Barbara G. Balter, 68, president of consulting firm

December 24, 1996|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Barbara G. Balter, who with her husband founded an engineering consulting firm in the basement of their home and who later was hailed as one of the country's leading businesswomen, died of cancer yesterday at her Pikesville home. She was 68.

From 1982 until she became ill last year, she was chairman and president of the Robert B. Balter Company -- Geotechnical Environmental Engineers in Owings Mills. The firm was named ** for her late husband.

The firm was founded in 1963 as Robert B. Balter Soil and Foundation Consultants and was operated for many years from the basement of their Northwest Baltimore home.

Some of the local projects the firm was involved with include the Baltimore Convention Center, the Federal Reserve Bank building downtown, Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Baltimore area light rail system.

"She lifted that business up far beyond what she probably ever thought it would be or could be," said Sara Davis of the National Association of Women Business Owners. "She was an aggressive and smart entrepreneur."

In 1987, Mrs. Balter won the National Association of Women Business Owners' Margaret Brent Woman of the Year Award and was awarded the Small Business Advocacy Award For Maryland.

She was a semifinalist for the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year Award in 1992 and was nominated for the 1991 Avon Women of Enterprise Award.

The former Barbara Lilienfield, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., came to Maryland in 1941 and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1949, the same year she married Robert B. Balter. He died in 1982.

She was a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Since 1990, she had been involved with many committees and organizations at the University of Baltimore, including the planning committee of the university's Entrepreneurial Institute.

"She was a great help to the university," said H. Mebane Turner, president of UB. "She will definitely be missed here."

Services will be held at 1 p.m. today at Har Sinai Congregation, 6300 Park Heights Ave.

She is survived by three sons, Arthur A. Balter of Columbia, Steven D. Balter of Baltimore and Edward G. Balter of Owings Mills; two daughters, Terri L. Feinblum of Severna Park and Lori ++ A. Balter of Pikesville; her mother, Lee Lilienfield of Dania, Fla.; two brothers, Lawrence Lilienfield of Washington and Gerald S. Lilienfield of Potomac; and six grandchildren.

Pub Date: 12/24/96

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