Barbara Yvonne Clayton

Barbara Yvonne Clayton

Class: 1960Inducted: 2024

Barbara Yvonne Clayton, known as Yvonne, spent most of her formative years attending Asbury Park’s public schools.

After graduation, she attended Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She thanks this HBCU for their incredible support, lifetime friendships and an invaluable education.

Yvonne served as an officer, including President, of the Metro Chapter of the Central State University Alumni Association.

After graduating with a BS degree in Social Work, she immediately moved to NYCity with her best friend, and began what was expected to be a lifetime spent in the field of Social Work, initially employed with The City of NY as a caseworker, followed by a stint at NYU Medical Center and subsequently as a member of an orthopedic rehabilitation team working with amputees.

The universe had other plans, and she found herself beginning a new career at AT&T Sales and Marketing. Her career with AT&T would span 28 years and include selling to Fortune 500 companies, developing competitive research materials, creating and traveling with trade shows; and many other responsibilities.

At the time of retirement, she was the Eastern Region Manager of Switch Digital Services with an emphasis on videoconferencing. During her tenure, Yvonne was the recipient of many awards including the Inaugural Group of the Presidents Club.

She joined the board of the Chinatown YMCA, served as vice chair for a term, and was named Volunteer of the Year for fundraising activities.

The capital campaign during Yvonne’s time volunteering moved the Y from a rental space in a school into its own facility. While serving on the board, Yvonne joined the Wall Street Dragon Boat racing team, winning 2 Bronze medals at the World Games in 2001.

Life took another turn, and she joined a friend Ellin LaVar at LaVar Hair Designs, a salon catering to celebrities, managing the front desk. The salon was featured in a reality television show called “Hair Trauma”.

In 2012, Yvonne returned to her family home in Asbury Park, with her husband of 31 years, Arthur Thomas Galvin Jr. When Arthur passed away in 2013, Yvonne joined the Homeowners Association, which introduced her to local politics and the opportunity to make changes in her community.

On January 1st, 2015, Yvonne was sworn in as a Councilwoman in Asbury Park, a role that has been the most meaningful of her life. She was instrumental in finding funds to complete the Springwood Avenue Park, a venue that has played a major role in bringing the east and west side communities together. Working with the developer and the State Senator, Yvonne helped get private affordable housing built, and joined with other council members in passing ordinances to protect and promote the community. She created the City’s Quality of Life Committee, which had an initial focus on code enforcement issues and bringing different groups together for citywide cleanups and which has evolved to have a more targeted approach and recently completed a renovation of a group home in partnership with Home Depot.

Her favorite passion is the Asbury Park African American Music Project (AP-AMP), a small community driven 501(3)c devoted to documenting and preserving the history of the music of the Springwood Avenue corridor and the West Side. She serves as the Board Treasurer & helped found the organization. AP-AMP’s interviews, research and mapping are shared through a platform called “Pass It Down” and at the Bruce Springsteen archives at Monmouth University. AP-AMP is currently working to restore the Turf Club, the last standing music venue on Springwood Avenue. For the last 3 summers, AP-AMP has hosted jazz, blues and other genres of music under the sky in the roofless Turf Club. In October 2023, AP-AMP successfully completed the construction of a new roof and hopes to complete full restoration in 2025.

Yvonne loves traveling, she has been to Africa, Europe, South America, Canada, many Caribbean countries and forty two of the United States. Yvonne is grateful for the education she gained through Asbury Park High School and the opportunity to come back and give back to her hometown. Her motto for life is “be open to opportunities and new experiences, you never know where life will take you.”