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Top Washington County business honor goes to man who 'shows up every time'

Ellsworth Electric's Barr named Business Person of the Year

Ellsworth Electric's Barr named Business Person of the Year

February 28, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN - John F. Barr, president and owner of Ellsworth Electric, was named Washington County Business Person of the Year Wednesday night at the ninth annual Washington County Business Awards.

The honor is given each year to a Washington County business person who has demonstrated excellence in business, enhanced the image of the business community or provided superior service to business and the community as a whole, organizers said.

Attendees agreed Barr, who also serves as president of the Washington County Board of Commissioners and sits on the boards of more than a dozen organizations, was a natural pick for the honor.

"He's one of those people that, when you ask him to do something, he shows up every time," said Leah Gayman, resource development and campaign director of United Way of Washington County, who worked closely with Barr on the organization's 2007 fundraising campaign.

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Barr served as co-chair of the 2007 United Way fundraising campaign. When it looked like the organization wasn't going to make its record-high fundraising goal, it was Barr who orchestrated a fund-matching effort that pushed the donations over the top, Gayman said.

Callas Contractors President Timothy Campbell, who often partners with Barr's company on construction projects, said he admired the way Barr was able to balance running his company with his many other roles in the community.

"He's outstanding at that," Campbell said.

Barr, who was raised in Boonsboro, graduated from Boonsboro High School in 1971, attended the Washington County Career Study Center and completed a four-year apprenticeship program through Associated Builders and Contractors. He purchased his father's company in 1984 and renamed it Ellsworth Electric.

"I'm just so elated to be presented with the Business Person of the Year award tonight," Barr said. "I just enjoy working and serving this community."

The other finalists for the award were Merle Elliott, a retired partner of Smith Elliott Kearns and Co. LLC, and Ed Lough, a financial representative and partner with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

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