Meryl Barry is the CEO of the Pupkewitz Foundation. She oversees the strategic disbursement of millions of Namibian dollars annually in education, health, sport, civil society, environment and culture. Under her leadership, the Foundation has grown into one of the most productive and effective Corporate Social Investments agencies in Namibia, impacting on one million Namibians. She is a director of the Harold & Ethel Pupkewitz Heart (Research) Foundation, an invitee of the Namibian Alliance for Improved Nutrition and on the advisory committee of the Harold Pupkewitz Graduate School of Business, and was instrumental in the liaison formed with the University Of Cape Town Business School.
Meryl was born and raised in Windhoek. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. She went on to complete her Higher Education Diploma at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1979. Meryl undertook further postgraduate subjects in Glaze Chemistry and Ceramics at the University of KwaZulu Natal, and Production Pottery at the Durban Technikon.
Bringing over 15 years of teaching experience in the arts, Meryl’s educational background has been well utilised in numerous and various institutions. Her painting studio evolved to become a mixed-media workshop, where she focused on sand-blasted glass projects commissioned by architects for high profile customers such as embassies and hotels. Meryl’s work can be found in the Queen of England’s collection – a gift chosen by the Namibian government for the Queen at the time of her visit.
Meryl returned to Namibia in 1986, with a young family. She holds historical knowledge of the Pupkewitz Group and its staff due to her ongoing presence in Namibia. Her strong advocacy for sustainability, together with over 30 years of educational, institutional, cultural and sporting experience have provided her with a broad base of local knowledge which
inform her work on the Foundation. Through her work, Meryl is in tune with the local projects, policies and current affairs that in turn shape the outlook of the Foundation.
Her late husband, Phil Barry, was instrumental in the progress of the Pupkewitz Group through his involvement in the Megabuild and Motors divisions, and later as General Manager of the Group. Phil, together with their son, Michael, perished in a motor car accident in 1996.