Jerry Richardson, Founder and Principal Owner, Carolina Panthers
Football is a contact sport which was easy and natural to Ed. However, he was short on social graces and southern etiquette. As best man in his wedding to his elegant and beautiful wife, Vickey Key, I quickly learned that direct is best with Ed - I told him to quit bitching and just do what you're told. I personally saw him transform from an angry young man to a successful business leader, caring husband, father, and community leader. Ed Wile's story is an inspiration for anyone who has obstacles to overcome.
Joe Lesesne, Retired President, Wofford College
This is more than an autobiographical rags-to-riches story. It is a story of a young Great Gatsby who goes from Ohio poverty to Mount Kilimanjaro; it is the critical shaping influence of a southern belle and complicated family crisis; it is football and NASCAR; it is business management and entrepreneurship, manufacturing and sales; it is leadership. Primarily it is a lifelong story of personal growth enabled by criticism and the impact of lives of other human beings, big and small. This story has multiple levels of insight for a wide range of readers.
Chip Wile, President, Daytona International Speedway
Edward Wile is the greatest man I know. He leads by example and had an impact over thousands of people, some of whom he will never know. His humble beginnings modeled his character, and his chance encounters in Spartanburg, South Carolina, shaped his life. His life is a testament to never giving up despite the odds, learning from your mistakes, and always wanting to do your best for the benefits of others. Everyone has a hero, someone they aspire to be: for me that's Edward Wile, and lucky for me, I get to call him "Dad".