Celebrating 64 Years of Independence

By: Pete Barr, Jr CEO / President

“I really feel the independent agency model gives us more flexibility and less distractions,” Domino’s chief marketing officer Art D’Elia told AdAge.


Independence can represent so many things, yet at the same time really mean only one thing: freedom. The freedom to choose our own journey and forge our own path. For &Barr, independence means that we have the privilege to care for our clients based on how we think they should be treated. There aren’t big, corporate opinions and stakeholders affecting the way we do business. Our unwavering moral compass and dedication to the craft remains as pure as it does the day we started.


This agency was founded in July 1957 and soon after incorporated under the name Fry/Hammond/Barr. The three founders – Chuck Fry, Bob Hammond, and Pete Barr – were partners committed to starting and maintaining an independent agency. I am proud of what they started, built on a strong foundation, and kept independent. All three of these men were leaders in their own ways with their own unique styles. I had the great honor and experience of knowing each of them, as well as working for and with Chuck and Pete.


They built this agency literally from the ground up. They were men of many talents. All three were both “suits” and “creatives.” They were savvy problem solvers with tenacity and drive. They worked day and night sometimes seven days a week to create a business and a living. I know firsthand if something needed to be done, fixed, or delivered, they would do it themselves with pleasure. These were men with principles who believed in honesty, looking you in the eye, and a handshake. And that hasn’t changed. I know this to be true, because I learned from them and continue to uphold these standards alongside our dedicated &Barr team members today.


In 2015, we took the intentional step of re-branding to &Barr to better reflect our evolution and emphasize our reputation for close partnerships with our clients, our teammates, and our community. And today, we remain as independent as ever. Decisions are made right here at 600 East Washington Street that allow us to be even more nimble and agile to best serve our clients and team members.


It’s fitting to write this as we celebrate our nation’s independence. It helps us all pause our busy days to reflect on and appreciate the foundation of this agency that was laid 64 years ago this month. It was built strong and built to last – and built for independence. I’m proud and honored, in partnership with our amazing &Barrians, to continue the legacy of our founders and welcome the responsibility of building toward our exciting future ahead.