A brand value emerges over a period of time; sometimes it takes years to understand it and communicate it effectively. Barbara Lynch grew up in the Mary Ellen McCormack housing project in South Boston, the sixth of seven kids. Her father died a month before she was born. Lynch was a “ringleader” with her gang of friends (whom she is still friendly with today). “Even when I was seven or eight, people believed in me and would do whatever I said,” says Lynch. “It’s just who I am.”

School was a disaster; in the era of forced bussing in Boston, Lynch ended up at Madison Park High School, which she describes as a racial war zone. She became a troublemaker, with no discipline. “In my math class, I was a bookie,” ...

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