and others to find their "why" (core purpose), identify resources, overcome challenges, change mindsets, and develop and implement plans to achieve their visions of success, with an emphasis on civility, inclusion, equity, and diversity (CIED), her company’s unique alternative to current DEIB approaches. Barbara Anne also serves as Director of Compliance & Engagement for Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation (CBAC) in Camden, NJ, and hosts “What The Why?!? with Barbara Anne,” an on-demand talk show on RVN Television and Roku. Before her current roles, she served as the Management Analyst & Community Liaison for the U.S. White House Promise Zone Initiative in Camden, NJ, stationed at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and as Supervisor of Lender Relations & Economic Development/Women's Business Ownership Representative for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) New Jersey District Office. She has also served in other leadership roles, including Executive Director, Director, and Manager in the corporate, non-profit, and municipal government arenas, and worked as a federal government training contractor. Barbara Anne holds an M.S. in Executive Leadership from Champlain College, a B.A. in Political Science/ Honors with concentrations in Pre-Law and Women's Studies from Rowan University, and an A.A. in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Business Communications from Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ). She has completed multiple professional designations and adult continuing education certificates, including a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) certification with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Certified Professional Coach in Executive Coaching from RCSJ, and certifications in talent optimization and implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Barbara Anne serves in volunteer leadership capacities with The Founder Institute, Braven, ICF’s NJ Charter Chapter, and she is a member of ICF Global, the Association of Talent Development (ATD), CDFI Women’s Network, and other professional and civic organizations. The National Association of Women's Business Owners (NAWBO) – South Jersey Chapter honored her with their 2016 “Women's Advocate of the Year” award. She was recognized for her work on several White House Projects and a special initiative in which she served as an advocate for the Partnership for Public Service-led place-based leader training program while working for the USA Federal Government. In addition to being a singer, Barbara Anne is a Second-Degree Black Belt and member of the Okinawa Goju-Ryu Kenshi-Kai Karate-Jutsu Kobu-Jutsu Association, and she trains in a few other martial arts styles. She resides in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, with Joseph (husband), Colin (son), Ariel Rankin (daughter by choice), Remi Bruno and Dora (rescue furry babies), and other pets.

About my sessions:

  • I am a transformational coach, instead of a transactional coach. Many of the issues that people struggle with are symptoms of a problem or challenge, not the actual issue. I partner with you to help you navigate your way through the challenges, change your mindset, overcome real and perceived barriers, and achieve your vision of success and your best self.

  • My coaching style includes a combination of appreciative and reflective inquiry infused with POSITIVE INTELLIGENCE® (PQ®), with a focus on creating a sense of belonging through civility, inclusion, equity and then diversity in business and life.




Owner & Founder

Purpose-Filled Solutions & Evolutions

Jun 2021 - current

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Director of Compliance & Engagement

Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation (CBAC)

Jul 2018 - current

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Management Analyst-Community Initiatives & Camden Promise Zone Federal Liaison

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

Jan 2016 - Jul 2016

Supervisory Lender Relations & Economic Development Specialist + Additional Roles

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Feb 2010 - Feb 2016

Director of Training & Lending

Women's Opportunities Resource Center

Oct 2008 - Feb 2010

Consultant, Training Development - Underwriting Manager - Underwriting & Marketing Analyst

Travelers of New Jersey

Aug 2002 - Aug 2008

Executive Director

Capitol Area Housing Resource Center (CAHRC)

Mar 1997 - Mar 2000


Master of Science in Executive Leadership (MSEL)

Champlain College

Executive Leadership

Dec 2017

Bachelor of Arts

Rowan University

Political Science-Honors

Associate of Arts

Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) at Cumberland County

General Liberal Arts - Business Communications

Licenses & Certifications

Professional Certified Coach (PCC)

International Coaching Federation (ICF)

Issued Oct 2022

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Inclusive Leadership: The Power of Workplace Diversity

Coursera - University of Colorado at Boulder

Issued Jun 2021

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Certified Professional Coach (CPC) - Executive Leadership

Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) at Gloucester County & Ignite Excellence in Coaching

Issued Apr 2017

Ni Dan, 2nd Degree Black Belt (promoted from Sho Dan, 1st Degree)

North American Branch of Okinawa Goju-Ryu Kenshi-Kai Karate Kobu-Justsu Association, TsuruKi Okinawa Goju Ryu Martial Arts/Fuku Shibo Dojo

Issued Dec 2022

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