LU News Archive

Fregia speaks for ExxonMobil Executive-in-Residence program

fregiaPaul Fregia was the keynote speaker September 23 for the LU College of Business ExxonMobil Executive-in-Residence program.  He is a 1981 graduate of Lamar University whose achievements range from manufacturing and engineering to information systems and finance. After graduating from Lamar with a degree in electrical engineering, Fregia earned a master of business administration at Purdue University.  He grew up in the South, where he learned to appreciate the wonderful food his maternal grandmother Maud simmered, stirred and served from her kitchen.  In 1994, he began Grandma Maud's, Inc. as a tribute to her memory and in response to the increasing popularity for southern-style comfort food.

His career includes extensive experience in both entrepreneurial and corporate management serving as a vice president for one of McDonald's national suppliers for more than 10 years.  He has held management positions with Damron Corporation, Container Corporation and Hewlett-Packard Corporation.  Fregia served as business confidant to golfer Tiger Woods and his family for more than five years. He was an original member of “Team Tiger” responsible for orchestrating the transformation of the young phenom into a professional golfer.  He was the agent on the best-selling book “Training a Tiger”, authored by Earl Woods, and was the founding executive director of the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Fregia is the recipient of the prestigious Chicago Tribune’s Good Eating Award and is an inductee in the National African American Culinary Arts & Hospitality Museum.  He has been recognized by the State of Illinois, U.S. House of Representative and Purdue University for his achievements.  His involvement in the community includes reading to grade school students, working with Junior Achievement and serving on various small business development boards.

While at Lamar, he helped established a support group that would give minority students an opportunity to study together by starting a Lamar chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.  During a recent visit to LU, he addressed student members of the chapter he helped to found.  Fregia is moved that his desire to help minority engineering students hasn’t died. The seed that was planted has flourished and helped many students succeed at Lamar. 

“The skills ingrained in me at Lamar have not been wasted in what I’m doing today, he said.  “I would not be who I am today if I had not gone on that path.”

Lamar University honored Fregia with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009 and was asked to deliver the keynote address for commencement in May 2011.  He is married with two children.  Fregia’s visit is made possible by a generous grant from ExxonMobil.