January 14, 1939-April 27, 2018
Stephen J. Barry, founder of TWI Inc., passed away from a heart attack on April 27. Affectionately known as “Big Steve,” he was also the company’s chairman and CEO. He founded the event and tradeshow shipping and logistics company in 1972, based on the principles of offering customer service designed to address the specific requirements of clients and to provide a range of services never before offered by other forwarders including round-trip exhibit freight transportation. The company was put to the test early on when it shipped a total of 29,000 pounds of freight for 27 exhibitors to the 1973 Paris Air Show. The Las Vegas-based company also has offices in New York and Toronto. As of 2017, TWI had served the tradeshow and event industry longer than any company in its field. He won the Hazel Hays Award in 2001 and was the first president of IELA (International Exhibit Logistics Association) in the world of tradeshow marketing transportation.
Jane Lorimer of Lorimer Consulting Group and the first president of CEIR, says she met Barry more than 30 years ago when she was on the board with him for the Trade Show Exhibitors Association. Lorimar says, “I admired his humor, his knowledge and his willingness to step up when needed. I met his adorable wife, Cindy, while they were dating and came to know them both as “Steve and Cindy”–a charming, dedicated pair in the industry. When I was with Coors, I used vacation time to go Singapore to learn more about international shows. Steve and Cindy spearheaded efforts to ensure the trip was productive and full of the “right stuff” balanced with some fun,” adding, “When I headed up Trade Show Bureau, Steve sponsored me for a trip to Russia. It was a huge honor to be invited to speak but back then TSB was very lean on funding. He stepped up.”
She adds that he generously sponsored countless industry needs, funds for Bob Dallmeyer Education fund under IAEE and helped friends, including her, kickstart business endeavors. “Most of all, I knew him as an extremely loyal person in his love for his wife, Cindy, his family and his friends,” Lorimer says. “He will be sincerely missed by so many of us who were blessed to be his friend. Big Steve was a legend in international shipping, a mentor, and a friend always.”
Barry was an avid supporter of EDPA at both the national level and in the Las Vegas chapter for many years. He funded the first EDPA Scholarship Golf Tournament in 2002 completely so that all of the money raised could be used to start the scholarship program that has now grown to help more than 80 students with over $200,000. Rebecca Thompson, director, U.S. sales at stevensE3 and EDPA Las Vegas chapter board member, says, “In honor of his generosity and kindness, the EDPA Las Vegas chapter will be dedicating the 2018 EDPA Las Vegas Golf Classic to Big Steve. All of us who had the pleasure to know or work with Mr. Barry will be forever grateful and better for it.”
A Celebration of Life is scheduled for May 5, at 11 a.m. at Palm Mortuary, 7400 W. Cheyenne Avenue in Las Vegas. The family asks that In lieu of flowers and in his honor friends should “take the time to be with someone you love, spend the day with them, hold their hand and tell them how much they mean to you.”
For more info, call Palms Mortuary at (702) 464-8480. For those who would like to leave a memory in his online Guest Book, visit www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/las-vegas-nv/stephen-barry-7836277.