Eric Barnes

Controller, Chief Accounting Officer

Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc.

Springdale


Eric Barnes

In 1997, after getting an accounting degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and then a master's degree in economics, Eric Barnes was looking for an economics job. A friend told him of a need at AERT, and he's been there ever since.

He has seen the company overcome its early financial challenges by persevering with quality products to the point that today the company is trying to keep up with the demand. The company has grown, and so has Barnes' accounting department — from three when he joined AERT to the current 12. And he's seen company sales rise to $87 million last year from $8 million in 1997.

A member of the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants, Barnes does volunteer accounting work for the Association of Baptist Students at the UA. He also has been an instructor of economics at NorthWest Arkansas Community College at Bentonville.

An assistant Sunday school teacher, he strives to follow Jesus' commandments to love God first and then love others.

"It's not just about machinery or products, but people," Barnes, 32, said. "Our focus on people will drive our success."