Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Office Roommates Strive to Help Small Businesses

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Office Roommates Strive to Help Small Businesses

Article excerpt

Jonna Barksdale was operating a home-based bookkeeping service when she met Amy Walling at a Capitol Chamber of Commerce breakfast in November.

"We just kept talking and became friends," Walling said.

Their relationship started at the Capitol Chamber breakfast and quickly resulted in a combined office for two small businesses.

Barksdale and her two partners in RJ Best Bookkeeping and Services - Rocena Randall and Carmell Best - were discussing renting office space for their small business, while Walling was considering opening her own marketing company.

"I told her (Walling) that we could use someone to help share the rent to help reduce expenses," Barksdale said.

Walling agreed with Barksdale's proposal.

In January, just two months after Walling and Barksdale met, RJ Best Bookkeeping and Services and The Marketing Co. moved into combined offices at 201 NE 38th Terr. in Oklahoma City.

"Even though we are two very separate companies, our reason for being in business is the same," said Barksdale, managing partner of the bookkeeping company. "We want to be successful, and we want the same for small businesses."

Walling began her marketing career while she was a student at the University of Oklahoma. She asked the sports department at OU for a paid internship. When she was told no internship was available, she volunteered to work for free.

"I worked as an unpaid student intern for two years but then started to get paid," she said.

Her duties at OU included arranging passes for the media, writing, marketing and public relations.

"I worked a lot with the wrestling program," she said. "I was a wrestling fanatic."

The Stillwater native's enthusiasm for OU's wrestling program was inherited. Her father, Cleo McGlory, was a wrestler at OU and won an NCAA title in 1969.

She graduated from OU in 1997 with a degree in public relations and history. After leaving OU, she worked in the telecommunications, health care construction, credit union and insurance industries before opening The Marketing Co. in January.

"Since I was in the corporate world, I knew people often make marketing harder than it is," Walling said. "I also knew marketing was something people need when they start a business. …

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