Barbara Spector Yeninas
Founder & CEO
On a day other women were burning their bras in Atlantic City in 1969, award-winning journalist Barbara Spector Yeninas was covering a wildcat dock strike in Port Newark for the Newark News as its maritime editor. “That actuality became my pattern of activism for the rest of my life,” she says. The News folded in 1972 “proving to be the best thing to ever happen to my career. I could give free reign to an entrepreneurial spirit that had been forming within me.”
She took the good will developed in what was then a newly forming industry, containerization in international trade. “I did not know that nearly 43 years ago I would be launching a real, live company.”She moved easily in maritime circles to address specific needs recognized when working the waterfront. “There was a need to convey the reality of 21st century transportation. These were people caught up in the cataclysmic changes of a meat and potatoes industry. Many of them were not tuned in to the refinements of corporate communications. They would have to hire us.”
And they did. BSY Associates Inc. became the pre-eminent marketing communications agency covering international trade and transportation.
Long-term relationships are particularly meaningful. “At least half of our clients have been with us for more than 20 years,” she notes. “We are pleased that we have been able to give them what they need and they keep coming back.” Since 1985, she has been Executive Director of the Containerization and Intermodal Institute (CII) and since 1980, coordinator of the USS Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award, the highest honor in American shipping.
Known for her quick self-deprecating wit, unrelenting memory and commitment to mentoring women especially wanting career guidance, Barbara Yeninas retains the respect of her colleagues both in the public relations and marketing arena, as well as in international markets. In 2000, she was named New Jersey Businesswoman of the Year by the Girl Scouts and in 2007, one of the top 50 Businesswomen in New Jersey by NJ Biz Magazine. In December 2008, CII surprised Barbara with its Lifetime Achievement Award for her many years of work in the industry.
She and husband Joe, a Newark News graphics designer and cartoonist she met on the newspaper’s picket line, have two grown daughters — one a magazine editor and the other an art historian. Two awesome sons-in-law and a grandson (the cutest, what else?) round out the family. Barbara holds a BS and MA in journalism and mass communications from NYU. She quotes Winston Churchill — “Never, never, never give up”– and Nora Ephron — “Slap on some lipstick, you’ll be fine” –for ongoing spiritual guidance.