Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Look

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Look

Article excerpt


First Tee exec has heavyweight image


The Times-Union

It's not uncommon for someone to live in northern St. Johns County and commute to Jacksonville.

It's less common to live in Jacksonville and commute to northern St. Johns County.

But that's what Joe Louis Barrow Jr. has been doing since 2000, when he became executive director of The First Tee and senior vice president of the World Golf Foundation. He makes the daily drive from his Avondale home to his office at the World Golf Village.

Because he spends a lot of time either commuting or traveling the country on behalf of The First Tee, Barrow said he felt he needed to do something "to get more involved in Jacksonville." So he offered his services to the Peyton administration and has been appointed to the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission to complete a term that expires in June 2005.

Before he came to Jacksonville, Barrow moved between government and marketing. He worked for the Department of Energy from 1978 to 1981 and for the Democratic National Committee from 1989-1992.

He spent five years in marketing for Colorado's Wood Bros. Homes and from 1992 to 2000 was president and chief operating officer of the Denver-based IZZO Systems Inc., which developed a dual strap system for golf club bags.

He also spent three years writing Joe Louis: 50 Years an American Hero, a biography of his father, the great heavyweight champion.

Barrow said one of his goals with the JEDC will be to try to pin down businesses looking for JEDC assistance on how many jobs they intend to bring to Jacksonville and on what timetable.

"Let's hold the projects accountable during the entire three-year process, not just at the end point," he said. "Clearly we need to know what economic impact is going to be made sooner than 36 months."

Service on the JEDC, which meets monthly, is voluntary. "This is a civic responsibility," Barrow said. " . . . If government is to work correctly, we all have to invest time and energy.", (904) 359-4413

Write to Joe

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