Ruth Kahl Barrett, Able to Help, Inc. founder/CEO, loves her work as a German-language qualified transatlantic flight attendant with American Airlines, and was thrilled to teach German as Lead Language Instructor at the ‘Parlez-Vous? Classical and Global Languages Center’. An award-winning cook, Ruth received first place at the Hazel Woods National Wild Foods contest, North Bend State Park’s Nature Wonder Weekend, in Cairo, West Virginia. She enjoyed teaching Naturalists Weekends at Wildacres (nestled in the North Carolina mountains) through Discovery Place and conducting wild edibles workshops at the Nature Museum and various state parks. Ruth loves everything about dandelions.
Ruth received her Master of Arts in Teaching German from The University of South Carolina, Columbia, which also honored her with the AMOCO Outstanding Teaching Award, best teacher in the state. She was graduated magna cum laude with Honors in German and a Bachelor of Arts from Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, N. C. and holds an Associate in Arts Certificate from The University of Maryland, Munich Campus, Germany, where she received the German award for excellence in the German language and the Bouvier House Scholarship for meritorious achievement. She does private tutoring and has enjoyed teaching students college level German and English in North and South Carolina, and also younger ages through high school.
She won the first place in the Needlework Times Home Study Course with her reversible blackwork stitching. She taught at the Carolinas Regional Seminar on Hilton Head Island, and “Twice as Nice” Mini-Workshops at the SEYG Needlework and Accessories Trade Shows, the Charlotte Civic Center, and the Atlanta Merchandise Mart. Ruth has taught Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Inc. workshops, also classes around the Carolinas and in Tennessee. She designed and printed two booklets. Her college and university counted cross stitch patterns grace campuses across the southeast. Ruth enjoyed appearing on three television shows featuring her embroidery, including Top O’ The Day in Charlotte & The Nancy Welch Show in Spartanburg. She received the Betty Crocker Homemaker of America award in Ayer, Massachusetts. Ruth plays piano, enjoys performing on flute coast to coast and abroad, and has made several recordings.
Joseph A. Barrett, Jr., is Collaboration Engineer at Avanade. He also has two decades experience as CIO / VP Technology with Able to Help, Inc., and served over a decade as president of Mensa (the High IQ Society). Joe is a talented webmaster for various small businesses, and also for organizations like the Charlotte/Blue Ridge Mensa chapter, Western North Carolina Via de Cristo, Alemannia Society of Charlotte, & the German Church of St. Mark’s in Charlotte, N.C., as well as our personal website. He enjoys work as a computer consultant/design engineer in and around Charlotte. He is sought after for all things computer, his expertise. A natural-born leader, Joe excels in solving most any crisis, no matter how difficult. His skills have resolved computer crises in Africa, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Korea, Mexico, and across the United States of America.
An award-winning photographer, his avocation is also prized. An original music composition of his is in the Library of Congress. His Via de Cristo volunteer work is now branching out to Kairos, a Christian, lay-led, ecumenical, international prison ministry.
Joe was graduated from The University of Maryland, at College Park, with his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. One of the smartest human beings in the world, he joined Mensa (the 98th percentile in IQ, or top two percent) and also the “Triple Nine Club”, signifying by standardized intelligence quotient tests that he is as smart as—or smarter than—99.9% of the people on earth.
Ruth and Joe serve on the Steering Committee of the local German language church, and are active in church. Ruth sings in two choirs and plays the flute; Joe plays the guitar and runs the sound system, as well as working on the website and serving on committees. We are also interested in maintaining our good health and in caring for the environment. And, we like to help people!