President & CEO
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the largest broad-based business association in the state with over 9,700 member businesses. Members include businesses of all sizes and industry sectors, from sole proprietors to Fortune 100 companies, representing 50 percent of the private workforce in the state. As president and CEO, Barr is responsible for the operation of the state’s largest pro-business advocacy group as its for-profit entity, PA Chamber Insurance.
Barr joined the PA Chamber in February 2003. He served for more than eight years as vice president of government and public affairs before being elected president in October 2011.
The professional accomplishment of which he is most proud is “working with an incredible team of people here at the Chamber to keep our organization stable during the most tumultuous time in recent history while assisting Pennsylvania’s business community to endure these difficulties.”
The most important life lesson he’s learned is to treat everyone with respect.” It is the smart thing to do but more importantly it is the right thing to do,” he said.
He has a strong interest in American history, particularly the American Civil War. He’s written a book on that subject, “A Civil War Captain and His Lady: Love, Courtship, and Combat from Fort Donelson through the Vicksburg Campaign”. “I enjoy researching the period, and visiting those sites that are so critical to understanding our nation’s history is an ongoing activity. I’ve also appeared as an extra in four movies about the period including ‘Gettysburg’ and ‘Glory’,” he said.
This profile is part of Central Penn Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. See the full list at cpbj.com or in our digital edition.