Carrie Jones-Barber, B.B.A.’82, Management
Carrie Jones-Barber graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Management in 1982.
Today, Jones-Barber serves as the CEO of Dawn Foods, a company for which she is intensely proud. In 1985, after a short stint in medical sales, Jones-Barber joined Dawn Foods in a sales role and climbed the ranks before being named to her current position in 2006. Prior to becoming CEO, Jones-Barber was president of Dawn Foods International, and has also been a business development manager at Dawn Foods UK Ltd., as well as chief information officer.
Dawn Foods is one of the world’s premier bakery companies, producing more than 4,000 products, employing nearly 5,000 people, and doing business in more than 105 countries. The company supplies a complete line of mixes, bases, icings, glazes, fillings, frozen dough, par-baked and fully baked products, and equipment to the food industry worldwide.
During her tenure at Dawn, Jones-Barber has focused on international growth of the company. She has held various cross-functional roles with progressively increasing responsibility, including CIO, where she oversaw the implementation of the company’s first ERP system, and President of International, where she successfully led a turnaround.
Additionally, Jones-Barber has introduced significant organizational change at Dawn Foods, including global strategic planning processes and change management best practices. Her leadership has placed an emphasis on social responsibility and sustainability, such as initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote greener packaging, support literacy and art programs, work on the prevention of hunger, and provide vocational baking opportunities. Additionally, the Dawn Foundation has had a wide impact on the communities it serves.
As an alumna, Jones-Barber has maintained a strong connection with WMU, and often lends her expertise and experiences for the betterment of students and the Haworth College of Business. She is an active member of the college’s business advisory council and the WMU Bronco CEO Forum, and has lectured as part of the college’s Distinguished Speaker Series. Additionally, Jones-Barber has previously been honored by her college with the Management Department’s Outstanding Alumni Award.
Haworth College of Business Dean Satish Deshpande, who nominated Jones-Barber for the Distinguished Alumni Award, said, “A graduate the caliber of Carrie Jones-Barber is something for both Western Michigan University and the Haworth College of Business to celebrate. As an alumna, Carrie is a standard bearer for our college and an example for our students as to what is possible in the business world with a degree from WMU. Her industry knowledge and gift for strategy and leadership have gained both Carrie and Dawn a well-deserved, stellar reputation within the business community.”
Jones-Barber also holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and has participated in the Women’s Leadership Forum through the Harvard Business School. She has served on several boards, including the Land O’Frost board. She has also been involved with Junior Achievement, Girl Scouts, and supported the launch of the Dawn Foundation. She is a member of the Committee 200, an organization that includes the world’s most successful female entrepreneurs.