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John Barr ‘70

January 22, 2020

Former Eastman Kodak Company employee and retired Chief Marketing Officer at Hillside Family of Agencies John Barr ’70 was the guest speaker for the Ruth A. Miller Senior Seminar on Jan. 22, 2020. Barr spoke to the students about the importance of being able to adapt to change, to own and embrace their mistakes, to stay positive, and to take advantage of the opportunities that may arise in their personal and professional lives. He said he wants students to be prepared at what life throws at them. He also used his own, personal stories to help the students realize that they will be thrown unexpected challenges throughout life and how to be prepared for it.

“Mr. Barr encouraged each of us to follow our passion, strive for a work-life balance, and most of all, to be adaptable and accept change. He illustrated to us through his life story that each of us will go through numerous monumental changes in life, but those who are successful are the ones who learn to accept change, the good and the bad, and adapt to them as they come. It is critical to embrace the life you're living, take calculated risks, and adapt at all times in order to be successful in your profession and personal lives.”—Mariel Hanely ’20

“As many of us are trying to land a career opportunity soon, John gave us insight as to what the interviewer wants to see. All managers want to see that the possible employee has integrity, intelligence and energy. Integrity is the most important of the three. People will hardly remember you for your career accomplishments, but rather for your integrity and lifestyle choices.”—Robert Micsky ’21

“He went through many life lessons that he found important, and I really enjoyed hearing. One of my favorites was, ‘talent is great, tenacity is greater.’ This proves that no matter how much talent you have, if you’re not willing to be tenacious and persistent, then you will not succeed. Another one that I really loved was, ‘learn to differentiate yourself.’ He encouraged us to find out what makes us unique and use it to our advantage in life.”—Brenna Parsley ’20

“John Barr touched on many other points. We should be curious and ask questions, be the first to go to work and last to leave, stay positive and be a chameleon. He meant by being a chameleon, we should change with our environment.”—Arianna Anderson ’20

“John’s story really spoke to me especially when he said about how he first viewed school. How he struggled in school and college, but never gave up on what he thought was his dream. He told us to never be unprepared for life or give up on yourself.”—Michael Howard ’21