New TFAC Board of Directors members bring expertise to table

Published 9:09am Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jeff Byrd, managing director of CooperRiis Healing Community in Mill Spring, spent much of his professional life in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor, columnist and publisher of various newspapers in North Carolina and Virginia. In 1989 he moved to Tryon as the owner/editor of the Tryon Daily Bulletin. Byrd has contributed countless volunteer hours to many volunteer and business organizations in the area and lives in Tryon with his wife, Helen.

“Since I first moved to Tryon in 1989, the Tryon Fine Arts Center has been part of my life, from performing on the stage, to enjoying so many exciting evenings as a patron in the theater,” Byrd said. “With the wonderful additions planned for the facilities, the possibilities for what TFAC can be in this community are only expanding. I agreed to serve to be a part of that exciting future, and to repay my debt to TFAC and all those who served before me.”

The 2013 Executive Leadership of the TFAC Board includes President Tim Brannon, Vice-President of Development Rebecca Barnes, VP of Operations Shields Flynn, Treasurer David Cornelius and Secretary Michael Gron.

New Board President Tim Brannon said he’s proud to say his parents played a part in making the center a reality 44 years ago and to be a part of its continued history himself.

“This facility continues to be a major cultural center through the energy and enthusiasm of so many wonderful patrons, volunteers and staff. I am pleased to be serving with such an outstanding board of directors,” Brannon said. “We are excited about the construction of the amphitheater, garden and walkway, scheduled to be completed in time for Super Saturday, and we look forward to Phase II, a building addition. TFAC is just as fun and vibrant as it was that opening night in 1969.”

Tryon Fine Arts Center, a nonprofit organization on Melrose Avenue in the heart of Tryon, operates a 315-seat performance venue and, as of March 2013, a 150-seat amphitheater for the programming of lectures, music, opera, theatre and dance, as well as a gallery, classrooms and meeting room. Opened in February 1969, TFAC is the vision of philanthropist Violet Parish-Watson. In addition to programming for a wide variety of audiences, TFAC also brings visual and performing arts experiences to local students through education and outreach programs. For more information, visit or call 828-859-8322.

– article submitted by Marianne Carruth

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