Human Resources Manager Adrienne Barr is retiring after close to 20 years working in a field that is all about serving others.
Barr, who has worked for the city of Siloam Springs for the last five years and four months, plans to end her career on Nov. 27. Barr has spent most of her adult life working to help employees with every day issues like knowing their benefits and helping to keep their families healthy, she said.
"I have a servant's heart for assisting employees," Barr said.
Barr was born and raised in Tulsa, Okla., and calls neighboring Broken Arrow, Okla., home. Barr finished her early college credits at Tulsa Community College and got her degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, she said.
Barr said she spent 10 years working for Flint Oil and Gas Company and a year at Mountain Truck Lines and T.D. Williamson, respectively. Then five years ago Barr was given the opportunity to serve Siloam Springs.
Barr had just finished a consulting position in Tulsa and was looking for work when her son Jeremy, a captain with the Siloam Springs Fire Department, told her about an opening with the city for a human resources manager, she said.
Some of the highlights from her time with the city include keeping the employee handbook updated; creating the compensation plan; updating all the job descriptions and mainly getting everybody in a uniform policy across the board, Barr said.
When asked about what her proudest moment was, Barr ranks the formalization of the human resources department as number one. She said many people had their hands in the department but did not have the opportunity to spend much time taking care of all the moving parts that human resources has.
Now she is looking forward to retirement. Barr said once the coronavirus pandemic was over, she would like to travel with her husband. A replacement for Barr has not been decided on yet, but Barr has advice for whomever that will be: breathe.
"As in any HR dept, it's always moving, it's always busy, it's never the same thing twice," Barr said. "I know whoever replaces me will enjoy the employees as much as I did. They made it worth the drive everyday."
She is grateful for the opportunity to make an impact and thanked City Administrator Phillip Patterson for letting her work for the city. Barr said she had admired the city from afar and said she felt blessed for having worked for the city.
While Barr may not miss the long drive, she will definitely miss all of the city's employees.
"If you love what you're doing and love the people that you're working with the distance doesn't matter," Barr said.