Barrie Loeks received her JD, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1979. At Michigan Law, she served as an editor of the Michigan Law Review, was a member of the Order of the Coif, and received the Henry M. Bates Memorial Scholarship Award and the Maurice Weigle Award. Loeks received an AB with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 1975 with a major in French.
After clerking on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and working as an associate at Warner, Norcross & Judd, Loeks and her husband, Jim Loeks, founded Michigan-based Star Theatres, a movie theatre chain that ultimately grew to 120 screens.
In 1992, Loeks became co-CEO of Sony's Loews Theatres, a company with over 250 locations and 10,000 employees, becoming the highest-ranking woman in the Sony Corporation worldwide. As co-CEO of Loews, she oversaw the development of more than 500 new theatre screens over a six-year period.
In 1997, she became the first woman to be honored as Showester of the Year, the industry's highest award. In 1998, Loeks and her husband were jointly named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for the State of Michigan in recognition of the positive impact of their Star Theatres and related developments in the state.
From 1998 through 2000, she served as chair of the National Association of Theatre Owners and worked with President Clinton to develop and implement a joint plan for voluntary industry enforcement of the movie ratings system, staving off threatened ratings enforcement legislation by Congress. In November 2001, she was awarded the Theatre Industry's Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Loeks and her husband sold their Star Theatres chain and left the theatre business in 2002, and have since devoted their time to a diverse variety of businesses and charities, including serving as executive producers of a Tony-nominated Broadway play, developing a commercial palm tree plantation in Florida, and developing resort-related real estate in the Bahamas. Loeks and her husband spent two years boating in the Caribbean, and she is currently writing a series of mystery novels. In addition to serving as an adjunct professor at Michigan Law, she serves as a faculty affiliate at the Center for Entrepreneurship at Michigan Engineering.
Loeks served for many years on the board of directors of Meijer, Inc., as well as on the boards of the National Association of Theatre Owners and the Motion Picture Pioneers. She is a member of the University of Michigan President's Advisory Group and serves on the Dean's Advisory Council at Michigan Law.