“This is extremely tough day for our team, and for me personally,” said President and General Manager Jim Rutherford. “Doris was a very special and inspirational figure in our organization, someone whose eternal optimism and positive way of thinking helped so many people with the Hurricanes and throughout the Triangle community. She was a very dear friend and mentor to many of our employees, including me, and her presence and influence will be greatly missed.”
Barksdale joined the organization as a motivational consultant in 1994, and took on additional responsibilities with the community relations department when the team relocated to North Carolina in 1997. As motivational consultant, Barksdale was available to all team staff members and players on an individual basis to listen and counsel in the areas of career and family. With the community relations department, Barksdale helped to facilitate the identification of community organizations that would benefit from a relationship with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Kids ‘N Community Foundation. She founded the Hurricanes’ popular and successful “Pick Up a Book and Read” program, which gives third, fourth and fifth grade students incentives to read. In 2011-12, students read a combined total of more than 4.4 million pages through the program. Barksdale also served on the Kids ‘N Community Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2002.
Originally from Douglas, GA, Barksdale was heavily involved in the Detroit community prior to moving to Raleigh, serving for 10 years as a community and school liaison for the Detroit Board of Education in Region 2. A graduate of Wayne State University, she also worked as a program director for Western YMCA Detroit for seven years, and spent two years as a program director for United Community Services of Metropolitan Detroit. Barksdale was employed by radio station WGBH for 14 years, where her program “Personally Yours” was heard daily, and she authored the copyrighted training program “Circles.”
Barksdale is survived by two sons, Andre and Robert. Robert Douglas works as Director of Production for PNC Arena.