The spirit and excitement of entrepreneurship has always run thick in the mind of President & CEO, John Frank. In the first 13 years of his career on Wall Street, while he was busy providing advisory services for, or investing in, hundreds of businesses, he continued to feel the tug to become an entrepreneur himself. That is, of course, if the right idea came to him. So that was the case in the back of John’s mind during the first 13 years of his career in corporate finance.
Says John: “I’ve probably been accused in some cases of being a bit too curious with business owners I meet, but I love learning how businesses got started, how the businesses work, how they are winning, where they’d like to get better, and what their hopes are for the future. For as long as I can remember, when I’d meet a business owner the conversation would consist of me asking lots and lots of questions, and would typically ends with us collaborating on fresh ideas on how to move things forward. Those exchanges have always been very life giving to me. I always just assumed that one day the right entrepreneurial idea for a unique product or service would fall into my lap and I’d run with it.”
Then, in early 2013, something completely unexpected happened. Since the Fall of 2011, John and his family had become increasingly involved at a new and rapidly growing church started by friends of John’s from high school. With that growth came the need for someone with an operational and financial mindset to join the church staff, and so in April 2013, John left his career in bond trading and joined Mission Church as their Director of Operations. As the Director of Operations at Mission Church, John was responsible for building out the operational infrastructure of the organization and financial oversight in a rapidly growing environment.
Subsequently, in May 2014, a long-time family friend and business owner reached out to John to see if he could hire John to replace his COO on a part-time, consultative basis. John agreed and in 18 short months, after a number of initiatives, that business’ revenues and profitability grew rapidly. In addition, John realized that being a sounding board, solving problems that arose, and providing additional ideas on how to grow and fix issues was greatly helpful to the business owner.
Upon hearing about the successful changes in the commercial printing business, in August 2015 another long-time friend, this time in the construction rental business, reached out to request that John assist them with the same type of part-time management consulting services.
It was then that John realized that the entrepreneurial opportunity he always desired, his passion to solve problems, and his natural drive to help business owners thrive had all collided, and the vision for Third Road Management was born.
Says John: “The light bulb that lit up for me was that all of these opportunities had a common thread. They all were somewhat stuck because they had been trying to lead their businesses on their own and running out of time, energy, knowledge, resources, etc. At the same time, the thought of hiring 1 or more well qualified C-level executives on a full time basis was expensive, risky and probably over the top. What they needed was a third way to get them out of being stuck and moving towards where they wanted their business to be, and that need was the basis upon which Third Road Management was formed. The reality is there are many thousands of businesses that are in a similar position, and our mission is to help as many of those as we can.”
Third Road Management was therefore officially incorporated on October 26, 2015.