The Arbuckle file Featured

7:00pm EDT November 25, 2007

Birthplace: Kansas City, Mo.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

It’s hard to say it’s this one person, I find myself admiring any business leader that can ignite passion in the people that work with them and are able to articulate that, ‘We are doing this for this reason, and it will be better.’ That’s one reason I like health care because it’s such a meaningful field.

What was your very first job?

With my best friend, who worked in a very large townhome complex, scooping dog poop. I also spent some time as a roofer for about four hours — I quit at lunch. They told me, ‘Barry, stay in college because you aren’t cut out for this job, not in Kansas City in the summer.’

If you could be one superhero, which one would you be and why?

My answer is different. It’s not a cartoon character or something that Tom Cruise has played in the movies. It’s an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, John Arbuckle. He owned Arbuckle Coffee, it was the largest coffee company in the U.S. at the turn of the century. There were folks out there whose business he was beginning to impact, and they weren’t happy with his success, so they would basically stop the trains delivering his goods, so he bought the railroad and the shipyard just to get around them. He just regularly would take on people who were opportunistic and, one time after another, he went around a monopoly and made his own path. He was able to fight off vicious barons in real life, so that’s something I can respect.