20 Under 40: Casey Barrett

Vice President, Obie Companies

Age: 31

He is unfailingly professional, never loses the mischievous glint in his eye, asks penetrating questions, has a mind capable of tracking an infinite amount of details, and always puts people first.”

Jenny Ulum, Obie Companies


As vice president for Obie Industries, Casey Barrett is helping to run the 5th Street Public Market, two hotels and lead the company’s expansion of the 5th St Market and new Gordon Hotel. Barrett brings his passion for our local community to his work and his volunteer efforts serving on the board of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and the Lane County Historical Society.

Get to know them

Q: What is it about working in Eugene that you find the most compelling?

Eugene has always had a special place in my heart. It’s my funky little hometown and there is just something about this community that we all love. It’s not one single thing you can put your finger on, but it’s a feeling that most citizens share. It’s this passion for our community that gets everyone so involved in what’s going on. At the same time, the fact that everyone is so passionate and involved, it sometimes feels like it’s hard to make progress. As hard as it might be during those times of frustration, it’s good to take a step back and remind ourselves that it’s all coming from the same place… a place of love for this City. Whether we all agree on the issues or not, we are lucky to live in a community where people are passionate and engaged.


Q: What do you hope to see for our community?

I hope to see our community embrace the growth we need to experience to meet our goals. Being born and raised in Eugene, I’ve been able to see it grow, as well as struggle over the years. I remember when I was in the process of graduating high school at Churchill, most all my friends couldn’t wait to get out of Eugene to go explore opportunities in other cities. I hope down the line when my new son is in the process of graduating high school here, that Eugene is a community that has the opportunities those students are looking for. Eugene should be a place people want to stay and raise their families because opportunities are abundant, housing is easy to find, and our business community is vibrant and thriving. We are making tremendous progress in that direction and I look forward to being a bigger part of that in the years to come.


Q: What mentors, colleagues, and partnerships have inspired you in your career development?

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have the presence of a strong mentor, business partner and great friend in my daily life. I’ve been working with my grandfather, Brian Obie, ever since I can remember. It started in my early youth with weekends at his property splitting wood and clearing brush. It was there, early on, that he taught me the value of a strong work ethic and to crave that sense of accomplishment you feel at the end of a productive day of “leaning into it” as we say. I’ve learned from him the strength you need to have to be successful in life and to lead others. The opportunity to work with my grandfather daily and to learn from him how to handle the challenges both personal and professional has been one of the greatest treasures of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.