Barry K. Dewberry

Executive Chairman

As executive chairman, Barry K. Dewberry manages and provides leadership to the board of directors. He is also actively involved in client management, business development, acquisitions, strategic planning, and organizational development as well as maintaining the Dewberry culture. Barry travels weekly to one of the company's more than 50 locations, so he can stay in touch with Dewberry's clients and employees, and know what's happening in the markets Dewberry serves.

A Thorough Indoctrination into Dewberry's Business and Culture

Barry joined Dewberry in September of 1975. At this time, the company consisted of 200 people located in Fairfax, Virginia, and a project office in Maryland. As Barry made the commitment to spend his career at Dewberry, the company designed a training program that would take him through every department and discipline. He was to become knowledgeable about all areas of practice: to work as a technician, designer, project manager, and client manager. It was an open-ended program, but on paper, it was to last 15 years. In 1986 Barry became a junior partner, and his training program turned in the direction of business development. During this period he also worked inside all administrative groups, and in 1990 became the director of administration, which included marketing, finance, human resources, business development, and information technology.

Honing Leadership Skills and Setting the Standard for a Strong Future

In 1990 the recession in real estate had firmly taken hold in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. "Our business had been built around and relied heavily on the housing and commercial development market," notes Barry. "We had to switch in 1990 from growing our business to saving it." In 1992 he was promoted to chief operating officer and put in charge of the company's day-to-day operations. "Dewberry has managed to make a profit every year since the firm began in 1956, but the years 1990 to 1994 were very tough." In 1995, Barry became chief executive officer. Dewberry was now back in the business of growing the firm, and Barry focused on organic growth, sales, strategic planning, organizational development, and acquisitions. "Having worked our way through that recession in the early 1990s, I was determined to see to it that next time we would not find ourselves quite so vulnerable."

In 2001 Barry joined the just-formed board of directors. During the period 2000-2010, Barry implemented his decision to install non-family members in all management positions. In 2012 he became the executive chairman of the board. "I still work every day on the same kinds of activities that have occupied me for the last 25 years at Dewberry, but now I spend more time on culture maintenance and long-term strategy while staying tuned into the day-to-day rather than running it," says Barry. "We have had tremendous success finding non-family members for our top management positions. This change, along with developing a strong and independent board of directors, has allowed us to ensure continuity of operations, direction, and the Dewberry culture for the long term. With this support, we will remain a family-owned, family-involved company for generations to come."

Education and Membership

Barry received his bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee and his master's from American University. He has served as director on many boards over the years, including the First Union Bank Regional Board, Fairfax Symphony Board of Directors, Fairfax County Schools Superintendent's Council, Northern Virginia Community College President's Board, Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Advisory Board to the Superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools, and The 2030 Group.