Barbara is a native of the Adirondacks and a partner in Rice Furniture, a 3rd generation local business. She graduated from Saranac Lake High School and went on to receive her BA from SUNY Plattsburgh in Business and Economics. She later attended PA school at Albany Medical College and worked as a Physician Assistant in Vermont and Massachusetts. In 2005 she returned to Saranac Lake with her husband Chad McCarthy and son Cal to assist in the operations of the family business.
Barbara was elected to the Franklin County Legislature in 2013 and was re-elected in 2017. She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the board. She was a former Saranac Lake Village Trustee as well as a member of the Harrietstown Board of Assessment and Review. In 2014 she was chosen as one of two county representatives to serve on the NYS Fire Safety and Building Code Council. Most recently she was appointed by Governor Cuomo to serve as a Commissioner on the Adirondack Park Agency.
Barbara has been very active in the local community and is a member of the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce, a Trustee on the Adirondack Health Foundation and a former board member of Habitat For Humanity. She also helped found the Village of Saranac Lake Downtown Advisory Board and the Outdoor Movie Committee.