New TFAC Board of Directors members bring expertise to table

Published 9:09 am Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Top left: Timothy H. Brannon; Top right: Chris Bartol; Bottom left: Kevin Brode; Bottom right: Jeff Byrd. (photos submitted)

Strong business and community leadership at Tryon Fine Arts Center continues as the board of directors welcomes new members to the team led by board president Timothy H. Brannon.

The board of directors of this 44-year-old nonprofit is comprised of business, civic and philanthropic leaders representing a broad range of experience and expertise to oversee management of the facility.

Joining the board in January are Chris Bartol, Kevin Brode and Jeff Byrd.

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“The volunteer leadership of our strong and engaged board has been instrumental in the growth of Tryon Fine Arts Center,” said TFAC Executive Director Beth Child. “Our newest members will help us continue providing a wide variety of programming to support our evolving mission as a vibrant center for the arts. I look forward to working with this board as we continue the momentum heading into our 45th year.”

Chris Bartol brings a lifetime of experience in the business and art of photography to TFAC. Born in Orange, N.J. when his father was in the Navy, Bartol was raised in his mother’s hometown of Tryon. His professional journey has taken him to California, New Mexico, Illinois, Philadelphia, then back to North Carolina. Chris and his wife, Carole, have lived in Tryon since 1985 and have both been very active as performing and visual artists. Bartol’s father was a founder of TFAC and his great-aunt provided the vision and bequest for the building of the center.

“I am so very proud of the amazing progress and forward thinking of the present and previous boards. I plan to be hands-on — helping with grounds, maintenance (and of course photographic needs) as well as programming and events,” Bartol said. “I agreed to join the board, knowing the magnitude of the commitment, but also because of my family’s connection with the vision and fulfillment of my great-aunt Violet Erskine Parish-Watson. I look forward to the challenge.”

Kevin Brode, business consultant and speaker, began his career with Procter & Gamble, then Bristol-Myers Squibb and currently leads Kevin Brode and Associates, an international consulting company striving to improve organizational strategy and personal and professional precision in communicating.

Brode said he looks forward to leveraging his experience in large organizations to bring additional perspective to TFAC.

“As we develop key strategies and tactics to grow our base of supporters and meet the needs of the community, I will apply my knowledge of solid process implementation, marketing tactics and financial discipline to the tasks ahead. It is a very exciting time for TFAC and the community, and I am honored to play my small part.”

Brode, an award-winning bagpipe player, lives in Landrum with his wife, Jill, and enjoys horses and playing guitar, banjo and violin.