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St. Helens native keeps fast pace as mom, new VP

Brandi Frye is a mom, wife and professional dynamo at TriQuint Semiconductor


by: KATE STRINGER - Brandi Frye (nee Thackery), a St. Helens High School alum who now lives in Forest Grove, was appointed vice president of marketing after the proposed merger of TriQuint and RF Micro Devices.When Brandi Frye drives from her Forest Grove neighborhood to her Hillsboro job at TriQuint Semiconductor Inc., she enters a different world.

At home, the 41-year-old wife and mother of three, who originally was from St. Helens, gets her kids ready for school, chats with neighbors and chaperones school field trips.

At TriQuint, she prepares for European trade shows, books flights to Asia for conferences and communicates with reporters at the Wall Street Journal.

Frye (née Thackery), TriQuint’s senior director of marketing communications, will be promoted to vice president of marketing after TriQuint’s proposed merger with North Carolina-based RF Micro Devices Inc., which is expected to close before the end of the year.

While the two worlds Frye lives in are different, she keeps the pace of both the same: fast.

“My motto is ‘work hard, play hard,’” she said.

Frye does work hard — 70 hours a week. Some days she starts at 5:30 a.m., taking her first conference call from home so she can get her children ready for school before heading to the office. While she doesn’t like to pull all-nighters, she’s done them, returning home at 6 a.m. to shower before starting again.

Somehow, Frye said, the sleep deprivation doesn’t seem to affect her health or mood.

“She has the benefit of not needing a lot of sleep,” said TriQuint Chief Financial Officer Steve Buhaly. “I get emails at 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. and I’m asleep during both those periods.”

Frye admits she probably works too hard, but she blames it on a streak of perfectionism.

“I was born this way,” she said, laughing.

Frye’s responsibilities began increasing two years ago, when she led an effort to re-brand the company and update its website. Then last year, she had to reduce her team by 40 percent due to budget cuts.

But she predicts the proposed merger will increase staff size and lighten her workload.

Her new role will require more delegation, something Frye finds challenging because she hates mistakes, however rare.

“I think she’ll do great,” Buhaly said. “She’s really serious about getting the results, puts in the time, is focused and asks questions.”

by: KATE STRINGER - Brandi Frye and her family play on their swing set in the backyard of their Forest Grove home. Frye makes time to play hard with her family, hiking, camping or visiting the Oregon Coast together.Frye, who graduated from St. Helens High School in 1990, got her bachelor’s degree from Linfield College, where she met husband Aaron, a physical therapist. She received her MBA from George Fox University in 1997. She has since worked at Bank of America, Intel and TriQuint.

Frye and Aaron, who will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary next month, are the busy parents of Nikaya, 12, Naomi, 9, and Adrian, 3.

Aaron says at this point they’re used to the busy schedule, aided by local grandparents, a great babysitter and Frye’s professional scheduling skills. “I’m not allowed in the kitchen,” Frye joked.

“Cooking makes her nervous,” Aaron said, “but it comes naturally to me.”

Just as Frye works hard, she plays hard with her kids, driving to the beach for a weekend trip or pitching a tent with her family on the Neil Armstrong Middle School track for the annual Relay for Life fundraiser.

“It’s crazy, fun and there’s lots of love shared,” Frye said of her family. “My favorite part of the day is walking through the door and hearing someone shout ‘Mommy’s home!’ and getting a hug.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Brandi Frye's maiden name, which is Brandi Thackery.