John W. Barfield is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Bartech Group, Inc., located in Livonia, Michigan. Bartech is among the nation’s largest independent human capital staffing and services firms in the United States, employing over 3,500 associates nationwide. The Company operates under five divisions: Bartech Enterprise Staffing, Bartech Workforce Management, Bartech Search Group, Bartech RPO Solutions, and Bartech Managed Services and specializes in engineering, information technology and professional staffing services; business process outsourcing solutions; and vendor management solutions.
The son of an Alabama sharecropper, Mr. Barfield dropped out of high school to enlist in the Army, serving two years in Germany and France. Upon his discharge, he worked as a custodian at the University of Michigan. Together with his wife Betty, he formed the first of many companies, Barfield Cleaning Company, located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. In 1969, he sold this company to International Telephone and Telegraph Company. He formed and sold several additional businesses, including Barfield Building Maintenance Company (sold to Unified Building Maintenance Services, Inc.) and Barfield Manufacturing Company (sold to Masco Tech Industries). In 1977, he incorporated John Barfield & Associates, which later became The Bartech Group.
Mr. Barfield is active in many business and community organizations. He is a member of the board of directors of Spaulding for Children and Parkridge Community Center, and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, University of Michigan. His past leadership involvement includes organizations such as the United Negro College Fund, Salvation Army of Metropolitan Detroit, State of Michigan Community Services Commission and Rotary International. He supports many humanitarian causes from eradicating polio, to saving a youth community center locally, to building wells and providing safe drinking water in developing countries such as Haiti and Africa. His concern for the growing dilemma of the hungry and homeless population led him to form Share Products. Share brand products were sold throughout the Midwest and the profits were used to provide free meals and safe lodging for the homeless.
Mr. Barfield has received numerous honors and awards including the Tree of Life Award, the highest honor of the Jewish National Fund in America; The Laureate Award from Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan Business Hall of Fame; The George Romney Award, recognizing his achievement in volunteerism; Northwood University's Outstanding Business Leadership Award; Olivet College's Leadership in Individual and Social Responsibility Award. He received the Sapphire Award, a high honor for a leading volunteer who has made a demonstrable commitment to Michigan youth, created by the State of Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; the A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award from Black Enterprise Magazine recognizing his achievements within the African American business community; and the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion’s 2007 Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Mr. Barfield holds honorary doctorate degrees from Jackson State University, Grand Valley State University and Cleary College.