Richard “Dick” Franklin, regional director/co-founder of Clean Tech Open (and Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Missy Franklin’s dad) with entrepreneur Brian Watson, founder of the Opportunity Coalition and Founder/CEO Northstar Commercial Partners
By Scottie Taylor Iverson
The Opportunity Coalition was founded to create bridges of connection, understanding and collaboration between business, legal, nonprofit, environmental, entrepreneurial, academic and political concerns through our great state of Colorado. The group meets monthly for networking and gleaning valuable information from outstanding guest speakers. Many attended the July session when Richard Franklin spoke, not only curious about what the successful leader had to share about his 35 years of experience with titles of CEO, COO, CSO, SVP in such corporations as Reebok, Coors, Head Sports, Seven-Up, TCI and Nestle – to name a few, but what “Best Practices” his competitive (a good thing) family applied to the raising of Olympic gold medal swimming champion daughter Missy that would also apply to business.
He is regional director and co-founder of the Clean Tech Open, which has grown to become the largest clean tech accelerator in the world, has aided more than 865 companies who have collectively raised more than $1 billion and created thousands of jobs. He is also CEO/founder of Envirobrand, which helps companies embark on “Triple Bottom Line” strategies and social innovation in order to help maximize their organization-wide skills.
Attendees Doug Herman, Margy Malott and Jeff Hunt
Sound impressive? He has also won community awards and is proud to report that his remarkable daughter continues to excel. Now on a full scholarship at Berkeley, training six hours per day – she maintains a 3.8 GPA (worth the tuition at Regis Jesuit HS, where there were less distractions and less time getting ready for school in the morning). Throughout his presentation, Franklin emphasized focus and time and matching the heart with the brain.
“Today’s entrepreneurs are born global,” he said.
Missy was born in California when her parents were in their 40s and had already achieved and purchased the trappings of life. She was raised in Centennial as an ordinary kid. Her mother was a doctor from Nova Scotia, who didn’t swim, gave up a lucrative career as a doctor and was there for Missy every day for 15 years (focus and time). When Missy was a just a baby, she loved water and she didn’t cry while being in the pool like others, but rather smiled. When she was 5 years old, she created a piece of art with five rings (you know that symbol), with water below and a stick figure swimming.
“When the light goes on,” said Dick Franklin, “Do everything you can to foster that dream, don’t live your life vicariously through your children. Again, heart and brain applies to business. At 16, Missy was a size 11 foot, 6 foot 1 inches tall and three inches wider with her wingspan. I couldn’t have designed her better myself. We had a discussion about her interest in gymnastics at age 5, but we compared sports, math and dynamics.”
Continuing his “Best Practices” strategies, Franklin’s list included: managing resources, do the math, set goals early (Gretsky, Woods), abide by the 10,000 hours rule, recognize passion indicators, minimize distractions (focus), enable vs. motivate, set up for success (visualize), focus long term but take it day by day, acknowledge your limitations and pivot, keep it fun.
Missy’s coach was a genius.
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