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Barron wins Distinguished Citizen’s Award

By Staff | Mar 25, 2016

One moment in time can change the entire course of a person’s life. Just ask Executive Vice President & Chief Operation Officer of the Jefferson Security Bank (JSB) in Shepherdstown, Dennis “Denny” Barron; he is living proof!

In 1969, when he was about to graduate from Shepherdstown High School, Barron’s guidance counselor told him about a job delivering groceries on Saturdays for Mr. Albert Kave, who was then a director at JSB bank. Barron took the job. Thanks to the his new mentor’s advice, Barron majored in Business Administration with a minor in Economics at Shepherd College and then dedicated his 40+ years to his career at JSB bank.

“Mr. Kave hired me. And he is the one who encouraged me to go to work at this bank. I never had thought of a career in banking before. This is 42 years later and I’m still here working at the same bank. That one little conversation, it changed my whole life.”

One of the things Barron likes best about the banking career he’s cultivated is the opportunity to help people.

“I get to help people in a different way. You ask a child what they want to do. They say they want to help people. School teacher, fire man, nurse, and so on. Actually here (at the bank) you can help people in a different way,” he said. “It’s hard to describe. It is not a job if someone comes to see me, it’s a compliment. I’ve been very blessed.”

Helping people is what he does for hobby too; he’s spent four decades volunteering around Jefferson County. He is being recognized for his lifelong service. On Saturday April 2, the Mannahoac District of the Boy Scouts of America will present Barron with the 2016 Distinguished Citizens Award (DCA) at its annual dinner at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

Barron joined the 4-H as a young boy. Since graduating from college, he’s been a dedicated volunteer for that organization ever since. Having served as a counselor for 4-H camp for 25 years, he has been director and treasurer for the Jefferson County 4-H Club Foundation for more than 30 years.

In fact, Barron said if he hadn’t chosen banking he said he would have made 4-H a career.

“I did OK in high school in book keeping. If somebody asked me what I’d be when I was in high school or college I would have said I’d be a 4-H agent. Each county has at least one extension agent, depending on the size of the county. It is a partnership with the federal, state and local government.”

Barron has been helping with the Jefferson County Fair for the past four decades, where he currently serves as an entertainment chair. He is also active with the WVU Extension Development Council, WVU Extension Service Committee, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Arts & Craft Committee, Shepherdstown Elementary School’s School Improvement Council, and the Shepherdstown Fire Station.

“I started with the Shepherdstown Fire Station in 1989. I had a couple of close friends involved with the Fire Hall. Your best recruiters are your friends,” he explained. “I was the probably the first person who wanted to do fundraising, etc. Whenever I put my application to join, I had no thoughts of being treasurer, but the treasurer was retiring and I became treasurer since January 1990.”

Barron said what drives his volunteering spirit, is simply the way he was raised.

At age 10, he started helping his older brother and sister do volunteer work with their grandmother Barron, who was in the Dorcas Society in the Seventh Day Adventist church and the home demonstration clubs. The home demonstration clubs today are the extension service’s Community Education Outreach Service Clubs.

“I grew up with the sense of helping others. We would help our grandmother take flowers to the nursing homes and candy to the neighbors. My parents were always givers too; they weren’t joiners. They were always there to help everybody. My dad would grow food and give it away. Anything I belonged too, 4-H, the fair, they were always there to help. They were behind the scene helpers, not out front helpers.”

Barron is not exaggerating about his parents’ generosity to others. The Barrons owned a small dairy farm right outside of town where the Shepherdstown Fire Department is today.

“The firemen needed a bigger place. They used to be right here in town up the alley. My parents were approached by the Shepherdstown Fire Department to sell part of their land, and my parents said no–but we’ll give you some land. We’ve always been around that giving spirit.”

Barron, who never married and had kids and doesn’t travel, says he is proud to be a volunteer.

“Everyone tells me I should travel and take a vacation. People ask me what my hobby is. I volunteer,” said Barron quietly. “It is a social thing too. I have my family. I have my bank family. I have my couple of volunteer families. It’s usually very nice people you meet. I am not a hunter, not a fisherman. There isn’t anything wrong with those things, I just don’t do them. I do volunteer work.”

Humble to a fault, when asked how he feels he said, “It’s a team effort. I share it with others. I consider it an award for everyone who serves with me. Like on the entertainment committee at fair. I might be the coordinator of events, but we have events going on at three to four different areas all the times. This award is for them. Denny Barren doesn’t make 4,000 quarts of apple butter by himself for the fire station, or barbeque 600 half chickens for the 4-H camp. It takes a team of people.”

To learn more about the DCA award or the Mannohoac District of the Boy Scouts of America organization, please visit: www.sac-bsa.org or contact 540-662-2551.