Sam R. Barnes


Samuel Barnes is Executive Vice President – Chief Operating Officer of Commonwealth Associates, Inc., an EC&M Magazine 2017 Top 40 Design Engineering Firm headquartered in Jackson Michigan. A graduate of Hanover-Horton High School, Barnes completed a transfer program at Jackson Community College before continuing on to the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and an MBA with distinction.

In his role at Commonwealth, he manages the operations of the company and is on the Board of Directors.

Committed to his community, Barnes has been a member of the Cascades Lions Club since 1998, serving terms as President, Secretary, and Board Member. Barnes also has volunteered to share career information about engineering with the Explorers. He proudly served his country as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves from 1986-’92.

Barnes is the father of three children, all of whom have attended Jackson College.

Sam Barnes headshot

Why did you decide to become a Jackson College Trustee?

I jumped at the opportunity to become a Trustee.  I saw this as a way to give back to an institution that I give so much credit to for where I am today.

What do you enjoy most about serving as a Jackson College Trustee?

Serving on the Board provides me the opportunity to serve and give back to the Jackson community.

From your perspective, in what ways do you see Jackson College serving the community?

Jackson College is accessible and affordable for our community.  It is also an economic engine for our community.  An educated population helps everyone by attracting businesses to set up here and expand.

How has your experience with Jackson College impacted your life?

Jackson College helped me achieve my dream of being an engineer.  JC prepared me to transfer to the University of Michigan to complete my studies in engineering.

What is one message you would offer to Jackson College students and/or the community?

You cannot afford not to better your life with more education and Jackson College is poised to help you on your education journey.