Yvonne Fry grew up as a farmer's daughter and went on to start a telecommunications business, but she's best known as one of Hillsborough County's leading women's advocates.
From early on, Fry didn't like to sit still. She left the farm, where her father, Harold, grew strawberries and raised 60,000 egg-producing hens, to attend the University of Southern Mississippi.
After a stint in public relations and marketing, she founded Lines of Communication, a consulting business that helps governments and large- and medium-sized companies streamline their phone and data systems. Along the way she is rasing a son, Arie, 13, and daughter, Barie, 6.
She also chairs the board at the Spring and is on the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women and the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.
"I've always been an overachiever," she said, laughing.
Fry, 40, lives in Plant City's Walden Lake development with her children and has a close relationship with Mark Ober, state attorney for the 13th Judicial District in Hillsborough County. She calls him "my better half."
Recently, we posed a few questions to learn more about Fry.
Name something recent you were involved in that you're proud of?
"I'm really proud of what we've created with the (Hillsborough County) Women's Hall of Fame. To share the history and sacrifices of these women, and to be a part of that, has been extremely rewarding."
Describe one thing on your bucket list?
"Mark (Ober) and I love to fish, and we've got several places on our list, including Alaska and Maine, and he's been to Brazil and I haven't. I'm hoping we can go there together."
If granted an extra hour each day, how would you use that time?
"If I had an extra hour that would absolutely be devoted to family time. My kids are so important, and that time is so fleeting, so I would try to seize that moment. We love to cook and sit and talk and imagine things in the world."
Where's your favorite place in Plant City?
"Home. My second favorite place is … Mom has a pasture by the old police firing range. It has cows down there and a creek runs through it, and every time you go down there, it seems like you've escaped from the hustle and bustle. The wildlife down there is incredible.
Name someone living you would like to have dinner with.
"Bill and Melinda Gates. I was reading this morning about how they're revisiting their efforts with their foundation. I would love to sit and talk about their vision to include education for children throughout the world."
Name someone not living you would like to have dinner with?
"The Apostle Paul. I have so many questions I have from that time period of his writings. Yesterday in Sunday school, we debated what he still wrestled with in prison."
Rich Shopes can be reached at (813) 661-2454 or [email protected]