Emerging Sage Leadership: Interview of Lori Burkart Frank

Gary Quehl September 5, 2013 0
Emerging Sage Leadership: Interview of Lori Burkart Frank

[Note: This interview is one of 100 conducted in Nevada County, California by Gary Quehl and his colleagues. One half of the interviews were conducted with “emerging sage leaders” (Lori Frank being one of these emerging sage leaders). The other 50 interviews were conducted with “senior sage leaders” in Nevada County. All of those who were interviewed are actively involved in the ongoing development of their community.]

You have been identified by friends and colleagues as one of our community’s 50 top emerging sage leaders. A sage leader is a person who brings unusual experience, sound judgment, and wisdom in working to advance the civic well-being of our community.

1. To begin, how many years have you lived in Nevada County? Where in the county do you reside?

I’ve lived in Nevada County almost 16 years. I live right outside of Nevada City.

2. May I ask how old you are?

I turned 53 in September, 2012.

Lori3. If you would, please share a bit about your personal history: where you grew-up; where you went to school and college; what organizations you have worked for and the positions you have held.

I grew up in the Bay Area (San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties) and went to Chico State University. I started off and was very focused on business after college. In Silicon Valley, I was involved in selling capital equipment to duplicate floppy diskettes and, as the industry was growing rapidly when I joined it, I was one of the early employees at a company that grew much bigger, and then later contracted. At that time in the mid eighties my father asked me to come work for him in sales at his firm, a manufacturer’s representative for janitorial supplies. The industry seemed remarkably “unsexy” to me, but my dad had a continual growth rate of 10%/year and I was interested in getting the company involved in the restaurant supply business (which he was supportive of). So I joined forces with my father in about 1985. Within 3 years we were one of the leading rep. firms for food service disposable supplies in Northern California. This was exciting and fun for me, but I also burned out. I was just into my 30’s, single, and couldn’t imagine how I would sustain a personal relationship with the travel and all of the hours I worked. Ultimately, I had reached my goals in terms of making money but was miserable so I realized the “money isn’t going to be the answer here.”

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