Meet Michelle Barto, Mom, School Board Member and Business Owner

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Michelle Barto, a dynamic individual who wears many hats with grace and determination. Michelle is a mother of four, a business owner, and a driving force in our community, working tirelessly to make Newport Beach a better place for everyone.

As a current trustee of the Newport Mesa Unified School District, Michelle plays a pivotal role in shaping the educational landscape of our region. Michelle is deeply involved in various organizations, from the Pretend City Children’s Museum to the Balboa Bay Club Board of Governors. Her dedication to serving others is evident in her extensive volunteer work, including the Assistance League of Newport Mesa and the local Soup Kitchen.

Michelle is also the founder of Launch Creative LLC, a digital marketing firm that specializes in empowering mission-driven companies and nonprofits. Through her work, Michelle strives to leave a lasting impact on the world, one brand at a time.

Currently, Michelle is also running for city council, further demonstrating her dedication to serving her community in every capacity possible. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Michelle through mutual connections, and I’ve been consistently impressed by her ability to balance her many responsibilities with grace and integrity.

In Michelle Barto, Newport Beach has a true leader—a woman who embodies the spirit of service and dedication. I’m excited to see the positive impact she continues to make in our city, both now and in the years ahead.

in this episode:

[03:57] Michelle paints a picture of her childhood, growing up in Newport, and her family life being raised half Mexican.

[08:39] Did Michelle feel like she had to step into a quasi-parental role as the eldest sister?

[11:09] What were the motivations behind Michelle’s mom’s decision to start Catholic homeschooling and how did Michelle feel about it at the time? 

[18:57] What led Michelle to choose a school in Ohio and study computer science? 

[24:44] Not fitting into a predefined career path doesn’t mean you can’t find success in the world.

[30:16] How Michelle’s career evolved with the opportunity to work remotely and an unexpected promotion while on maternity leave.

[34:32] How did Michelle Barto meet her husband?

[42:36] Michelle shares how she started taking on civic-minded roles while managing her business. 

[45:57] How did Michelle decide to get involved with the school board.

[54:07] “It takes being brave to go in and figure out how to do it and then figure out how to do it as yourself.” – Michelle Barto

[54:45] The Fast Five Questions.

[01:05:01] What was a quality that Michelle had as a child or teenager that maybe she didn’t appreciate back then, but looking back, she is proud of now?

about Michelle Barto

Michelle Barto is a mother of four, a business owner, and a current NMUSD Trustee. During her tenure on the school board, she was pleased to work to strengthen the relationship between the city of Newport Beach. She has worked alongside Newport Beach Police to increase bike safety and education in NMUSD schools.

Michelle sits on the board of Pretend City Children’s Museum, Coastline ROP, Orange County School Board’s Association, Harbor Council PTA, National Charity League Newport Chapter, and Balboa Bay Club Board of Governors. Additionally, she volunteers along with her children at the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa, Project Hope Alliance, and Someone Cares Soup Kitchen. She has a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.S. in Computer Information Science from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Michelle runs Launch Creative, LLC a digital marketing firm focused on helping mission-driven companies and nonprofits grow their brands and leave the world just a little bit better than they found it. An avid reader, runner, and former college soccer player, Michelle loves surfing, skiing, and hiking with her family.

Michelle’s children, aged 11-16, along with her husband, Brady are her source of inspiration. A lifelong resident of the Newport-Mesa community, she hopes to keep contributing to this special place we call home for years to come. 

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