Barbara Claussen was born and raised in Kampen, Isle of Sylt, Germany. At the adventurous age of 18 she moved to, what was at that time, West Berlin. She achieved a degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. Barbara was recruited by a real estate company known as Engel & Voelkers, and for 6 years worked with her colleagues in Berlin. She helped to meld the company into what is now the largest privately held real estate company in Europe with offices in 38 countries around the world. She worked there as the first female Commercial Realtor and won an award for the highest earnings in this field in her second year.
It was Engel & Voelkers affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty that brought Barbara to Canada in 1996 on an exchange program with the Nova Scotia affiliate of Sotheby’s International Realty, AA Walters Limited. She came to learn better English, which she did, and fell in love with Nova Scotia and Tony Walters, the founder of the firm with whom she came to work for. Together Tony and Barbara lead for 18 years as co-owners Claussen Walters & Associates and set the standard of excellence within the Province’s real estate industry.
Outside of the office Barbara renovated numerous historic houses. In 2001 won the Historic Restoration Award presented by the Town of Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But Barbara’s real passion in life, one that goes back as far as she can remember, lies within the animal kingdom. Home in Nova Scotia was Whinny Hill Farm where Barbara established the Donkey Sanctuary of Nova Scotia and Hoofbeat, a horse rescue endeavor. Together the two organizations have rescued and found homes for more than 90 horses and donkeys.
In the fall of 2014, Barbara and her husband, Tony, packed up the farm in Nova Scotia and moved, together with 6 donkeys, 5 horses, 5 dogs and 4 cats, to the sunny foothills of North Carolina. Barbara continues to pursue her passions of animal rescue and loving horses and donkeys. She is riding CETA trails in her spare time and renovating, again, their home close to Columbus. Being close to Tony’s family means a lot to her. Her 5 stepchildren and 4 grandkids love to come for a visit, because of the beautiful landscape and the much warmer weather than up north.