Episode 191: Keeping Perspective in Turbulent Times w/ James Barnett

a man in a suit is holding a book titled blue skies

While many of us know the adage “above the clouds the sky is always blue,” it can be difficult to keep this perspective in challenging circumstances. James Barnett, President at DaySpring, shares how life lessons learned over decades of visiting America’s National Parks keeps him grounded in business and life. In this episode, you will hear an example of how to be still and ask the right questions even as you manage the challenges of working in a fast-paced and competitive environment.

Bio: James Barnett is the President of DaySpring, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, and headquartered in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. He is also the founder of Mary & Martha, the company’s direct selling division, and the author of Blue Skies, an inspirational “travel guide” to a new perspective of faith and hope for the future.

Barnett leads all aspects of DaySpring’s business, overseeing the wholesale and retail operations, including Christian Retail, specialty/mass markets, eCommerce, and Direct to Consumer channels. Under Barnett’s leadership, DaySpring has grown from a small partnership to become the world’s largest Christian expressions resource provider, annually distributing more than 200 million products throughout the United States and 60 foreign countries. DaySpring touches people over three billion times annually with its physical and digital products. Its employee ministry and service programs support multiple local, national, and global organizations.

Barnett joined DaySpring in 1981, holding key positions within the company in sales and marketing before becoming its leader in 1994. Throughout his tenure, Barnett has been passionate about inspiring and equipping people to know and share God’s love. His work at DaySpring allows him to integrate faith and business to fulfill the company’s vision to “…see every person experience and express the life-changing message of God’s love” and to advance its Christian heritage and culture.

A native of Northwest Arkansas, Barnett is committed to the educational, cultural, and economic health of the region. He has been very involved in community and area organizations for more than 40 years, serving on several athletic, charitable, and scholastic boards. Currently, he serves on the boards of John Brown University, Walton School of Business (Dean’s Advisory Board), WorkMatters, and is engaged with the CEO Forum organization. Other affiliations include Arkansas Athletes Outreach, the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce (Chair in 2020), Soderquist Center for Leadership & Ethics, Urban Ministries, Inc., and the Winshape Marriage and Family Foundation. In addition, he supports a number of local and international ministries such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ability Tree, United Way, Compassion International, Leather and Iron Ministries, and The Manna Center. His industry affiliations include the Association for Christian Retail, the Greeting Card Association, and the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. In recognition of his economic efforts in the state, the governor of Arkansas appointed him to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission where he served for six years.

Barnett holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and an MBA from the Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He resides in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, with his wife Marilyn. The couple has three adult children, five grandchildren, and are active members of Fellowship Bible Church in Rogers, Arkansas.

James’ Something Extra: Keeping perspective.

Links and Mentions: 


– Lisa Nichols, Host
– Scott Crosby, Executive Producer
– Daniel Williams, Recording Engineer