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Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series

Parker Talks Presents the 2019 Fries Lecture

Flourishing in a Digital World

6:30 p.m. Monday, September 30, 2019
Performing Arts Center, Statesboro Campus

Technology has had many positive impacts on our lives—providing access to information and communication to those previously isolated, improving the efficiency of organizations and extending average life spans across the world. But, the speed and scope of change is at a level we have never seen before, and, so, people are struggling to keep up. The outcome could be negative for many people—job loss, greater wealth disparity, an erosion of trust and social fragmentation. The opportunity to use technology so that it works for the good of all of society is real. But, to do that, everybody needs to understand and be proactively engaged with technology: leaders, so that they can make good decisions; organizations, so they can transform themselves to compete; and individuals, so they can play an active role in society and hold those in charge to account. Flourishing in a digital world requires transformational change for businesses, governments and individuals so that no person is unwillingly left behind.

Carol A. Sawdye, CPA

Chief Operating Officer, PwC Network

Carol Sawdye is chief operating officer for the PwC Network. She leads Network Operations and drives the budgeting, financial planning and investments processes throughout the Network and collaborates with the global leadership team on Network transformation. Prior to her current role, Ms. Sawdye was vice chair and chief financial officer of PwC US.

Ms. Sawdye rejoined PwC in November 2012 after working for the National Basketball Association (NBA), where she served as executive vice president and CFO. She also spent eight years at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, initially as CFO and later also assuming responsibilities as chief operating officer.

Ms. Sawdye began her career at PwC, and spent her first 17 years (the past six as a partner) mostly serving Fortune 500 public clients, primarily focused on the media and entertainment industry. A CPA, licensed to practice in NY, Ms. Sawdye received her B.S. in accounting from the University of Virginia and her MBA, with specialization in international business and corporate finance, from Columbia Business School. She and her husband live in New York and Savannah, Georgia.


The annual Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series is sponsored by an endowment established to honor Mr. Fries, the founder of Claxton Poultry and former senior statesman of the poultry industry in Georgia. He passed away in December 2001.

Mr. Fries built his business from scratch—one truck, one cooler and one employee—into one of the nation’s largest poultry production plants with 1,600 employees, more than 300 family farm suppliers and an international market. Throughout his 50-plus years in the poultry business, one constant marked Mr. Fries’ career: a solid commitment to remaining an independent poultry producer. He served as past president and director of the Georgia Poultry Federation and director of the National Broiler Council and the Georgia Improvement Lab. He was also a life member of the Georgia Poultry Federation Poultry Leaders Roundtable.

As a boy growing up in Savannah, Mr. Fries ran bicycle deliveries of fresh chicken from his father’s City Market store to homes downtown. After serving in the Navy in World War II and earning a college degree, Mr. Fries returned to Savannah to start his own business. Mr. Fries recognized that retail poultry was changing from his father’s freshly dressed, home-delivered birds to store-bought, prepackaged, fresh poultry. In 1959, he opened Claxton Poultry, which today is one of the largest fully -integrated poultry plants in America.

Fries Lecture Series Archive