June 2009

Ryley Hendry: Proust Interview

Author: Craig Hysell

Everything about Ryley Hendry is bright. Bright eyes. Bright smile. Bright clothes. The Chief Operating Officer of the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) also received her undergrad in business and has a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. (See? Bright!) However, her brilliance is tempered by that which cannot be learned in books: experience and humility.

Her husband went to IJGA and is a professional golfer. She played golf in college and did a season on the Futures Tour—the LPGA’s developmental tour. Six years ago, she took a position at IJGA. Today she’s responsible for overseeing the proper education and professional hopes, dreams and futures—indeed, the very day-to-day lives—of 150 students ranging from sixth through twelfth grade. Somehow she dismisses the challenges and responsibilities of her post with a demure smile and a shrug of her shoulders: She could go into great depth, but to what end? She is passionate about her job and her students and that’s all you really need to know. Just don’t ever be the kid who has to see her in her office.

In a tribute to her stout-hearted nature (Can you truly imagine overseeing the daily care, lives, education and professional sports pursuits of 150 kids ages 11-18, some of whom can’t even speak English yet, and still maintain some level of sanity? Whew…) she still has more than enough energy to sit down with Celebrate and confront the challenging Proust Interview. Ryley’s dog, Snoop, the most relaxed Jack Russell Terrier in the entire history of the world, looks on dreamily from her lap.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I’m perfectly happy right now.

What is your greatest fear?
Not to be surrounded by friends and family.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
The fact that I work too hard sometimes.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Dishonesty.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I like clothes.

What is your current state of mind?
That these are some hard questions.

On what occasion do you lie?
When my husband asks if I think I can beat him at golf.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
A. Gray hair.

Which living person do you most despise?
That’s kind of mean. I don’t despise anyone.

What do you most value in your friends?
Having fun. Laughter.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Would it be wrong to say my dog? [Laughs] My husband in at a close second.

When and where were you happiest?
My wedding in Scotland.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wouldn’t like French fries as much as I do.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My ability to work hard at whatever I’m doing.

Where would you like to live?
Scotland.

What is your most treasured possession?
My family.

What is your favorite occupation?
This one. It’s the only one I’ve really had.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I’m passionate about what I do.

Who are your favorite writers?
Any writer that has a happy ending, really. “Chick-flick” books are what I like.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I don’t have one.

What is it that you most dislike?
The way the economy is treating people at this moment.

What is your greatest regret?
Not learning another language.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Singing. I’d go on American Idol.

How would you like to die?
Peacefully.

What is your motto?
I don’t have a motto, but I like to laugh and have fun.

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