Mr. Barker presently serves as a consultant to MarketStreet Enterprises and its family of companies. These firms were founded by Mr. Barker and Mr. Steve Turner in 2000, and have been involved as private equity investors in a variety of projects primarily in the southeastern part of the United States ranging from distribution, publishing, technology and manufacturing to real estate construction and development. MarketStreet Management, LLC, for which Mr. Barker serves as Chairman of the Executive Committee, manages the daily operations of The Gulch Project, which is a “New Urban, In-Fill Mixed Use” real estate development of some 50 acres in Nashville’s urban core. Mr. Barker also privately develops other real estate and consults on the development of a variety of other real estate projects in the Nashville, TN market.
He was born in Sandwich, Illinois in 1944, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College in 1966, and a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1969. From 1969 through 1972 he served on active duty as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, then returning to Nashville to practice commercial real estate law for many years. Mr. Barker remains active in the Nashville community through service to a variety of philanthropic organizations. In addition to having served for seven years on the board of the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, he currently serves on the board of directors of the Nashville Opera, the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, and the Three of Us Foundation. This latter foundation was established by his wife Judy and him as a vehicle through which they channel the bulk of their philanthropy. The recipients of grants from that foundation range from Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center to Dartmouth College, and The Frist Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, The Nashville Opera, the Nashville Symphony and Tennessee State University.
Mr Barker pursues a wide array of personal interests centered around art and the out of doors. Since first traveling to Japan on business many years ago he, and now he and his wife, have amassed a major collection of Japanese wood block prints of the “Bijin ga” style bridging the years from the early 1700’s through the mid 1950’s when that style flourished. He is an avid photographer having had his works published by the National Geographic Society and the Bhutan Foundation. Shaping the landscape of Poplar Creek Farm, the home and residence of Judy and him, into a natural preserve has become a major project for him in his “semi-retirement”. The plan is that this property (some 80 acres of rolling meadows and woodlands with their home and outbuildings) will one day become open to the public as a museum and grounds. Judy’s collections of art and crafts include classic hyper-realism paintings, contemporary sculpture, glass sculpture from first generation artists, contemporary photography, and Native American and First Nation art and artifacts. Presently, the Barker’s have a major piece of art by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith on loan to the Whitney Museum, and other pieces will soon go on loan elsewhere. Together they have developed a broad and academic collection of art which they enjoy sharing with museums and the general public.
He and his wife, Judy Liff Barker, reside in Nashville, Tennessee on their farm, are involved in a variety of philanthropic activities in Nashville and elsewhere, and spend their summers in St. George, Maine. Together, they collect art, enjoy their combined families, and travel frequently.
VANDERBILT LAW SCHOOL
US MARINE CORPS LAW
ATTORNEY AT LAW
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT
NASHVILLE OPERA BOARD