the Show issue 38 cover photo with Jamie Barton

Jamie Barton has something priceless for you.

Give her as little as two hours, and she will empower women with a greater sense of personal safety, awareness and confidence. Guys? You will benefit from tremendous peace of mind.

As owner and chief instructor of FEM DEFEND, Self-Defense Training for Women and Girls, Jamie helps women and children learn defensive tools, including grab-hold escapes, counter-attacks, and take-downs, which may potentially save their lives one day. “I don’t train men. But I have men who send their wives and daughters to me because they want their loved ones to be safe. The comfort of knowing that your wife, mom, sister, or friend can protect themselves is priceless.”

Having worked in the Warner Bros. family of affiliates for nearly 15 years, Jamie transitioned from corporate entertainment executive to “power entrepreneur” in the summer of 2012. “I made a bold and daring leap, and exited my corporate job to take a beat and spend time with my young son,” she says. “While I was home with him, it hit me, no pun intended, that this could be the first time in my life to officially start my own business and focus solely on teaching self-defense to women.”

The genesis of Jamie’s business started decades ago. “Over 25 years ago, a horrible thing happened to a close girlfriend of mine. She failed to show up to a planned get-together. Once parked on a dimly lit street and walking alone to meet us, she was grabbed, loaded into a van, taken into the desert, and raped. The moment I heard that the victim was a close friend of mine, I said to myself, ‘if this could happen to her, it could happen to me.’ I had no clue what to do if I had to defend myself. So I immediately looked into martial arts and I was hooked. And there was a deep inner voice that said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if down the line, I could teach others, and I would call it FEM DEFEND?’”

Personal safety training enriches and empowers women far beyond the ability to defend themselves when facing a threat. “Women who invest in self-defense training not only become more confident and stronger in a fighting-spirit sense for themselves, but it extends to their spouses and family and friends. It makes you increasingly more aware of your surroundings.”

Jamie Barton photoThe training enhances daily life and work for everyone from stay-at-home mothers to women in the corporate and entertainment industry. “You look people in the eye, you stand up straighter, with shoulders back, you learn that your voice is a powerful weapon. And that streamlines into how you speak up and how to express yourself. You’re able to speak up when the time is right and use our voice in a positive, productive way. You assess situations. You have a heightened sense of being aware of all things – whether it’s in a meeting, presentations, social functions, you do a lot of assessing. There is something about it that gives you an edge, It gives women an edge.”

Jamie teaches everything from one-time, two-hour jam-packed workshops, to ongoing training. “In a world of unfortunate realities, it’s better to know something than nothing at all. I empower and motivate women to take their personal safety seriously. All women, all ages, in all shapes and sizes can learn tactics. Because it’s more about swiftness and movement and target points, with a blend of strength mixed in, than just strength alone.”

When it comes to financial services, Jamie enjoys the strength and safety of First Entertainment. “I’ve been a member since 2006 when I found out about them through a co-worker. I looked into it and was hooked. My whole family has many accounts. We have personal savings and checking, in addition to a youth account, two business accounts and debt consolidation.”

“First Entertainment Credit Union is indeed an alternative way to bank. In its simplest form, it just gives off an overall good vibe. From the branch teller experience to the clever and cutting-edge product marketing. I’ve never had the opportunity to take advantage of the member shred day, but that’s pretty cool too. Overall, it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. And that’s what I appreciate about First Entertainment Credit Union.”

“I also appreciate the honey of First Entertainment’s loan staff. While I was living in Oregon, the Willamette River crested and flooded my home, so I’m paying off a disaster loan from FEMA. The interest rate is amazingly low. But I sat down with a loan counselor to discuss First Entertainment’s pay-off loan opportunities to see if they could beat what I had. After reviewing the numbers, the loan counselor recommended that I definitely stick with my stellar loan. And that is a true result of my credit union looking out for what’s best for me as a member. The little things mean so much, and that was huge in my eyes. There was a lot of integrity in that.”

Thank you, Jamie, for making us stronger with your support. And while we don’t feel threatened by “other banks,” we promise to defend our position as the alternative way to bank!