Barry Hart

Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives— Inducted in 2019

Barry Hart is a giant leader of monumental consequence in Missouri's cooperative movement. He cares deeply and has devoted his career to better the quality of life for rural Missourians through the cooperative way and economic development. Barry's tremendous zeal for the cooperative business model is second to none.

 

Barry's involvement with cooperatives began with an internship at Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative while still in college. During his internship, he worked with early pioneers in electric cooperatives and gained appreciation for the cooperative philosophy and member ownership. His first job after college provided more education under the tutelage of Frank Stork, one of the top cooperative leaders in the nation. Barry learned firsthand the importance of fighting for the cooperative form of business at the state and national legislative levels.

 

After 10 years with the statewide association, Barry moved his family home to work for the local cooperative in economic development. Statewide electric organizations came calling again. Barry's career culminated in service as the executive vice president and CEO first in Kansas and then with the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

 

Barry contributed to all aspects of the cooperative world, but his efforts to build a grassroots program that stretches across rural Missouri is among his greatest contributions. He recognized that cooperative leaders and members must win the hearts and minds of policy makers through convincing dialogue. Barry's network of strong relationships with elected officials extends throughout the state and to the nation's capital. He envisioned and built a grassroots network with more than 1,000 voices that can be mobilized with a few calls - with the local people delivering the message to elected leaders. The grassroots advocacy is an extraordinary achievement, positioned to serve future generations. Barry proved that a group of people working together towards the same goal are a powerful force for change.

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Proud member of Co-op Nation, unequalled grassroots champion