Barbara is a former 3-term State Representative, former Deputy Auditor in Summit County, Past President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, and is the first African-American woman to have served on Akron’s City Council.
Barbara has been recognized for her community service through various awards such as the C. William Keck, M.D., M.P.H. Community Medicine Award, presented by Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., and has been named as Legislator of the Year by the Ohio Association of Children Hospitals, Second Harvest for Hunger, and Voices for Children of Greater Cleveland.
Barbara earned both her undergraduate degree in social work and her master's degree in public administration from the University of Akron. She and her husband, Vernon Sykes, have two daughters, Stancy and Emilia; and two grandchildren, Hugh, and Hope.