It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Founder, President, and CEO, Earl ”Chip” C. Trefry, Jr.
Chip leaves behind an incredible legacy of visionary leadership, industry knowledge, personal relationships, and outstanding service. He was both a mentor and a friend to everyone in the company, and will be sorely missed.
From an early age, he was a leader, tenaciously competitive and had a rebel spirit. He was a straight shooter and vigorously maintained the impeccable reputation he earned over his long business career.
He always kept his word, maintaining the highest level of respect and integrity, which showed itself in his sportsmanship and career. He was a hard-working entrepreneur focused on propelling forward, and in 1974 he founded the business that later became known as Member Benefits. Due to his strong vision, Chip and the company have been nationally recognized as a leader in its industry, receiving countless awards — Lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table, 11+ years Top of the Table, and multiple recognitions on Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing private companies list and the Gator100 list (the 100 fastest-growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world).
Chip’s love of golf led him to contribute to his community in many ways — serving as board member and President of The First Tee of Northeast Florida, founding the SJCC Dick Montney Tree Tournament, and chairing the Daniel Kids Golf Classic. He passionately advocated for charitable causes through his leadership skills and fundraising efforts, and always encouraged Member Benefits staff to do the same.
Above all, Chip’s real legacy was his family — and leaving the Trefry name “better than he found it”. His memory will go on as he touched many lives, but we’ll always think of him every time we step foot on a driving range, attend The Players Championship, eat the belly of an Ipswich fried clam, see “A Christmas Carol”, watch the Red Sox play, or pass by a father playing catch with his kid.
Chip’s son, Nicklaus A. Trefry, has assumed the role of President/CEO. His daughter, Courtney M. Trefry (VP), Caleb Bourque (Director), and their many dedicated staff will carry on Chip’s legacy at Member Benefits while building on the foundation that he created. Nicklaus served as interim President for the past six months, and Chief Operating Officer since 2013, and has been with the company since 2001.
Please take a moment to read Chip’s full obituary: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/jacksonville-fl/earl-chip-trefry-9037823
A celebration of Chip’s life will take place at 2pm this Sunday, Feb 23 at the Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Legacy Lodge (4801 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207), followed by an open reception at San Jose Country Club (7529 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32217).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Earl Carl Trefry, Jr. (Chip) to the following charities that he supported:
The First Tee of North Florida
475 W Town Pl, Suite 115
St. Augustine, FL 32092
4203 Southpoint Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32216