Annye DeGrand Fox is not a golfer, so she would not have scripted the career path she is on.
But working for Octagon seems tailor-made. Octagon is a global sports marketing agency that owns and manages the annual LPGA Tour event at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
DeGrand (as she is known) joined the company’s events division in 2014 in a marketing position. She earned numerous promotions and now oversees the company’s Bentonville office. She became tournament director in May 2018, a job that manages not only the golf tournament but all the ancillary events held in conjunction with tournament week. They include a three-day food festival, 5K run, junior golf programming and numerous charity and community partnerships.
The LPGA Tour holds an awards event each November to recognize the best of the best from the season. The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship was awarded not only for having the best community/charity engagement but also the tournament of the year.
A Rogers native, DeGrand had aspirations of being a writer. Specifically, she wanted to work in the magazine industry. She earned a journalism degree from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 and returned to Northwest Arkansas. She was the managing director for a couple of niche lifestyle publications before accepting the offer from Octagon.
DeGrand said her goal for the tournament is to create an event and develop platforms that give back to the entire community. She is most proud of tournament week being an affordable, world-class experience for families in Northwest Arkansas.
“I’ve lived here since 2000, and I’m a Rogers High graduate, so I do feel invested in Northwest Arkansas,” she said.