Bernie Friedrich credits a variety of cultures in his life that have led to his long, successful career with Boyne Resorts, one of the largest ski and golf resort operations in the country.
He was born in Germany, came to America with his family when he was three, and learned to speak English thanks to his kindergarten teachers in Midland. He got the golf bug in high school when he could play all day on a public course for just 75 cents. He also managed to get the ski bug and headed to Vail, Colorado after college. Eventually, ski bumming ended and Tom Stewart, who was the golf professional at Bay Valley Golf Club, offered him a job. He moved from bag boy to working the range and finally assistant professional. Stewart also recommended Boyne Resorts, which had three golf courses at the time, hire Friedrich as its first golf professional.
Boyne Highlands Resort, Boyne Mountain Resort and Inn at Bay Harbor/Bay Harbor Golf Club grew to offer ten courses and as Boyne Resorts expanded, Friedrich gained oversight of golf operations at Big Sky Resort in Montana and Sugarloaf in Maine. He added retail operations to his duties, including a significant role in driving the company’s growth in snowsports equipment and apparel sales. Along with leading the retail division, his storied path also includes resort marketing and sales. He is also President of Operations for the company’s semi-private Bay Harbor Golf Club and Country Club of Boyne.
Recognized by his peers as twice being named Michigan PGA Section’s Golf Professional of the Year, the always well-dressed Friedrich has four times been named the Section’s Resort Merchandiser of the Year. He is a committed representative of Servant Leadership philosophies, applying them professionally and within the community, including through his efforts as co-founder and co-leader of an annual golf event which has funneled $400,000 raised solely by a small team of golf professionals to a northern Michigan food bank. Friedrich was active and influential in establishing The First Tee of Northern Michigan and has served the Michigan PGA Section’s Employment Committee as chairman, is a member of Michigan Golf Course Association’s Board of Directors and the Dasller Board for adidas. In 2018 he was presented the Michigan Golf Course Association’s Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award.
Year inducted: 2019