Carol Jenkins Barnett

Carol Jenkins Barnett (born September 30, 1956) is an American philanthropist and businesswoman, the daughter of George W. Jenkins, the founder of Publix Super Markets. Jenkins Barnett has served as president of Publix Super Markets Charities and as a member of the board of directors of Publix Super Markets.[1] She has been included in a Forbes magazine list of The World's Billionaires every year since 2008.[1]

Carol Jenkins Barnett
Born (1956-09-30) September 30, 1956
Florida, United States
ResidenceLakeland, Florida
EducationEmory University
Florida Southern College
OccupationBusinesswoman and Philanthropist
Spouse(s)Barney Barnett
ChildrenNicholas and Wesley Barnett
Parent(s)George W. Jenkins
Anne MacGregor Jenkins
RelativesHoward Jenkins (brother)

Early life

Carol Jenkins is the daughter of Anne MacGregor and George W. Jenkins.[2] Jenkins Barnett is one of six children: Howard, David, Julie, Nancy and Kenneth.[2] Barnett attended Emory University but later transferred to Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida.[3]

Father's influence

Carol îBarnett's father, George W. Jenkins founded Publix Super Markets. Carol was born in 1956 when Publix was in its heydey. Carol and her five siblings worked at Publix beginning at the age of sixteen.[4] She recalled the time: "The way I grew up, everything was about Publix. We'd go to store openings. I remember attending the 100th store opening when I was eight. I was there for the glory years."[4]

Business career

Board of directors

In 1983, Jenkins Barnett joined the Publix Board of Directors and served in that role until 2016.[1] During her time at Publix, the company grew into the largest supermarket chain in Florida, expanded into five other states, and recorded $32.5 billion in sales in 2015.[1]

Publix Charities

Publix Super Markets Charities strives to provide the communities it serves with funding for housing with Habitat for Humanity.[5] The charity also supports other causes such as food assistance, education, and youth programs. [5] Since 1991, Jenkins Barnett has served as President of Publix Super Market Charities.[1] Jenkins Barnett helped lead the organization to donate $25 million to nonprofit organizations each year.[1] She helped lead the organization to donate over ten million dollars to Habitat for Humanity.[6]


In 2011, Florida Southern College announced an undisclosed contribution from Jenkins Barnett in honor of her husband, Barney Barnett, a graduate of Florida Southern. The funds were used to establish the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise.[7] The Barnetts also gave a reported ten million dollars to Florida Southern College to establish the Barnett Residential Life Center that was designed by Robert A.M. Stern.[8]

In 2012, the Barnetts were the primary donors to build a $5.5 million, 18-classroom learning facility at All Saints' Academy (Florida) in Winter Haven, Florida. They donated $1 million to the Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa to help launch the Carol J. and Barney Barnett Learning Center that opened in 2014. In 2015, the Barnetts gave $3 million to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida to promote environmental conservation.[9] The Barnetts have donated millions of dollars to the United Way.[1]

In 2016, the Lakeland Regional Health Foundation received a donation from the Barnett family in honor of Carol Jenkins Barnett for the Pavilion for Women and Children at the Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center Campus. The gift was the largest donation received to date by the Foundation. The new building was named the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children.[10]

Also in 2016, the Barnetts gave $800,000 to the Drug Free Florida Committee, an organization leading opposition to Amendment 2 to the Constitution of the State of Florida, which legalized marijuana for medical use in Florida.[11]

Awards and recognition

In 2004, Barnett was presented with the Florida Arts Recognition Award by the Secretary of State of Florida to honor people who support art and culture in Florida. She contributed to many Florida arts organizations, including the Polk Museum of Art, Imperial Symphony Orchestra and Straz Center for the Performing Arts.[12]

In 2015, Barnett received the Women in Philanthropy award, a national honor bestowed by the United Way Women's Leadership Council for her work developing a number of early childhood initiatives, including the ReadingPals literacy program that spread throughout Florida.[13] In 2016, Jenkins Barnett was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame.[14]

In 2017, Barnett received the Chiles Advocacy Award, Florida's highest honor for serving its children.[15] The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy presented Barnett with its “Champion for Literacy” award.[16] The Barnetts announced plans to introduce the largest park in Lakeland, Florida.[17] Jenkins Barnett has served on the steering committee for The Children's Movement of Florida.

Barnett was named a Notable Member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, an honor given to only 18 women since the association's founding in 1901.[18]


  1. Griffin, Justine. "Carol Jenkins Barnett to step down from Publix board due to Alzheimer's diagnosis". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on 7 May 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  2. "George Jenkins, 88, Founder Of $9 Billion Grocery Chain". New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  3. Parvin, Paige. "We Knew Them When". Emory Magazine. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  4. McTaggart, Jenny. "The Publix family has much to celebrate on the 100th anniversary of the birth of founder George Jenkins". Progressive Grocer. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  5. "Hands build houses. Hope builds homes. - Publix Super Markets Charities". Publix Super Markets Charities. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  6. Pera, Eric. "Publix Charities supporting 60 new homes nationwide through Habitat for Humanity". The Ledger. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  7. Skeates, Cory. "FSC Establishes Barney Barnett School of Business and Economics". Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  8. White, Gary. "New Luxury Dorm Keeps With Design Standards". The Ledger. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  9. "Editorial: Wishing the best for Carol Barnett". The Ledger. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  10. "LRH Pavilion for Women and Children Named to Honor Carol Jenkins Barnett". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  11. "Prominent Polk resident Carol Jenkins Barnett donates $800,000 to anti-pot drive through family trust". The Ledger. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  12. Mahoney, Rebecca. "Local Philanthropist to be Honored with State Award". The Ledger. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  13. Para, Eric. "Philanthropy: Carol Barnett Receives Award". The Ledger. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  14. Ceballos, John. "Carol Jenkins Barnett honored for charity work with induction into Florida Women's Hall of Fame". January 29, 2016. The Ledger. Retrieved February 3, 2016."Carol Jenkins Barnett". FCSW. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  15. Neal, David. "Former Publix board member to receive the state's top honor for helping children". Miami Herald. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  16. Fantozzi, Madison. "Barbara Bush Foundation honors Carol Jenkins Barnett for supporting education". The Ledger. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  17. Guinn, Christopher. "Barnetts to introduce vast urban park in Lakeland". The Ledger. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  18. Pera, Eric. "Jenkins Barnett joins notable list of Junior Leagues members". The Ledger. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
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