By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
Earlier this year, a group of businesses and organizations got together and started a campaign designed to improve the overall image of the Metro East region, to help neighbors get to know each other, and to increase the awareness of what all the area has to offer to its residents and its visitors. “Get to Know M.E.” was born, and Carol Bartle was asked to serve as its project manager.
Bartle has been making a difference in the Metro East for nearly 30 years. She founded the multimillion-dollar electronic security business known as Barcom, Inc. and served as its president for 25 years. She has since taken that perfected model of business success and turned it into a powerful volunteerism tool. By her doing so, many organizations have benefitted in significantly measurable ways.
Through her volunteer efforts, Bartle has been previously recognized as a Big Brothers Big Sisters Citizen of the Year finalist, a Kimmel Leadership Award for Community Service recipient, a Racial Harmony Women of Achievement Award recipient, a Belleville News Democrat Reader’s Choice Award recipient, and as one of Family Hospice’s 20 People Who Make a Difference.
She has demonstrated her love of the region as a dynamo on behalf of the city many times in the past, taking the lead on projects such as the Belleville Bicentennial Celebration and Art on the Square. She has also shared her talents with many other organizations, including as president of the Southwestern Illinois College Foundation, director of Wine, Dine & Jazz, and as a board member for Family Hospice.
Recognized by the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce as their 2014 Citizen of the Year as well as evidenced by her designation as one of the St. Louis region’s “Women of Achievement” Bartle brings a strong business approach, a warm-hearted style, and a genuine passion to her latest project, as she does to every project. She is eager to share the stories of why the Metro East is the place to “truly live.”
Bartle encourages everyone to visit the campaign’s website at GetToKnowTheMetroEast.com and share their stories about why they love the Metro East region. You can also submit your own ideas for making life in the Metro East even better and learn more about upcoming local events on the site.
“Each of the communities in the Metro East has something special to share. We want to hear about it so we all can feel good about the Metro East and what it has to offer,” Bartle said.
She lives here and she loves it — just like the campaign’s tag line says.
By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE