UH degree: BFA in visual design ’71 Mānoa
Family: Married 28 years to Cheryl, father to three grown sons Michael, Jason and Anthony
Career: Sign company founder and president
Recent honors: Named to Board of Directors of the International Sign Association
College accomplishment: Helped establish Mānoa student-run radio station KTUH
Hobbies: Photography, hiking
“It took 28 years but I finally got to use my degree,” says Fred Barbaria with a laugh. From engineering to art to business, Barbaria’s unique talents have lead him on a career path that’s included stints in broadcasting, electronics manufacturing and sales.
Founder and president of Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics, Barbaria put his BFA (and subsequent business studies) to work producing large format signage for trade shows and retail establishments.
The business is a family affair, with his wife Cheryl handling the books and son Jason on board as director of sales and marketing. His advice for mixing family and business? “It’s okay to work together but you don’t want to do it 24/7, so as much as possible, don’t talk shop outside of work.”
One constant over the years has been his fondness for the campus radio station he helped found, KTUH 90.3 FM. His company recently donated several thousand dollars of printing services for KTUH’s 40th anniversary station retrospective show at Hamilton Library’s Bridge Gallery.
Photographs, memorabilia and program guides—now archived online—brought back memories of that pivotal, free-wheeling time in local radio.
“We didn’t have that much equipment and what we had wasn’t that good, but we made do,” recalls Barbaria. His earliest duties included physically mounting the station’s antennas and five years of service as general manager at the station.
Barbaria is also spear-heading a KTUH gathering on Oʻahu for 2011. Former DJs and station workers are invited to contact him directly for more information, email email@example.com.