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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Richard Barentine, January 28, 1999. Interview I-0068. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Partnerships help Market grow

Barrentine used what he calls "partnership style" to run the Market, bringing together business and civic leaders to create a community investment in the Market's success.

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Oral History Interview with Richard Barentine, January 28, 1999. Interview I-0068. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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But again, it was that same kind of style of working with them and being able to identify the public officials and leaders in the community and making them understand how important the event was. Through the Chamber of Commerce format, I found those same kind of people. We got together and got started. I've kind of named the style a “partnership style.” It's kind of a name that's used around North Carolina a lot, now that we have all these regional partnerships. Well, we've been in the partnership business at the Market a long time with great intensity since 1977. I have my secretary, and we now have my successor in place beginning January 1st. We have an Executive Director, and I'm the Chief Executive Officer and I have a secretary. So, it was by design that the furniture manufacturers and I worked out this partnership style. They said, “We can come in here and throw all the money it takes against these problems and solve them, but unless the people who are involved and profiting from this event buy in, then we haven't solved the problems. We're just shellacking them every six months.” So what we did was we went to the hotel community. These are people that I know. We went to the cities, [to the] people I knew. We went to business and industry -- people that I had not known well, but certainly was able to communicate with in all of those cities. [These included] the transportation components [and] the restaurant communities. We began to put together these partnerships. Now you had to have western partnerships and eastern partnerships. We pulled this event together and promoted it as one event. There was none of this east and west conflict anymore. It took someone carrying the message back and forth, three days [and] two days to make that happen. My schedules during Market during the '70s to '85 were absolutely horrendous. I remember the amount of driving I had to do. It was tough not to have a breakfast meeting in Hickory, a luncheon in High Point, an afternoon reception in Hickory and a dinner down here. It just was awful, but it was what it took to get it together.