Rocky Mount, NC: Chamber Announce 2018 Distinguished Citizen Award Winner

Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce logo.
Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce logo.

The Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Distinguished Citizen Award winner is John Barker. The recipient will receive his recognition of the award at the 2019 Annual Meeting.

Each year The Chamber recognizes a citizen who has demonstrated noteworthy commitment and contribution to the greater Rocky Mount community.  He or she has shown consistent dedication to the enhancement of the area’s quality of life, promoted and advanced the welfare of all residents, and advanced the well-being of the community while exhibiting unselfish skills and influence of leadership. This prestigious and honored award is bestowed upon one who best exemplifies the name of the award.

John Barker was born and raised in Rocky Mount, attended Rocky Mount public schools and graduated from Rocky Mount Senior High in 1969.  He then attended Louisburg College in the years 1970 to 1971 and graduated from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1974 with BA in Business Administration.

After graduation, John took a position with The North Carolina Auditors Office in Raleigh working in the financial audit department. After years in the position, John went on to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant and become the Treasurer of United Federal Savings Bank. He soon took his talents to United Federal Savings Bank serving as the Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer and became the President and Chief Executive Officer in 1992.

In early 2005 Barker and a group of local business leaders decided that a new commercial bank was needed to serve the needs of the twin county area. Barker developed the business plan and completed the regulator regulation requirements to obtain a charter from the North Carolina Banking Commissioner’s Office to start Providence Bank. Providence Bank was opened on March 14, 2006. Since opening, Providence Bank has been rated a 5-star financial institution by Baurer Financial and as one of the two highest statistical operating financial institutions in the state over the past 8 years. In 2016 Providence Bank was the recipient of the Small Business of the Year Award by the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce.

John retired from Providence Bank in July of 2016 but is still very active in the community. During his tenure and after he has served on several board including but not limited to, Nash UNC Hospital, United Community Ministries, the North Carolina Bankers Association’s Community Development Committee, Benvenue Country Club, Nash Community College Foundation, Northgreen Country Club, Harrison YMCA, Triangle Bank, The Rocky Mount Credit Bureau, Centura Bank and was a Managing Member of the Third Millennium Group.

Barker and his wife, Melissa, have three children, Emily Haley (Will), Taylor Barker (Lauren) and Amy Barker and three grandchildren, (Barnes, Gus, and Eleanor Haley).

President and CEO David Farris states, “When I informed John of both his nomination and being selected from a group of qualified nominees as the winner of the 2018 Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen of the Year, John humbly expressed his surprise and deep appreciation for being honored in such a way.”

The 115th annual meeting on Thursday, February 7, 2019, begins promptly at 6pm, with a reception preceding it at 5:15pm. Tickets for the event are $60 per ticket for members $70 for prospective members. Tickets may be ordered through this Chamber event page, or by calling The Chamber at 252.973.1211.

The Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization with over 600 business members in the region, serving as the leading business advocate for sustaining and promoting economic prosperity in the region, and exists to foster economic growth and to advance the commercial, industrial, and civic well-being of the region through a strong, expanding business base. The Chamber website is


Source: Desiree Dolberry, Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce

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