COVID-19 UPDATE: Tiffin University cancels facial covering policy.  Read more details.  Give to the Student Emergency Fund.

michael barr

Raising the Barr

Volume 37, Issue 2 

Life’s not a competition –but if it were, TU alumnus Michael Barr would be winning. The accomplishments he has amassed over the years are truly extraordinary.

Through his first professional position, Barr was already taking a giant step toward his future – even if he didn’t know it yet. He trusted in his career path, took a leap of faith and became a CEO before the age of 30.

Barr began working as a part-time teller at Commodore Perry Federal Credit Union while attending college. He found a passion in providing financial opportunities to the community and decided to make working at the credit union a career. Barr became a full-time employee and transferred to Tiffin University’s online program to better accommodate his new work schedule as a loan officer. From there, his potential only grew.

“When I was 23 years old, I was offered the opportunity to lead Commodore Perry Federal Credit Union upon the retirement of its existing CEO,” said Barr. “It was an amazing offer that I couldn’t refuse, but it was a significant challenge to overcome.”

Although he had worked in every area of the credit union’s operations, Barr only had five years’ experience. But he didn’t let that stop him from pursuing his goal. “I acknowledged my weaknesses and committed to overcoming any lack of knowledge or experience through additional learning, networking and mentoring.”

Barr took the bull by the horn and ran with it. Twelve years later, the company has grown by 300%, became an award-winning Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and was recognized as one of the strongest small credit unions in the state of Ohio. In 2020, Commodore Perry Federal Credit Union was named Credit Union of the Year by the National Association of Federally Chartered Credit Unions (NAFCU).

Receiving awards and recognitions is a great honor, but Barr finds a sense of pride through his employees and clients. “My greatest satisfaction is seeing other people succeed, whether it is my team who experience professional success or members who achieve financial success.”

As President and CEO, his primary focus is leadership. This includes working with the Board of Directors, setting and implementing strategies, creating and sustaining a vision, representing the organization within the community and ensuring that his teams are empowered to thrive.

“As a leader, you need to find internal motivation and gratitude. My motivation is re-energized when my team shares their optimism and appreciation. It means a lot when a team member thanks me for hiring them and sharing that it has been their best year working with us.”

Barr believes that anyone can overcome challenges and pursue their goals. He advises the key to success is to never stop learning. “The formal education we receive from college is a wonderful foundation, but we must commit ourselves to continual learning, both in our area of expertise and in personal growth.”

The sky’s the limit, and although Barr has already accomplished a significant milestone in his life by becoming a young CEO, he knows there is more to achieve.

Michael Barr graduated from Tiffin University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2007 and a Master of Business Administration in 2014. He remains active with the University as a member of TU’s Board of Counselors. Michael resides in Elmore, Ohio, with his wife Carrie, who currently attends Tiffin University, and his children.