Barnett

This year marks your 30th anniversary with the Chamber. Talk about your early career here.
I was the director of financial control and the only full-time person in accounting. I reported to a part-time controller. The Chamber had about 18 staff members (compared to nearly 50 today). Currently, I oversee financial operations for the Chamber’s seven entities: the Indiana Chamber, Indiana Chamber Foundation, state and federal political action committees (PAC), two for-profits and the Wellness Council of Indiana. The most important thing every year is to get a clean audit.

I spend a lot of time on compensation, which includes payroll, compliance and 401(k) administration.

What is your favorite part of supervising the financial team?
Our department is driven by calendar deadlines. I like to help figure out priorities – what’s important for today to meet our deadlines. I also enjoy the interaction.

Describe your role as a member of senior staff.
We focus on the Chamber’s strategic plan. We worked closely with our executive committee on our first three-year plan and recently created our current three-year plan.

Each summer, we develop the upcoming year’s budget. Other priorities include updating our employee handbook and reviewing results from staff participation in the annual Best Places to Work in Indiana program. We value employee feedback and want to make the Chamber an even better place to work.

What was your first job?
When I was in high school, I worked at a Dairy Queen in Farmersburg.

Talk about your passion for traveling.
I’ve been to Hawaii eight times and have been to all of the islands – Maui is my favorite. I also enjoy visiting San Francisco (I stay across the bay in Sausalito) and New Orleans. Within the state, I like to go to the Indiana Dunes, the Indianapolis Zoo and the Indiana State Fair every year.

Do you have Indianapolis 500 traditions over Memorial Day weekend?
I meet my brother and other family members at the track to watch the drivers practice. The day of the race, I go to a place in Broad Ripple to watch it.

Favorite possessions: my family and my cat, Silver
Favorite TV show: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Favorite food: lobster and Alaska king crab
Favorite movies: Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns
Favorite musicians: George Thorogood. And back in the day, I was in John Cougar’s fan club.

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