Barkley joined the Chamber in 2019 to lead all economic development activities of the Chamber, including aggressive efforts to expand the knowledge-based business sector and continued recruitment of new-to-market retail investment.
Barkley has served as Executive Director of the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance, a public-private economic development organization with a multi-county footprint located in Niles, Michigan, since 2016. He previously served as Director of Economic Development for the City of Elkhart, Indiana. Garrett's successes while in Elkhart included the elimination of over two million square feet of dilapidated brownfield manufacturing space and the recruitment of the largest retail development in Elkhart County in over 20 years. He also served two Indiana governors as a Project Manager, Director of the Office of Business Recruitment and Expansion, and Director of the North Central Region for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation/Indiana Department of Commerce. Garrett managed projects that resulted in the commitment of 6,000 new jobs, the retention of 18,000 positions, and capital investment of over $1.2 billion.
An Alabama native, Garrett earned a bachelor's degree in Corporate Finance and Investment Management from The University of Alabama. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Spring Harbor University in Michigan. Garrett has earned the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation through the International Economic Development Council and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.
Photo by Porfirio J. Solórzano.