Few people embody the heart and soul of Arcadia more than Barry Paceley. Those who know him suggest he deserves the title “Ultimate Arcadian.”

A Phoenix native, Barry met his wife, Joan, when they were youngsters attending the same Arcadia neighborhood church. He claims he knew he would one day have his own family with his childhood love and live in the very same neighborhood. 

The Paceleys have three grown children – John, Jamie and Jeremy – and Barry is quick to point out, “My wife and kids are my richest gifts.”

Barry grew up watching his father work and learned from his ingenuity and devotion to others. “He was always fixing things and helping people out and that made a real impact on me,” Barry said. 

While in high school, Barry and his dad actually built their family’s home together and that hands-on experience would eventually pave the way for his professional career.

While earning a Bachelor of Science degree in construction, Barry started his own company in 1978, which eventually evolved into Paceley Constructors, Inc. Today, the company specializes in commercial remodeling and has worked in all 50 states. He credits his business success to a simple, self-professed formula: “You have to be available, you must be reliable, and you should always be accountable.”

Barry is a true titan of the construction industry and has served more than 35 years on various committees and boards for the Associated General Contractors of America. This includes the Education and Research Foundation, which awards college scholarships to struggling students throughout the country. Closer to home, he is a member of the Camelback East Village Planning Committee and the Arizona Builders Alliance. 

Apart from his work and industry-related activities, Barry is also very involved in the community. He serves as a District 7 councilman for SRP, a precinct and state committeeman for Legislative District 28, and is vice president of properties for the Grand Canyon Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Many in Arcadia recognize Barry and his family from their annual 4th of July party. What began as a few neighbors enjoying fireworks from their front yard now hosts nearly 500 people each year. The Independence Day celebration includes potluck food, live music, water slides and of course, a great view of fireworks at Arizona Country Club.

Early during that day, Barry can be found emceeing the long-time Arcadia parade, now a staple in the neighborhood. “It’s all about bringing our neighbors together to celebrate our great country and to have some family fun.”

When asked about advice that he’d like to offer the next generation, he doesn’t hesitate to say, “Be considerate of others and live your life with purpose because the depth of relationships is far more important than the width.” 

Unlike some people, Barry doesn’t keep a bucket list. “I just leave myself open to opportunities and let life come to me,” he says with conviction.

Fortunately for Arcadians, Barry’s spirit of service hits close to home.