Frank Powell, 54
President, eventPower, Tampa
What I do:
I attract and motivate a team of industry rock stars, refine corporate processes and focus on software development that will allow our platform to evolve with the future of events.
How I got here:
I caught the event bug at University of Maryland where I coordinated campus events. My first job was producing Federal Office Systems Expo, the largest expo in the government market. In 1996, I launched Technology Forums as a third-party meeting planner for the military and government. We built a customized event software platform for our meeting planners. Outside planners requested to use the platform, which inspired me to launch eventPower software in 2009.
My greatest career accomplishment:
Overcoming the impact of COVID-19. Like every business owner in the events industry, I realized my company was on the verge of going under. It took less than a week to develop a new vision and refocus my team on building a virtual event experience. We had hundreds of new leads and clients. I went from the possibility of laying off my staff to hiring new team members.
A specific improvement I’ve made:
Twenty-five years ago, I pioneered a no-cost contract model for federal government and military conferences. This concept allowed me to build a viable business while providing education to government employees at zero cost to the taxpayers. Government contracting officers were used to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for conference services and they didn’t know how to deal with me and my no-cost contract model. I had to explain my business model to many government lawyers to convince them that we were really offering our services at no cost. I had to consult contracting officers on re-write their regulations to accommodate this new model. I compiled a team of meeting professionals who became proficient on government regulations and managing this type of business model. While the concept entailed me taking on a huge financial risk, it was truly a win situation for all stakeholders including the attendees, industry sponsors, government agencies, my company and the taxpayers.
What I do outside of work:
I love skiing soft powder, driving my '84 Jeep with the top down, fishing with my son, riding bikes with my daughter and traveling with my wife.
Favorite vacation destination:
For eight years, I have attended the Fourth of July celebration at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, located just outside of Jacksonville, Fla. It is a beachfront hotel with a chill vibe to it. I highly recommend it for a corporate event or a family vacation destination.
Your favorite inspirational quote:
"The human factor is the only thing that matters to me, and if you invest in a good team, a good product and a good process, you will certainly succeed." —Marcus Lemonis
Public figure I admire most:
I admire Guy Res as a public figure because he inspires people to follow their entrepreneurial dreams.