|Born||Gerald Barry Falovitch
29 January 1948
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Nationality||Canadian (also a citizen of the Bahamas)|
|Occupation||Former musician, founder and CEO of VitaPro, and founder Global Village Champions Foundation|
Yank Barry (born January 29, 1948 as Gerald Barry Falovitch) is a Canadian musician and businessman. He is the founder and CEO of VitaPro Foods, a company that makes textured vegetable protein for use as a meat substitute and another venture called ProPectin, and the founder of the charity Global Village Champions Foundation.
Between 1968 and 1970, Barry was the lead singer of a band that toured the East Coast as "The Kingsmen" and played The Kingsmen's music. This version of the band was put together by the Kingsmen management, who believed they owned the rights to the name, and toured until the group was disbanded after a cease and desist order was filed by the original group.
According to an investigative report by the Montreal Gazette from October 1998, Global Village Market (GVM) was a venture owned by Barry through which he sold VitaPro. The company’s motto was “doing well by doing good”.
When asked about VitaPro earnings, Barry said: “My company is terribly private in a bunch of countries. I’m a resident of the Bahamas. I don’t pay tax. I’m not American. Let’s say we do over a billion dollars in business. How much I earn is up to me. I give it to kids. I made a deal with God that whatever I save in tax, I give to kids.”
Barry also owns another venture called ProPectin, a Bulgarian company he purchased in 2009 that manufactures a pharmaceutical-grade apple pectin, which Barry credits for having cured his Type II diabetes.
Global Village Champions Foundation
Barry founded and heads a charity called Global Village Champions Foundation. The charity is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the United States, with net assets of about US$11,500 and gross receipts of about US$250,000 for 2012. The foundation, which is funded by the profits from his VitaPro food business, is said to have spent more than US$1 million feeding and housing Syrian refugees in Bulgaria since 2012. The charity says to have supplied 772 million meals to the needy.
He has befriended several boxing champions who have supported his charitable work. Retired champion boxer Evander Holyfield became Global Village Champions's "Goodwill Ambassador" in 2013. Retired boxer Muhammad Ali has also been his personal friend and has worked with Barry on his humanitarian projects. After Barry's involvement in disaster relief in the Philipines, his charity work has also received support from Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.
In a 1982 civil case, a separate court ruled that Barry had extorted money from McConnell in record company dealings, requiring a financial award of C$285,000. In 1987 he declared bankruptcy, voiding the award. Barry said in an October 2013 Larry King interview that he credited the extortion conviction for changing his personal life.
In 1998, Barry was indicted on corruption charges related to a VitaPro contract worth US$34 million with the Texas prisons. In 1999, the Texas Supreme Court ruled the VitaPro contract with the Texas prisons was invalid. After a trial in 2001, he was initially declared guilty, but the verdict was thrown out by U.S district court judge and a new trial was ordered in 2007. He was then acquitted in 2008 after a bench retrial. Barry said the charges were politically motivated.
In 2014, Barry filed suit against four Wikipedia editors claiming their edits to the Yank Barry Wikipedia page constituted defamation. The suit was dismissed.
Barry is married to Yvette Barry, formerly an appraiser at an art gallery in Sarasota, Florida. He is a resident of the Bahamas, and a part-time resident of the Sarasota area. He was previously married to Daveda M. Kert, with whom he had at least one child (a daughter, Lelanea Anne Barry, who died suddenly in 2004 at the age of 35).
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- "Lelanea Anne Barry (obituary)". Montreal Gazette. 12 January 2004. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
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