Frank is the Managing Director of Fort Ashford, a family office located in Newport Beach focused on education, real estate, and industrial technology. At UCI in the early eighties, he enjoyed an array of classes, many of which he came close to failing, until finding a particular interest in Artificial Intelligence. Due to a lack of programming talent, he spent many nights eating out of the vending machines in the ICS building while working through various assignments into the wee hours on the vacant campus when computer time was available and cheap. During the day, he would sleep through select classes and work as a personal computer expert at a local insurance company, using languages and tools from the stone age of computing, while developing systems on the then new and exciting portable Compaq computer that made a large sewing machine seem petite.
Upon graduation from UCI, he joined Hewlett Packard, then Microsoft, and ultimately co-founded QuickStart Computer Training with a fellow alum. Later he founded or restructured several tech companies including Planning Systems (licensed to Microsoft), TAA, Greenland Technologies (licensed to Southland Corporation), NewGen Systems (sold to public company), and several technology related companies. He then branched out into industrial service and manufacturing where he applied Systems Thinking and his many bad theories on how to run a company. There was a brief stint in a technology company called OhGolly.com (the name should have guided him) during the original internet bubble. After the dot-com bust and the complete failure of OhGolly, he attended Pepperdine University for an Executive MBA. During the program, Frank began a side project that became Force Protection International, developing the MRAP (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected) vehicles, which grew to over $1.3 billion in sales over 6 years, but more importantly saved thousands of soldiers lives during the Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts.
He retired from Force Protection and has made investments in several industrial service companies, while working on implementing Theory of Constraints and robotic automation in these entities. His current fascinations are Montessori Education, Augmented Reality, and learning more about entertainment from one of his fellow UCI honorees, Tim Kashani. Frank brags constantly about his Producer Credit for An American in Paris even though he just sat in meetings and made uninformed suggestions.
He adores his amazing wife Susan (a former IBM & Microsoft techie), and awaits each day hoping one of his grown children Ty, Erin, or Bridget will call or email him with small insights into their exciting lives. He lives in Dana Point, and loves to travel and read science fiction and business theory books. Frank earned a B.S. in Information & Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine in 1984, and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University in 2003.