GREENSBORO, N.C. – Shirley and former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry Frye are joining the Wyndham Championship as honorary co-chairs, it was announced tonight. The 73rd annual Wyndham Championship is set for Aug. 13-19, 2012.
As the honorary co-chairs, the Fryes are serving as ambassadors for the PGA TOUR event which provides important economic benefits for the entire region and the state. As the Wyndham Championship evolves, the honorary co-chairs lead the charge to promote Piedmont Triad regionalism through the PGA TOUR event.
“This a historic day for the Wyndham Championship,” Piedmont Triad Charitable Foundation Board chair Bobby Long said. “We are delighted that both Shirley and Henry would agree to serve as our honorary co-chairs for this year’s Wyndham Championship. It is the first time we’ve had co-chairs and the first time we’ve had a husband and wife serve together. And Henry is certainly the first former state Supreme Court Justice we’ve had in this role. Shirley and Henry are pillars of the Piedmont Triad community, and we are honored and humbled that they have agreed to serve together in this important tournament role.”
A native of Fremont, N.C. in Eastern North Carolina, Shirley Frye graduated magna cum laude from NC A&T and later received her Masters degree in special education from Syracuse University. She is the chairperson of the Bryan Foundation Board of Directors. She is a former member of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, a special education coordinator for Bennett College and former vice president of community relations for WFMY-TV.
“I love this region of North Carolina; I’m glad the Wyndham Championship is here, and I hope it stays forever,” Shirley Frye said. “I couldn’t believe it when we were asked to serve in this role. I was so flattered to think that they would think of us to do this, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to show people that the Piedmont Triad is a wonderful place to be.”
A native of Ellerbe, N.C.; Henry Frye graduated summa cum laude from NC A&T in 1953 with a bachelor of science in biology and a double minor in chemistry and air science. Following graduation, he entered the United States Air Force and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant. He served as an Ammunition Officer in Japan and Korea. Frye rose to rank of Captain during his two years with the Air Force.
Frye became the first African American to complete a full law degree from the University of North Carolina, graduating with honors in 1959. He returned to Greensboro and entered private practice. Frye then served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and as a professor in the N.C. Central University Law School. In 1968, he became the first African American elected to the N.C. House of Representatives in the 20th century. He occupied the position for 12 years before serving as a member of the N.C. Senate. In 1983, he was appointed as an Associate Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court and in 1999 became the court’s Chief Justice, the first African American to ever hold the title. He served in this capacity until 2001 and then returned to private practice in Greensboro.
“We are excited to be honorary co chairs,” Henry Frye said. “The Wyndham Championship is good for North Carolina and especially the Piedmont Triad area. Wyndham has been great sponsor, and I hope they will continue to be our title sponsor for a long time. But I think one of the best parts of the tournament is that we have so many volunteers who work for free with the tournament. The Triad is known for volunteerism and for the community getting involved with things.
“During my two years working with the Greensboro Community Foundation, I found out that this is a volunteer community. We began to work with together with High Point on some things and created the Guilford County Education Alliance. It was working together to help the schools and education. And that’s what the Wyndham is now doing for the entire Triad….bringing everybody together.”
The Fryes join an impressive list of former honorary chairmen that includes Louis DeJoy, Chairman and CEO of New Breed Logistics, Kelly S. King, Chairman and CEO of BB&T in Winston-Salem, N.C., Allen Gant, president and chief executive officer of Glen Raven, Inc. in Burlington, N.C., Paul Fulton, Chairman of Bassett Furniture Industries in Winston-Salem, N.C., Mackey McDonald, former Chairman and CEO of VF Corporation, Dennis Glass, president and chief executive officer of Lincoln Financial; Jim Melvin, president of Bryan Foundation and former mayor of Greensboro; Charlie Reid, former chairman of United Guaranty and Fred Starr, former chairman of Thomasville Furniture.
While the honorary chairman serves as a tournament ambassador, the general chairman heads the tournament committee, the lead group of volunteers that oversees each area of tournament operations. Each Wyndham Championship area is supported by a staff member and a tournament- committee member who leads the volunteers in each area.
This year’s general chairman is Mike Barber, an attorney and president and CEO of The First Tee of the Triad who has been volunteering at the Piedmont Triad’s PGA TOUR event since the early 1990s. He has worked in multiple areas of Wyndham Championship operations over the years including pro-ams, contestant services, procurement and sales giving him the depth of experience needed to oversee the tournament committee.
“I really don’t believe there’s a better or more experienced tournament committee at any other PGA TOUR event in the country,” tournament director Mark Brazil said. These people are volunteering their time to make the Wyndham Championship successful each year, and they’re doing it on top of their full time jobs. That’s a deep commitment, and we are very, very grateful for their dedication, leadership and commitment to excellence.”
Eighteen people make up the all-volunteer tournament committee; members of the 2012 committee are below with the areas of tournament operations they represent and their employers:
2012 General Chairman: Mike Barber, Attorney/CEO, The First Tee of the Triad
Concessions: Steve Melton, Signature Wealth Management
Contestant Services: Mark Ingram, Concrete Surface Alterations, LLC
Course Management: Randy Williard, Williard Technical Services, Inc.
Course Management: Mike McDonald, Wild Geese Enterprises
First Impressions: Marc Bush, Tournament Hosts Committee of Greensboro, Inc.
Media: Kim Graham, Bank of America
Parking/Shuttles: Sam Ayers, Self Employed
Pro-Ams: Thomas Hockman, Schell Bray Aycock Abel & Livingston PLLC
Security: Mike Ebel, Arcadis, U.S., Inc.
Sponsor Services: Erin Winters, Made to Order
Sponsor Services: Will McPherson, Trust Company of the South
Member at Large: Chuck Pinnix, Fabarc Steel Supply Inc.
Member at Large: Carolyn Walters, Management Services Group LLC
Member at Large: Will Yearns, Granville Homes, LLC
Member at Large: Mason McClain, Sunbelt Business Brokers
Member at Large: Mark Messick, Messick & Company, Inc.
2011 General Chairman: Clayton Pressley, Duke Energy
Contested annually on the Donald Ross-designed course at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., the Wyndham Championship was founded in 1938 and is the seventh-oldest event on the PGA TOUR. Tickets will be available soon at www.wyndhamchampionship.com or through the tournament office. The tournament thanks title sponsor Wyndham Worldwide, presenting sponsor BB&T and Premier Partners, Flow Automotive, Harris Teeter, McConnell Golf, Sunbrella®, Technology Concepts & Design, Inc. and VF Corporation for their continued support. Additional tournament information, including ticket packages and sponsorship information, is available at www.wyndhamchampionship.com or through the tournament office at (336) 379-1570. For more information about Wyndham Worldwide, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.
# # #