The Interview: Kevin Barbee
This month, The Paper publishes its Q&A with Kevin Barbee, the executive director of Elevate Coweta Students..
Briefly describe yourself and what you do/did.
After many years in retail and logistics, I have had the privilege of being in senior leadership positions in the non-profit sector the last 18 years. Currently I have the amazing opportunity to lead ELEVATE Coweta Students as their executive director. I enjoy anything that can get me outdoors from golf, hiking, to camping at home in the yard. I have been a resident of Coweta county for 23 years where I currently reside with my wonderful wife Teresa.
Best piece of advice you’ve received.
“Always listen first and speak second.” Not an easy task, but one I always think about and strive to accomplish.
If I had it to do over …
I really don’t think about the “what if’s” in life. I would not change one thing as I think about it. Everything happens for a reason. I once heard someone say, “ If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” I try to live in the moment and be grateful and appreciate what I have today.
You are going on an extended solo trip. What three albums and three books would you take?
Eagles – Their Greatest Hits, Volumes 1&2; Genesis- Turn It On Again: The Hits; and The Rippingtons – Modern Art
The Travelers Gift – Andy Andrews; The Difference Maker – John Maxwell; and Eisenhower in War and Peace – John Edward Smith
Tell us one thing about yourself that few people know …
I started playing golf at age 10 and had my first and only hole-in-one at age 16.
You are hosting a dinner party for six. What five people, living or dead, would you invite and why?
Solomon- To hear and learn from his amazing wisdom
Dwight D Eisenhower- I am a big history person and he has a fascinating story
Hank Aaron- I love baseball and would appreciate hearing him tell of his baseball career and life
Anne Frank- I would like to hear about her life and talk to her about how she maintained her passion for writing, strength and hope amid difficult times
Phil Mickelson- With worldwide golf success, he seems to always remain humble and thankful for what he has. I would like to hear more about his take on life
Name an as yet unfulfilled dream …
To one day hike the Appalachian trail.
If you weren’t doing what you are, you would be …
Something in the field of professional development/training/coaching.
Your go-to food …
Favorite movies(s) …
Any James Bond movie featuring Sean Connery.
Dogs or cats?
Your favorite quote and why?
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
This is about living life to the fullest. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so live life for today. Live with a purpose and make each day count.
Name something that you are extremely glad you did or accomplished.
I spent two weeks exploring and visiting the entire country of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Spending time in many small towns and immersing myself in the culture was an incredible experience. I can’t wait for the opportunity to go back.
What advice would you give your younger self just starting out on their own?
Focus on the things you can control. Never waste time, energy or worry on what you can’t.