Richard Barnhart came to Memphis in 1967 with Chicago Bridge and Iron to build a plant on President’s Island. Upon completion of the project in 1969, Richard and a partner, Jimmy Oldham, decided to go into contracting for themselves. Some early projects of the company included the Schlitz Brewery and Cook Convention Center. In the late 70’s, Richard Barnhart made the decision to focus primarily on providing cranes for large construction projects. In 1986, Richard and his wife, Nancy, put their company in the able hands of their sons and followed their dream of sailing around the world. Today, Barnhart Crane and Rigging, a leading national supplier of all types of lifting and transportation services, has annual sales of 180 million, employs over 700 people (300 in the Memphis area) and has 18 locations in the US from Philadelphia, PA, to Portland, OR. The company operates with the philosophy of “profit with a purpose” and that purpose is to give back to the community.
Richard Barnhart’s passion is Young Life. He still enjoys working “hands-on” on construction projects for Young Life camps. Richard Barnhart is also involved with Memphis Leadership Foundation and other youth organizations.
Engineered heavy lifting and transport mostly in power plants, refineries and chemical plants. Erected the Memphis Pyramid, Mud Island Tram Bridge, Convention Center and The Med.
“‘One often considers an entrepreneur as one who seizes on an opportunity and develops a new enterprise. This process is enriched when it is shared by great people, in my case, an enthusiastic wife, eager to be a part of this new venture and our three children. When our children entered the business, they propelled the company to amazing new heights.”
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