Jean Bartell Barber, Vice Chairman & Treasurer, Bartell Drugs, “Staying Relevant in a Fast Changing Retail Environment”
Granddaughter of the company’s founder, George H. Bartell, Sr., Jean Barber works alongside her older brother, George D. Bartell (Chairman), and together they represent the third generation of the Bartell family to actively run the 127‑year‑old business. Bartell Drugs is the nation’s oldest drugstore chain. Prior to the hiring of an outside CEO in 2015, Barber’s areas of responsibility included finance, risk management, administration, human resources, real estate, and strategic planning.
Jean Bartell Barber began her career as a teenager, as her brother and father did before her, learning about the family business by taking store inventories and working at the chain’s old Triangle store in Downtown Seattle as a cashier clerk. She also worked as a bookkeeper at the office during her college years.
After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration, Barber worked as a loan officer at Seafirst Bank in correspondent banking. She rejoined Seafirst Bank in their asset/liability management department after graduating with distinction from The Wharton School’s MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania. She went on to become assistant vice president of the balance sheet management department at NCNB (later renamed Nations Bank) and the treasurer of a home building business in North Carolina, before moving back to Seattle to continue her involvement in the family business.
In addition to sitting on the Bartell Drugs’ board, Barber is Co‑Chair of the board of Henbart LLC, the family’s real estate arm. She sits on the board of the YWCA and their executive board, and she is a past member of the Executive Advisory Council of Seattle Pacific University and their Center for Integrity in Business. She is also a member of University Presbyterian Church and is active in C3.
Barber resides in Edmonds with her husband Dave, and they have three grown children.