Frank O’Connell epitomizes what most American business people want for their own careers, respect, responsibility and, of course, financial rewards. Frank got all that, and more, because he was willing to take chances by going from new company to new company (see list below) and then leading them into uncharted waters where they never would have gone without him.
I was fortunate to witness a lot of these moves because he hired our agency to handle the PR at many of these companies. Each time, the creativity would get better and better as Frank tried new marketing and sales techniques. He took calculated risks that were exhilarating to experience. Frank was so good that many of the young executives who worked for him, and learned from him, went on to have brilliant careers. They all admit he was the guiding light and the inspiration.
The best part of this story is his wife Barbara. She was always ready for a new adventure. From moving to new cities every few years, to driving Harleys across the United States as one of their many hobbies, Barbara was the force that made it all look so easy.
Barbara’s words to wish Frank a happy birthday on Facebook today brought back so many memories. Frank on the run. For a few moments, I was 20 years younger. Then reality set in. We are in our senior years and our careers are mostly behind us.
Memo to Frank. “We still have plenty of tricks to show off.”
Happy Birthday Frank.