"My company was extremely fortunate to have Dean Barber assist us as we worked to find a site to build a new world class manufacturing facility in Alabama . With a projected investment that exceeded $4 MM, finding the right location was critical to our success. Dean was instrumental in achieving this. Dean worked tirelessly, with professionalism and left no stone unturned as he worked to find the best location for us. His out of the box thinking and ability to establish strong relationships with a wide range of people and organization was instrumental in finding the PERFECT location for our company to build and flourish. Having worked with development people on a wide variety of projects, I can confidently say that Dean Barber sets himself apart in his ability to assist companies in site selection and closing the deal. The value he brought to our company in this process was immense and I give him my highest recommendation."
Halla Climate Systems Alabama
aving worked with Dean in Alabama, I can honestly say that I’ve never worked with anyone as tireless and energetic when it comes to helping others. Add to that his endless stream of network connections, and he stands out in my mind as someone who adds value to everyone he interacts with."
General Manager of Branch Operations and U.S. Field Sales
St. Louis, Mo.
ean is a knowledgeable and skillful economic development professional. At the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, he has helped to focus local economic developers on improving our inventory of sites and buildings. He has also worked to cultivate relationships with company executives and consultants, understanding that economic development is indeed a "contact" sport. Very much appreciate Dean's direct and focused approach to understanding and responding to the specific needs of our economic development clients."
President, Whitley County EDC
Columbia City, Ind.
ean Barber is an exceptional business development professional with solid networking skills, keen market instincts, impeccable integrity, and a wonderful sense of humor. Regardless of the project, working with Dean is time well spent."
Economic Development Director
Wells County Chamber of Commerce
got to know Dean Barber shortly after I started as the Executive Director of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation. Dean was very obliging in helping me try to pass on the message to my local officials of what site selectors and potential clients are expecting from a community. Dean is the kind of guy that if you ask him a question, he will give an honest answer, and have evidence from his years of experience to back it up – those kinds of guys are getting harder and harder to find. Dean is a true asset to any organization."
Keith A. Gillenwater
LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation
have known Dean for approximately 12 years and worked with him in a professional capacity at the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama for two years. From my vantage point, Dean is a rare breed who understands that economic development is equal parts "science" and "art".
In terms of the "science", Dean regularly tracks target industry data and company news to proactively identify expansion/relocation projects before they become common knowledge, thus improving his organization’s probability of success. My sense is that much of his tenacious research skills and ability to winnow out useful information comes from his time as Business Editor of The Birmingham News.
In terms of the "art", Dean recognizes the important role that relationships play in the economic development process. He is a skillful networker who relishes the people side of the business. Ultimately, Dean is just as comfortable speaking with the CEO of an multi-national corporation as he is presenting opportunities to a local or state elected leader."
Brunswick and Glenn County Development Authority
here is a $40 million, 160-employee plant in Gadsden that would not be here had it not been for Dean. The NARMCO Group, based in Windsor, Ontario, was looking for a southeastern location for an automotive stamping operation.
Dean met company officials at a trade show, visited their headquarters and sold them on the state. Knowing about Gadsden's advantages for such operations, he recommended they look at us even though we were outside their defined search area. He made the introduction, allowing us to present our benefits and close the deal, and he followed-up every step of the way.
From working with him on this and other projects, I can say unequivocally that he is the best door-opener I have ever seen in my 32 years in this crazy business. He has the amazing ability to sniff out projects, qualify suspects, and transform them into prospects. He is incredibly tenacious, is able to make contact and get appointments with senior-level decision-makers, and elicits from them strategic information that enables more competitive sales presentations. I suspect his talents come from a combination of his "never give up" personality and his previous news reporting experience.
Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority
ean Barber greatly assisted in locating AcroHelipro Inc., a Canadian-based company that provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services for helicopters, airframes and avionics, to the Andalusia/Opp Airport in Covington County, Alabama. Without Dean’s efforts, this high-wage, high-skill employer of 56 would be located elsewhere.
This company has continued to expand and we are currently constructing a new hangar for them. When the new facility is completed, they will double their employment to over 100. None of this would have been possible were it not for Dean’s work while he was with the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama."
Robert T. Roberts Jr.
President and CEO
Covington County Economic Development Commission
hen we were considering a possible corporate relocation from Nashville, the three non- negotiable requirements were talented staffing, world-class lab space and adequate investment funding that would allow us to grow our company and expand our existing worldwide base.
Dean Barber was instrumental in presenting to us in a single day a coordinated tour of Birmingham and Jefferson County that not only met our basic criteria but impressed upon us the outstanding scientific/medical achievements and collegial environment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the ongoing collaborations with Southern Research Institute and others. In addition, we were exposed to an embracing business and social network that provides a 360-degree concentric vision that has already bred success for other companies in our industry sector.
Dean was not the sole reason for our move to Birmingham but he was instrumental in our evaluation when comparing to other states and municipalities that had presented the typical EDC model. Dean established a face-to-face environment that allowed us and his partners to quickly see this could be a win-win proposition for both parties."
Vice President Finance and Operations