Distinguished Through the Decades: 1995, Heatherly (Ergle) Hyche
Progress 2022: Distinguished Through the Decades
Heatherly (Ergle) Hyche was always involved in pageants growing up, so Junior Miss was a natural extension of that for the Phil Campbell High School alum.
“The best memory I have is just being able to meet so many different girls whose backgrounds were so different. Even though we were different, we all shared a common bond, and I made some of the best friends I had ever made doing that competition – especially the state competition,” said Hyche. “We all bonded, and it was a lot of fun.”
For Hyche, the week in Montgomery was the longest she had been away from home and away from her parents, to that point in her life. She said it was an opportunity to branch out as a young woman from a very small town. “It just opened my eyes to new things – different cultures, different religions, different backgrounds.”
Hyche and her family live in Hoover now, but as a girl growing up in Phil Campbell, she was a Bobcat through and through. Daughter of Jackie and Randy Ergle, who still live in Phil Campbell, Hyche was – like most of her fellow Junior Misses and DYWs – quite active in high school, especially in cheerleading, which she did as child all the way through her senior year. She said she loved both football and basketball season of cheer, finding joy in “just being around the other girls and being able to be loud and scream and not get in trouble.” She was also active with First Baptist Church of Phil Campbell and involved in pretty much every school club.
After high school she spent two years at Northwest-Shoals Community College before completing her degree at The University of Alabama; Junior Miss scholarships came in handy, as Hyche worked and paid her own way through school.
She met her husband Adam at UA, where they both worked for the alumni association, and they married in 2006.
Majoring in international marketing and German, Hyche first had designs on taking a job with Mercendes Benz in Germany – but after interning at MBUSI, she realized sitting behind a desk just wasn’t for her. She tried her hand as a recruiter with Robert Half for a couple of years, but she soon found her niche in another field: pharmaceutical sales, where she has continued for the past 16 years.
Her new job took the couple to Orlando for 10 years, but Hyche said they decided to move back to Alabama when their daughter – who is now 11 – was 5 or 6, to be close to family again.
Hyche’s job keeps her traveling, visiting ophthalmologists and and optometrists across the state. “I drive all the time. I live in my car,” she joked. “I’m used to it. I love it.” She shares information about the newest drugs on the market, like products to help prevent blindness and treat chronic dry eye disease and glaucoma. “I absolutely love my job, day in and day out, because I’m an advocate for the patients … I’m very passionate about it,” she said. “We just launched a brand new product that’s absolutely revolutionary to treat presbyopia. A hundred percent of the world will develop presbyopia, given enough birthdays, and we’ve never had something to treat it – only to correct it.” That is, while in the past the elderly have had to rely on glasses as their eyesight has failed, this new drug aims to treat the condition instead.
For Junior Miss, Hyche wrote a song she played on the piano and sang – a jazzy number she titled “Easy Chair.” She said the fitness component was the one she enjoyed the most – “You’re just getting to dance around and jump around, and obviously I enjoyed that because I cheered,” – and she was bowled over by the eloquence of the other girls she met and competed with at state during the speaking portions.
“It definitely has made an impact on my life in many different ways,” she added – for one, just to be able she had participated in such a prestigious, challenging program. She also said it made her more aware and open to different life experiences “and the beauty in those differences – and, yet, how we always had something in common.”
When she’s not on the road, Hyche said she most enjoys spending time with her family, whether that’s whiling away a long summer day in their backyard pool or traveling to visit family or their old friends in Orlando. “We do a lot of things with our church. My daughter is on the worship team, and we teach a financial class, so we spend a lot of time preparing for that,” she added.
Aside from some travel goals, Hyche said she doesn’t see any huge plans or changes in her future. “I want to do what I am doing for the rest of my life. I love it.”