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Fostering creativity and community

Barron Stroud (BSBA '88, JD ’91) Barron Stroud (BSBA ’88, JD ’91) meshes his entrepreneurial spirit with his love for creativity and dedication to fostering community.

After graduating from the Undergraduate Business Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School with honors, Stroud attended UNC School of Law on a full scholarship. There he noticed an important correlation between the business and legal fields – and many of the critical thinking skills he learned at UNC Kenan-Flagler directly empowered him to practice law effectively.

“Law is another expression of entrepreneurialism for me, not just some practice area,” Stroud says. “While at UNC Kenan-Flagler, I took diverse classes so I could learn to plot out strategies for different industries and do high-level strategic thinking. Law allowed me to bring all of those business tools together.”

Based in Washington, D.C., Stroud is the partner-in-charge of the Maryland offices of Wong Fleming, an international law firm that represents Fortune 500 companies and other corporations.

Stroud’s legal practice focuses primarily on intellectual property, technology, and entertainment and sports law.  He also counsels startups and entrepreneurs in all aspects of starting and growing their business.

“I’m always trying to marry entrepreneurialism with whatever I’m doing so I’ve enjoyed combining all the things I learned at UNC Kenan-Flagler with law,” he says.

Stroud has found his professional calling and along the way developed a professional community.

He is dedicated to helping new alumni keep their bond with the Carolina community strong. He serves on UNC Kenan-Flagler Alumni Council and partners with the School to stimulate communication between recent graduates and alumni. He values the opportunity “to give back while bringing other individuals into the same alumni community” that encouraged him immediately after he earned his undergraduate business degree.

“I was really pleasantly surprised by the sense of community I felt after I graduated,” Stroud says. “We, as graduates, still feel the same connectedness to the UNC Kenan-Flagler experience and what they taught us. As a member of the Alumni Council, I wanted to make sure that everyone could connect and know what’s going on.”

He also gives back as a founding member of the Light on the Hill Scholarship Foundation Fund, which equips minority students to attend UNC. Partnering with the foundation “was an opportunity to help fund what is now an ongoing scholarship for minorities,” Stroud says. “I’ve always wanted to create diversity for all people in every space” so helping begin the scholarship fund was the perfect opportunity to serve the community.

Stroud is connected with the wider community in Washington, D.C. to help young people and minorities with their educational and business careers.

Stroud serves on the board of the Ulman Cancer Fund to make sure young adults (ages 15 to 39) with cancer have access to the resources they need. The organization uses a variety of methods to give young cancer patients access to resources – including support groups and events, housing for families during treatment, and scholarships – and a strong sense of community. He participates in the nonprofit’s efforts to creatively reach those affected by cancer with “the same sort of entrepreneurial approach” that he has used in the legal world.

Stroud also is a board member of the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council. He works with the “New York-based organization to pair the country’s largest corporations with minority-owned businesses” to increase diversity throughout the business world. “I’ve been excited to be involved with this really powerful organization,” he says, “and ecstatic over the opportunity to empower growing businesses.”

Stroud can be characterized in one word: leader. As an undergraduate student at UNC Kenan-Flagler, he learned that “leadership should create other leaders.” He has made this insight his own.

“I was grounded in the experience I had at UNC Kenan-Flagler,” he says. “There has never been a moment in my career when I have just focused on getting the next promotion. Instead, as a servant-leader, I truly want to empower people to succeed.”