When Letitia Haley Barker returned to Haley-Greer Inc. in 1995 to become vice president and chief financial officer of her father’s Dallas-based glass and curtain wall business, longtime employees grumbled so much that company co-founder Don Haley decided to do something about it. He persuaded Barker, who goes by the nickname “Tish,” to sign up for a state glazier’s licensing test. Surrounded by staffers secretly betting on how badly she would fail, she pored over the manual, took the exam—and aced it.
The naysaying stopped, and in the following two decades, Barker—who had been the company’s first employee before embarking elsewhere on a 15-year career in human resources—has led Haley-Greer to become one of the most admired subcontractors in Texas for its complex glass work. With Don Haley, now semiretired at age 85—he still comes into the office a couple of days a week—Barker runs a company that boasts of its work on such projects as the glass exterior and impressive end zone doors at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys; the Winspear Opera House in Dallas; the glass work at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University; and an intricate reproduction of the DNA double-helix at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.