Michigan Society of Association Executives inducted retired Livingston County Executive Director, Barbara Barden, into the Michigan Association Hall of Fame at its annual Diamond Awards ceremony at the Henry Hotel in Dearborn.
The Michigan Association Hall of Fame was started in 2002 and has inducted 43 executives. According to MSAE, of the 43, only three Convention and Visitors Bureau executives have been inducted. Barden is the only female executive from a Convention & Visitors Bureau to receive the honor.
The award is the organization’s highest honor and is bestowed upon an individual who has excelled in the association management profession.
“For 25 years, Barbara has been among the most visible proponents in our industry,” said Mary Zucchero, current executive director of the Livingston County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “She has been out in front, not only in the way she has blazed the way for Livingston County tourism, but publicly for the rest of visitor bureaus in the profession in Michigan. Under her leadership, the county has grown significantly as a dynamic tourism destination.”
Barden, a tourism veteran, was also actively engaged in the tourism industry over the years by serving on many boards and committees.
“Barb didn’t just belong to her state organizations like Circle Michigan, Michigan Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, Tourism Industry Council of Michigan, and MSAE — she dove in, serving in many leadership positions,” said Pat Convery, president of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce, in a letter of endorsement.
The Association Hall of Fame inductees inspire others to consider careers in association management profession and bring honor and recognition to the industry.
“Her passion, commitment and vision has left its mark on Livingston County. She is a legendary leader who has created a legacy,” said Pam McConeghy, president of the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I am honored to join the ranks of the many distinguished MSAE Hall of Fame inductees,” Barden said. “Recognition by your peers is one of the most gratifying forms of validation one can receive and this achievement could not have been possible without the support of the Livingston County Convention & Visitors Bureau board of directors and staff.”