PA Chamber announces change in leadership
PA Chamber VP Gene Barr to take over reins from long-time president Floyd Warner
HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry’s Board of Directors announced that effective Oct. 1, PA Chamber Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Gene Barr will become the new president and CEO of the Commonwealth’s largest broad-based business advocacy association.
Barr was elected by the board after long-time Chamber leader Floyd Warner announced his intentions to step down as president, a position he has held since 1991. Warner was named President emeritus by the Board and will continue to serve on the board until 2016. Warner will also serve in an advisory capacity in support of several projects and initiatives during a transition period.
"On behalf of the entire board and our thousands of member businesses, I want to thank Floyd for his thoughtful and effective leadership over the past several decades," PA Chamber Board Chairman Ed Sheehan, Jr., president and CEO of Johnstown-based Concurrent Technologies Corporation, said. "The strength of the organization today is a result of his vision and commitment. We welcome his continued insights and involvement in his new role."
Sheehan said every confidence is placed in Barr as he prepares to lead an organization founded nearly a century ago by business leaders and local chamber of commerce officials who recognized the need for a unified voice in the halls of state government.
"Gene is well-respected and recognized as the face of the Pennsylvania Chamber’s advocacy efforts within the business community, the executive branch and the legislature," Sheehan said. "His election as president is a natural extension of the tremendous work he has done as lead lobbyist for our members and the business community in general, as well as his guidance overseeing membership and external communications. In these times of challenges and opportunities, we look forward to Gene’s leadership."
A 1977 graduate of St. Joseph’s University, Barr joined the PA Chamber as vice president in 2003. He has more than 35 years of experience in various facets of government and public affairs activity, as well as business operations.
He worked for BP America (the U.S. subsidiary of British Petroleum) for more than 12 years, where, among other assignments, he oversaw government affairs activities for six states out of BP’s Atlanta, GA regional office, as well as duties in refining and retail marketing.
In 1992, Barr joined the Associated Petroleum Industries, the state office of the American Petroleum Institute, as associate director. In 1997, he was named executive director.
In 2000, Barr joined the law firm of McNees Wallace Nurick, the largest Harrisburg-based law firm, to start a government affairs practice.
Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state’s largest broad-based business advocacy organization. Its statewide membership comprises businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of Business™.