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A man known for his multiple talents has been named the Star Herald’s 2012 Citizen of the Year.

Roger Frank is a lifelong resident of the Panhandle and has ties to business developments throughout Scotts Bluff County and Torrington, Wyo.

The 66 year old has facilitated the successes of his business, Frank Implement Company, as well as helping to recruit a number of Scottsbluff business such as Walmart, Home Depot and Sonic restaurants. He also played an instrumental role in the development of the Sears building, the refurbishing of the Chiakos Brothers and Western Public Service buildings and the establishment of the Holiday Inn Express hotels in Scottsbluff and Torrington, Wyo., which he owned and operated for 10 years.

The list of accomplishments may seem long, but that’s only the business side of Frank. Throughout his life, Frank has tried and succeeded in many professions and hobbies, including event promotion for the Scotts Bluff County Fair, car collecting and real estate development. He also has a strong commitment to his family, cancer awareness and support programs and youth education activities.

In short, Frank wears many hats, said John Stinner, Valley Bank and Trust Co. president and chief executive officer.

“He’s a multi faceted guy,” Stinner said. “Do you want to talk about Frank the businessman, Frank the family man, Frank the car guy or Frank the developer?”

Stinner became friends with Frank around 1990 when he moved to the area from Lincoln. He said he has always been impressed by Frank’s seemingly infallible memory and his passion for advocating business and development in the Panhandle.

Frank plugged in to the business realm at the young age of 26. He became the head of Frank Implement when his father, Herman, died. At the time, Frank was the youngest John Deere dealership owner in the country.

He grew up in a family with seven siblings: Ruby, Dorothy, Cheryl, Debbie, Marian, Peggy and Richard. Business is in the blood. His brother, Richard, went on to become the president of Franklin Templeton Investments.

Following the example of his father, who founded Frank Implement in 1957, Frank excelled as a businessman. Frank Implement’s Scottsbluff and Torrington locations are now among the nation’s top performing John Deere dealerships. He employs 60 people and many of them are lifelong, dedicated employees.

“He has a talent,” Stinner said. “He thought outside the box long before many others could.”

With one strong company under his belt, Frank began reaching out to local companies,
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playing his part to boost business in the Panhandle.

In 2005, Allo Communications launched its fiber optic communication network build in Scottsbluff. Brad Moline, president and chief executive officer of Allo Communications, was instructed to meet a handful of people who would be willing to support the effort. One of the first people Moline met was Frank, who immediately got behind the project.

“Before I knew it, we had a place for our telephone switch, office, a place for a grand opening, and more,” Moline said. “Without people like Roger, our start would not have been as successful.”

Frank became one of Allo’s biggest promoters. The company soon landed some large accounts and started growing much faster than budgeted. To ease the growing pains, Frank provided some lease financing.

Because of Frank’s support, Allo could expand from Scottsbluff and Gering to Alliance, Bridgeport, Ogallala and North Platte, Moline said.

Allo had a little more than 1,000 lines and 15 employees in 2005. Now, Allo has more than 10,000 lines, 80 employees, and is adding about 125 customers per week.

Moline told of his talks with Frank seven years ago, discussing how people in Scottsbluff and Gering would say, “that’s as good as we can expect in western Nebraska.” Those times have changed, Moline said and Frank served as an adviser, a visionary and a financer for a company working to make western Nebraska a leader in communications.

“Roger has been a friend to me and to Allo,” Moline said. “Allo’s values are to be local, exceptional and hassle free. Roger clearly has these values. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to know Roger Frank.”

Frank also has taken his innate promoting skills into other venues. He served as chairman for the Scotts Bluff County Fair Board’s Entertainment Committee and helped to bring notable acts such as Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Martina McBride, Eddie Rabbitt, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Statler Brothers, Vince Gill and Jerry Lee Lewis to town.

“As a promoter, you just can’t beat him,” Stinner said.

Last year, Frank celebrated his 45th anniversary with his wife, Connie, whom he married on Feb. 11, 1967. Their three children all inherited their father’s business savvy.

Jason, the oldest, is the senior vice president of creative services for Polo Ralph Lauren in New York City. Bryan followed his father into the implement business and is now the president of Frank Implement Company as well as Frank Motors.

Frank’s daughter, Alyssa, owns the ALF’s Climate Controlled Self Storage Suites in Scottsbluff and Torrington, Wyo.

“I have been very blessed to have him as a father, friend and a teacher,” Bryan said. “He has always been so unselfish and helped many people in business when most others would turn their cheek.”

Frank is also the proud grandfather of Jackson, Mitchell, Lincoln and Barrett Frank, and Herman,
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Chevy and Esprit Tinsley. Connie said there is never a dull moment at their house and wouldn’t change anything that has happened to her family.