Ambassador Barbara Barrett receives 2018 Heritage Award

Thursday evening the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry recognized its 2018 Heritage Award Recipient, Ambassador Barbara Barrett. The Heritage Award annually honors a distinguished individual whose accomplishments and commitment to Arizona are recognized nationally and internationally. 
 
“As this year’s Heritage Award recipient, Ambassador Barrett joins an Arizona hall of fame that goes beyond just the state, the country and in her case, the earth,” said Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer. 
 

Throughout her varied career in diplomacy, aviation and business, Barrett has represented the very best of Arizona, nationally and worldwide. A product of Arizona State University, Barrett is one of the university’s biggest supporters, advocating for quality higher education for all those who wish to seek it. 
 
“Education is the ticket. It was in my life the ticket to every opportunity,” Barrett said. “Education is the way that America provides opportunity for people from any walk of life to success.”
 
From humble beginnings, Barrett worked as many as five jobs at a time to pay her way through school and support her family. Barrett credits her education for the many doors that were opened to her. She has led a life of adventure and success, becoming the first civilian woman to land an F/A-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, serving as ambassador to Finland and being a trained astronaut, just to name a few of her conquests. 
 
Throughout her career, Barrett has continued to give back to her local and global community, serving on more than 50 not-for-profit boards, teaching at the university level and engaging in public service. 
 
In a room full of colleagues, lawmakers, students and admirers, Barrett graciously accepted the Heritage Award, commending the recipients who came before her and inspiring those who will come after. 
 
“As we look to the future, we owe our success to educational excellence, an attractive tax structure, working infrastructure and an academic environment that entices top talent,” Barrett said. 
 
Barrett was joined on stage by Hamer, who interviewed her about her astonishing accomplishments, her local and global vision, her investments in education, her advocacy for women in education and leadership and more. 
 
Above all, Barrett used the night to celebrate Arizona’s heritage, and the great leadership that has paved the way for it to become the prosperous state that it is today. 
 
“Each day I’m more grateful for the strong community, the leadership and the wisdom of our predecessors in this great state,” Barrett said. “Established by our business leaders and lawmakers, Arizona is a state of endless opportunity, where dreams are attained.”

Ava Montoya

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