Forty Under 40: Toni Barger Bahn

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As a lifelong fan, Razorback special events director Toni Barger Bahn has a special appreciation for the sports figures she’s met in her 16-year career, including the former All-American Corliss Williamson, national championship team captain and former football coach Ken Hatfield, and legendary track coach John McDonnell. “I could go on for days and days,” she said.

To her, the people are the highlight of her job, whether she is interacting with a typical Hog fan or former President Bill Clinton, who participated in an event to recognize the members of the UA’s NCAA Final Four men’s basketball teams, in addition to the 20th anniversary of the 1994 NCAA championship team.

Last school year, Bahn organized more than 60 events surrounding the school’s 19 sports programs, from the annual 1,100-person football kick-off luncheon, to dinners with SEC/NCAA officials, to numerous banquets and luncheons for the teams.

So far, her crowning achievement was planning a 50th anniversary reunion for the 1964 national championship football team.

The alums named Bahn an honorary team member and gave her a pendant, which she wears almost every day, and also a championship ring — “my prized possession,” Bahn said.

Bahn is president of the UA Chi Omega advisory board, executive director for Miss University of Arkansas pageant and director of media relations for Miss Arkansas.

She is a member of the Farmington Planning Commission and the state board for NWA Circle of Friends, and a graduate of Leadership Fayetteville (2011) and Leadership Arkansas (2016).

Bahn is also a strong advocate for the American Diabetes Association following the 2013 death of her mother, from whom Bahn says she got her determination and work ethic, in addition to her love for cooking and animals (especially Bahn’s two beagles).

In her spare time, Bahn likes to read and spend time with her two nephews in central Arkansas.