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Press Release November 14, 2014 

Rotary Club of Front Royal Presents Sixth Robert E. “Bob” Miller Community Service Award

Front Royal – The Front Royal Rotary Club presented the sixth Annual Robert E. “Bob” Miller Community Service Award today at its meeting to Mr. John C. LaBarca.  John has been a member of the Rotary Club of Front Royal since 1990 and is a double Paul Harris Fellow and Sustaining Member.

It is the objective of the Rotary Club of Front Royal to recognize individuals within the Front Royal-Warren County Community for contributions that improve the quality of life of its citizens.  The award is named after Robert E. “Bob” Miller in recognition of his 75 years of membership in the Rotary Club of Front Royal, and his service to the Front Royal-Warren County Community.

Recipients shall have demonstrated a commitment of service and dedication to the community through their vocation, public service, philanthropy or civic service to the community to make a lasting impression on the community.  Past President Betsy Blauvelt, who chaired this year’s nominating committee said, “In reviewing the history of John’s service and contributions to the community, it should be noted that he truly has been an active and concerned member of this town and county.”

John LaBarca is well-known in the Front Royal- Warren County community, having originally been involved in leading the team that selected the site and constructed the DuPont manufacturing facility in the 1970’s.    After plant start-up, he was assigned as Assistant Plant Manager through 1985, at which time he became the Plant Manager at the Moberly, MO plant.  He returned to Front Royal in 1990 as Plant Manager and remained in that position until his retirement in 2004.

John has been involved in a number of community organizations including:

  • Charter member and Chairman of Warren County Educational Endowment (WCEE) 1994-2014, President 2004-2006 and Vice-President from 2006-2007
  • Member of the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority February 1995 to February 2009 – Chairman from June 2004-June 2007
  • Member of the Warren Memorial Hospital Board 1992 to 2004 Chairman from 2001 to 2004
  • Member of the Valley Health System Board
  • Member of the Front Royal-Warren Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors – Chairman 1994-1995
  • Member of Rotary Club of Front Royal since 1990
  • Instrumental in obtaining a dedication of 2-acre site for North Warren Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station from DuPont
  • Advisory Board member for Project Lead-The-Way

And this is just a sample of what this extraordinary Rotarian has done for and with his community…and his Rotary Club.

According to founding member of the WCEE and long-time Board Member John Marlow, “John has truly been the heart and soul of our organization.  Much of the success of the Warren County Educational Endowment can be credited to the vision and efforts of John LaBarca.  I do not believe that the highly successful ‘Project Lead the Way’ would even exist in Warren County without his leadership.”

Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Pam McInnis stated, “John LaBarca has always been a champion of education.  He has made a significant, positive impact on Warren County Public Schools.  John was a founding member of the Warren County Educational Endowment and through his leadership, guidance, and active participation, the Endowment has supported public schools and has played an important part in improving the educational experience for children in Warren County.  Our Project Lead the Way Program’s success and expansion have been the result of John LaBarca’s leadership in engaging businesses and industry to become involved in educating the youth of their community.  We will be forever grateful for his interest and assistance.”

According to past Club President Doug Stanley, “Dr. Robert E. “Bob” Miller served the Front Royal-Warren County Community as a dentist for 67 years.  His dedication to his patients, clubs, and community were always in the forefront of what he did.”  Doug added that, “It is with the memory of Bob and his service and dedication to the community that the Rotary Club of Front Royal is very proud to present to a member of the community the “Robert E. “Bob” Miller Community Service Award.”

Club President Ron Llewellyn said, “The Rotary Club of Front Royal is very proud to honor John Labarca with the Bob Miller Community Service Award.  I can think of no one more deserving of this award this year than John. As a local leader of industry, John set the example for others to follow in being involved in helping to improve this community.  We salute him and his dedication to the Front Royal-Warren County community.”