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Date ArticleType
12/5/2019 Citizen of the Year
Cobb Chamber Announces Marietta Citizen of the Year

The Cobb Chamber’s Marietta Area Council has selected community advocate Jeri Barr as its 2019 Citizen of the Year. Citizen of the Year Awards are given to honor an individual whose impact through the years will be recognized and regarded with pride as a role model throughout the area. These outstanding citizens were chosen for their definable, exceptional deeds, with which he or she has made their community a better place to live. Awards were given to deserving individuals based on local area nominations. The award was presented at the Marietta Area Council breakfast at the Mansour Conference Center.

Jeri Barr
Jeri Barr, former CEO of The Center for Family Resources, has been named the 2019 Marietta Citizen of the Year for her tireless advocacy within the Cobb community.

With over four decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, Barr has an almost uncanny ability to recognize the root of a problem and identify the right people and strategies that will bring about lasting change. She has been an invaluable mentor to dozens of people, both professionally and personally, and has dedicated her life to helping people achieve their highest potential, regardless of their income, race, or skill level. Barr serves as a mentor to rising leaders in the nonprofit sector, an inspiration to board members and business leaders, and is a catalyst for change to individuals who are unemployed or under-employed in her community.

Barr has been the CEO of the Center for Family Resources since 1984. Under her guidance, the organization has grown from a small financial assistance agency to a multi-function human service organization, serving the needs of whole families in order to help them attain self-sufficiency and responsibility for their family.

In 1984, the organization employed 11 staff members, had a budget of $250,000, and rented 3,000 square feet from Kennestone Hospital. Today, the Center for Family Resources, a United Way funded organization, employs 25 staff members and has a budget of near $3,500,000. The organization also owns a 60,000 square foot building that functions as a one-stop center offering both office space to nonprofit tenants and meeting and conference space for the general public. The organization has also owned several townhouse units and apartment complexes designed to serve the families in need of short-term housing. In early 2019, Barr retired as the CEO of Center for Family Resources.

Barr has been active in many civic and volunteer activities, including East Cobb Newcomer Club, Cobb Christmas, Cobb County Rape Crisis Center, and the Cobb County Community Council. She has also taken active leadership roles with the Special Olympics for Cobb, Junior League of Cobb-Marietta, the Council of Volunteer Administrators, the United Way Advisory Committee, and more.

She has also played a leadership role in founding several other organizations, including the Cobb Human Services Coalition, The Extension, the Cobb Community Collaborative, Cobb Works, Cobb Cares, Cobb Microenterprise Center, and Homeward, Inc. It is still a personal passion for her to connect with the community and to have an avenue for people to receive services.

For more information about Area Councils, please contact Katie Guice at [email protected] or 770-859-2334. Thank you to Series Presenting Sponsor Cobb Travel and Tourism and Program Sponsor Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP.