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Former Trustees Chairman Kelly Barnhill Jr. Receives Distinguished Service Award

Kelly Barnhill Jr. (left) receives a Distinguished Service Award from PCC Trustees Chairman Charles Long during last week's graduation ceremony.

GREENVILLE—As members of the Class of 2015 prepared to their tassels last week, Pitt Community College administrators took a moment to honor Kelly Barnhill Jr., a local businessman who served for more than nine years on the college’s Board of Trustees.

During graduation May 13, PCC Trustees Chairman Charles Long presented Barnhill with a Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his dedication to the college’s mission and students.

Barnhill, a Greenville resident, began serving as a trustee when he took over for Mike Colombo in January 2005. He was re-appointed by Gov. Mike Easley in 2006 and again by Gov. Bev Perdue in 2010 and remained on the board until the expiration of his second full term on June 30, 2014.

“Serving on the PCC Board of Trustees was an honor and privilege,” Barnhill says. “I will always treasure the opportunity of working with so many talented, service-oriented people.”

PCC President G. Dennis Massey called Barnhill “a great corporate citizen” and “strong supporter of PCC programs.” He said his leadership as board chairman in 2013-14 played an important role in the college developing plans for an expanded student center and successfully pursuing a $19.9 million-bond referendum to construct a new science building and purchase a new home for law enforcement training.

“I was fortunate to have Kelly's presence on the board for many years, but his strongest contributions were during the significant year of 2013-14, when he served as board chair,” Massey said. “The 64 percent of voter support we received for the new science building and law enforcement center was due in large part to his leadership.”

Barnhill says working with the team that spearheaded the bond effort was his most satisfying experience as a trustee.

“The tireless work of many faculty, staff, students and community leaders was inspiring,” he said. “The solid support of the referendum by the citizens was reassuring. Our community understands the key role that Pitt Community College plays in a more vibrant future for our region.”

In addition to his service as a trustee, Barnhill is a former PCC Foundation Board member. He remains connected to the college as a member of the president’s Business-Industry Advisory Committee.

A 1989 graduate of N.C. State University with a degree in civil engineering, Barnhill was a four-year letter winner on the Wolfpack’s varsity swim team. Since 1998, he has served as president of Hendrix-Barnhill Company, Inc., which specializes in the construction and installation of water, sewer and gas distribution systems throughout eastern North Carolina.

“… In a time of rapid growth, like PCC has experienced in recent years, great planning and organization is paramount,” Barnhill said. “With a background in engineering and construction, I hope that my service on the PCC Board of Trustees has played an important role in the orderly development of the campus.”

Barnhill and his wife, JoAnn, a physician recruiter for Vidant Medical Group, have three children: daughter, Riley, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, daughter, Emmie, a senior at J.H. Rose High School, and son, Kelly, who is also a senior at Rose.