Wilson, too, said there are no wrongs to Wright.
“As a person, JC is a really a superior guy – down to earth, great values and culturally still very connected to his community back in Rosebud as well as the national Native American scene,” Wilson said. “He takes a lot of pride in doing the right thing, was a big part of the changes we made here at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, and you will never find a guy who works harder.
“He is a total professional and a role model. He’s what you’d want your kids to grow up to be.”
Wright’s current boss, Ron Simon, the general manager at the Pointe Hilton at Tapatio Cliffs, heartily agrees.
“JC possesses a warm, inclusive style of management, as he has matured into an outstanding leader who is respected by his peers and direct reports,” Simon said. “He’ll never shy away from a challenge and also has a keen sense of golf-related marketing.”
It’s been a steady yet somewhat meteoric rise in the business for Wright. Even JC has to stop occasionally to catch his breath.
“I wanted to be a role model just to show other (Native American) kids how to get it done,” he said. “And one of my main messages was: you don’t have to be a golfer to be in golf.
“So in the end I think it’s important that I have succeeded as a kind of trend setter among my people, because I’m not sure what could have happened had I failed. I mean, Notah Begay has done a lot nationally, and Sam McCracken from Nike has really supported Native Americans, too. That’s really the kind of impact that I’d eventually like to have.”
Despite his hectic schedule, Wright, a bachelor, finds time to golf with his staff at Lookout Mountain, as well as occasionally take golf trips with them “to bond outside of the workplace.” And he gives a lot of credit for his management and team building skills to Troon, “for getting me to where I am.”
“It’s been a phenomenal experience working for Troon,” Wright said. “The way Troon trusted me really helped me to grow and flourish.
“In fact, I really believe if I had worked for any other golf management group, it just wouldn’t have been the same outcome.”
As for his golf game, “If I can keep it in the 70s, I’m always happy with that,” said Wright, who at one time tried to play professionally. And to that end he likes to have a little fun with golfing buddies like Frank Johnson, the former Phoenix Suns player and coach who now is in the health care industry.
“Oh, anybody would love to play with JC because he likes to jab,” Johnson chuckled of a relationship that began years ago. “But JC does it in a very quiet and effective way, not like other athletes I’ve played with, so he’s fun to be around.
“But the thing that’s really cool about JC is that he’s always there for you – on or off the golf course. And I really admire the way he still is connected to his people back in South Dakota, and how he’s always doing something for the Native American community.”
Wright admitted that there have been challenges, but he’s proud he’s met them at every corner while keeping an eye on the future.
“I always felt like, that as a Native American, I had to work harder than the guy beside me – that my carts had to be cleaner, that my work wardrobe had to be neater,” he said. “But that’s how you get ahead – hard work.
“I think my strength is that I love to be around people and learn about their cultures and where they’ve been and where they’re going. I think if I have a weakness, it’s that I care too much and that can be a fault. I guess in the final analysis, those things have helped to open some doors for others. But if it’s possible, I want to help open even more.”