Charles (Charlie) Edward Barner, Jr., 86, of Tallahassee, Florida, passed away at home on October 13, 2021. He is survived by his sons, Steven and Brian, and six beloved grandchildren, Laura, Susan, Steven, Ashley, Blake, and Donovan. Charlie was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 11, 1935. His family moved to New York and Boston before settling down in Hollywood, Florida, where he graduated from South Broward High. He attended the University of Florida, where he played golf on the university’s team. While on break from college, he met the love of his life, Donna Boaz Barner, at her high school senior party. They became engaged on February 26, 1956 and married on May 4, 1956. They were life partners for 58 years until her death in 2015.
Professionally and personally, Charlie was a presence larger than life, not just because of his tall frame. He accepted a position with the Florida Turnpike Authority in 1955. In 1959, Charlie was promoted to Director of Toll Operations, where he collected the first toll. In 1969, after accepting a position with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) as Chief of the Bureau of Records, he and Donna moved to Tallahassee. He was DPOR’s first employee and was tasked with the enormous responsibility of converting all paper records to a computer-based system. In the following years, he became Deputy Secretary and then Acting Secretary.
In 1983, he co-founded The National Council on Licensure, Enforcement & Regulation (CLEAR). In his ongoing leadership role, he served as a mentor to a generation of government regulators from across the U.S., Canada, and eventually, an expanding international community. In recognition of his profound facility “to make everyone better,” he was honored as the inaugural recipient of the CLEAR “Regulator of the Year” in 1987.
After he retired from state government service, Charlie founded two Florida-based companies: Regulatory Agency Management Systems, Inc., a government consulting firm, and Regulated Industries, Inc., a lobbying firm focused on regulated professionals. His clients, among others, included Pearson VUE, Professional Testing Services, Inc., The Florida Cosmetology Association, and The Association of Code Enforcement.
Charlie was a generous man and loved his family. If anyone needed help, his door was always open. He enjoyed making new friends, traveling with Donna, and spending time with his grandchildren. He also enjoyed watching horse racing, following the stock market, and playing craps. He was a fan of the Boston Red Sox and Florida Gators. Charlie meant so much to many people, and he will be missed and loved by family, friends, and colleagues.