ImageEarlier this month, longtime Elmbrook Rotarian Barry James gave a classification talk on his background and years as a Club Member. Barry was born and grew up in Montreal.  His father was a VP  of  the Canadian National Railway and his mother was a Physical Education graduate of McGill University and taught in the Montreal School District.
Barry graduated from high school in Montreal West, then attended and graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, Ontario. Next, he earned a certificate in Business Administration from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.

After graduation, Barry worked 5 years for the Quaker Oats Company in the Feed Sales Division.  In 1960 he joined Johnson & Johnson in the Fiber Products Division in sales and product development. Six years later Barry joined the A.E Staley Company, Canada Division, as VP of sales and marketing of corn and soybean derived food ingredients.

In 1956, Barry married Diane and they had 2 daughters; April who lives with her family in Wheaton, Illinois, and Holly, who resides with her family in Everett, Washington.

In 1967, Barry was asked to transfer from Toronto to Decatur,Illinois, as Export Manager in the International Division of the Staley Company. He had sales offices in Toronto, London, Amsterdam, San Juan and Hong Kong and in 1977, Barry formed the protein division of the Staley Company which developed edible soy protein products for the food and beverage  industries.

In 1982, he was recruited to come to Milwaukee as president, CEO, and board member of Chr. Hansen Laboratories, a Danish manufacturer of microbiological and enzyme products for the food, dairy, and agricultural industries.

In 1983, Barry was appointed Honorary Consul for Denmark and several years later, he became a United States citizen. Then in 1994, Barry was Knighted by Queen Margeraith of Denmark.  In 2006 he was Knighted again as Knight of the Dannenberg First Class, a lifetime appointment.

Barry then worked on the  Ambassador Peter Davig's committee to attract high technology companies to invest in Denmark between 2003 to 2006.

Prior to that time in 1996, he was hired by Gist Brocades, a Dutch fermentation firm to develop a  Dairy Ingredient's Division in the US and Canada. Three years later, the company was sold to Genencor Technologies in Silicon Valley, CA

Sadly, in 2009, Barry’s wife Diane died while they were on a cruise in the Mediterranean. After several years as a bachelor, he married Thelma Maddry, who had also lost her spouse four years earlier.

Other interests include:
•    Active in church, serving on boards
•    Member of the Board and Chairman of the International Institute of Wisconsin, (IIW)
•    Present Chairman of the Friends of IIW, the Endowment Foundation
•    Served on the President's Advisory Board at Froedtert Hospital
•    Member of Merrill Hills Country Club for 30 years

Elmbrook Rotary Club member from 1983 to present.
•    Grandfather, John Nelson, was  President of Rotary International in 1934 - 35  
•    President of the Elmbrook Rotary Club in 2000
•    Traveled with Diane to India in 2001 with a Polio Plus inoculation team
•    Current co-chair of SPIKES with Jeanne Allen