Mark Risco’s Eulogy for Frank

Frank joined WFS in 2002 and at that time, we were a small firm that worked for city finance departments and actually had no idea how cities worked. So Frank being Frank, went through the company org chart and sorted through the team and got those out of the way that were not open to change and identified those that would embrace his transformative approach of learning about cities and getting to know city managers.

Of course, this meant taking to heart the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships, which meant countless road trips to city halls, dinners, conferences and other events up and down the State, while Frank made introductions to city officials, staff and city managers he had come to know from his tenure as CM in Rosemead.

By leveraging his connections and teaching his team the importance of relationships and learning about our clients, Frank built WFS into the company it is today with twice as many employees and several offices across the country.

Now, as valuable as his relationships and knowledge of municipalities was, I believe the most important gift Frank provided was that of making people feel valued. In today’s world, some might find this to be trivial, but I’ve decided it is one of the greatest strengths a person can possess.

There have been so many people that told me Frank called to wish them a happy birthday, congratulate them on their daughter or son’s graduation and let them know that his thoughts and prayers were with them prior to a medical procedure. How he could remember all of this for thousands of friends and colleagues, I’ll never know.

My personal experience was when my son was young. I was reading a book to him in his hospital room when Frank showed up in his three-piece, pin striped, suit, lavender tie and a bundle of balloons wishing Travis well. This is when everything changed, Frank became so much more than my boss, over the next 15 years he became a friend that I grew close to and came to love as a family member.

In my opinion, the true measure of a man is not what he has achieved or the material possessions he has acquired; it is how much he has given. During my time on this earth, I have never met an individual that spent his life continuously giving his time, sharing his wisdom and experiences, building relationships and teaching others so they could grow both professionally and personally, all without expecting anything in return.

This leads me back to my conversations with Frank where he told me he thought about joining the seminary and becoming a priest. I know he would have had a tremendous impact on thousands of lives over the years. However, when I think about how many people Frank has mentored, taught, helped and encouraged over the past five decades, I can’t help but to think that God’s plan was for him to serve in local government, where he has had an even greater impact on the lives of those he has worked with, helped and known.

Thank you Frank, for all that you have done.