A Lifelong Love of Storytelling
PROVO, Utah – Apr 14, 2022 – In the fourth grade, Miranda Barnard pulled out the typewriter she received for Christmas and started her own newspaper; she called it Vanishing Tracks. She distributed copies of the paper, which was about endangered animals, to her friends at school. From there, Barnard’s love of storytelling grew, leading her to a career using communication to benefit others.
Barnard’s career path includes earning an MBA from the BYU Marriott School of Business, but that path began long before entering the Tanner Building at BYU—and even earlier than the fourth grade. “I come from a long line of storytellers,” she explains. “My grandparents and my father are phenomenal at telling interesting stories. Their power to connect through communicating in a meaningful way stood out to me.”
Vanishing Tracks was just the beginning. Barnard continued to pursue storytelling in college, double majoring in journalism and public relations at Southern Utah University. After graduating in 2001, Barnard focused on gaining as much communications experience as possible. She used her early internships and post-college jobs to join Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) as vice president of communications in 2011, later being promoted to vice president of content development.
“I loved the resourcefulness and push for innovation that is necessary to make transformational change at a nonprofit,” Barnard says. “I became hooked on the opportunity to use my career to do good.”
Barnard’s career has provided her with several unique opportunities. While she loves every aspect of her journey, she finds the most fulfillment in the small moments. “I’ve done events at the White House with President Barack Obama and a lot of influential business leaders from across the country,” she adds. “I have too many amazing experiences to count, but none of them are as meaningful to me as talking to the parents of the kids that our hospitals helped.”
While working for CMN, Barnard was inspired to earn an MBA. Her desire started when she was asked to work on a project to redesign the organization’s operating model to raise more funding. The yearlong project pushed Barnard outside of her comfort zone. “The finance-heavy project was unfamiliar to me as a communications major, but I found that I loved what I was working on,” she explains.
As the project piqued her interest in business skills, she was further encouraged to attend BYU Marriott’s MBA program by two mentors and friends. CMN’s then-CEO, the late John Lauck, and Barnard’s manager, then-CMO Craig Sorensen, are both graduates of the BYU Marriott MBA program. “John and Craig gave me a huge boost of confidence,” Barnard says. “I appreciate their encouragement because attending the MBA program was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Barnard continues to focus on others since completing her MBA in 2016. After two more years at CMN, she served as vice president of marketing at Vivint Solar. Barnard lives in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and says she often cannot see the nearby Wasatch Mountains because of pollution issues. She appreciated the opportunity to help the company for two years in its mission to bring renewable energy to people in need and make a positive impact on the environment. She now has her own consulting company, which focuses on projects Barnard is passionate about. These projects include ensuring vaccine accessibility to underrepresented communities in Salt Lake County, including her own Hispanic community, and helping BYU alumna Ally Isom run for the United States Senate. In March 2022, Barnard will return to the renewable energy industry as head of integrated marketing at Sunrun, while still consulting on the side.
Outside of work, Barnard volunteers for Special Olympics Utah and Village Book Builders—a nonprofit that builds libraries and provides mentors for children in developing countries—and helps with refugee resettlement. Her desire to use her abilities for good is an ongoing force throughout her career and was reinforced by her MBA program. “I’m so grateful for my experience at BYU Marriott because service was such a core component of the program,” she says.
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Mike Miller