William E. Franke
“I would describe Gannon’s corporate philosophy as one of ‘creative dealmaking.’ We actively nurture a visionary, entrepreneurial atmosphere all across the company, and we take a team-focused, value-added approach to all our business operations. I am most proud of the company's precedent for attracting and keeping the very best talent around.”-Bill Franke
William E. Franke, who founded Gannon International in 1983, serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Gannon International. Mr. Franke has extensive experience in business administration, especially in administering companies in their startup and initial stages of operation. Prior to founding Gannon International, Mr. Franke practiced law, concentrating in real estate and finance.
Mr. Franke holds a degree in economics from Principia College, a J.D. degree from Washington University School of Law, and has studied at both the London School of Economics and the Washington University School of Business.
Mr. Franke served a tour in Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict while a commissioned officer in the United States Navy. He served as Officer-in-Charge of a river patrol boat and Operational and Tactical Commander of a task group which included twelve river patrol boats, multiple aircraft and approximately three hundred ground troops. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. His task group was awarded two Presidential Unit Citations and the Navy's Meritorious Unit citation.
In 1970 and 1971, Mr. Franke was stationed at the Naval Communications Command in Washington, D.C. where he served with the Inspector General and as a Congressional Liaison. Twice during this period he was assigned to the State Department as Naval Liaison in special negotiations with the British on an Indian Ocean base. Mr. Franke has also represented the United States with Saudi Arabia's OPEC staff and with Israeli and Egyptian peace treaty negotiating teams.
Mr. Franke has been a member of many civic organizations, especially those concerned with the protection of children, including the State of Missouri's Children's Trust Fund and The Children's Family Resource Center. He has served on the U.S. Department of Energy's Advisory Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Ventures. Mr. Franke has been actively involved in a number of charity endeavors, including Operation Smile, an international, non-profit organization providing reconstructive surgery for needy children around the world. He was also responsible for the delivery of several million containers of milk to children orphaned by the 2004 Tsunami, and for providing coats and baby beds to needy children in the U.S.