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Achievers & Accolades

Chamber Names Recipient Of Lifetime Achievement Award

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Mar 5, 2019
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce has named the recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award, according to a news release.

John "Jack" Barto was given the chamber's Lifetime Achievement Award in Business, officials said. He was recognized at the annual meeting of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 27.

Barto previously served as president and CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center for 12 years.

During his time at NHRMC, officials said the number of employees grew at the hospital by 55 percent and employee turnover dropped from 14 percent to 11 percent. Gross revenue also increased from $1.1 billion to $3.5 billion and net revenue from $449 million to $1.1 billion during Barto's leadership, officials said in the release.

Dick McGraw, former NHRMC board chair, assisted with the presentation of the chamber's award, said officials.

“I do not have the time to list all the positive changes and accomplishments Jack made at the medical center -- or his and Mary’s involvement in numerous community and charitable activities,” said McGraw, who was quoted from the annual event presentation, in the release.

NHRMC's current leader was also present at the meeting. John Gizdic, president and CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, is the chamber board of directors' immediate past chairman. John Elliott, director of government and community relations for Duke Energy, has taken over the chairman role.

Gizdic said during the meeting he is proud that “the entire organization has transitioned in a way that will position the chamber well into the future,” becoming “the lead voice in the community for business.”

Elliott's vision for the chamber in 2019 is to “find our voice by aggressively advocating for our members and pushing for positive change and position the chamber as the trusted advisor for all community stakeholders," he said in the release.
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