In the world of Rotary, Frank Devlyn is recognized as being one of the most sought – out speakers, constantly in demand for Rotary conferences and events.
His background gives good reason why he is considered by so many to be such a unique, successful leader. Raised on the border between Mexico and the United States, Frank proudly describes himself as bicultural. “As a youngster and student, I spent time in both countries every day”, he says “Home was in Juarez, Mexico, where my mother´s family came from, and I went to school in El Paso, Texas. I was immersed equally in both cultures every day of my life”
Frank´s father, Frank Devlyn Sr., a World War I veteran of Irish descent, came from a small town near Chicago, Illinois. Frank Sr., was an optometrist, as is Frank´s mother, Nelva. After they married, they moved to Nelva´s northern México hometown of Juarez, the country´s largest border city, and opened a small optical shop. Frank grew up in the family business and worked in the store every day after school.
When Frank was 22 his father died. By that time, the Devlyn’s had opened their seventh optical shop. Frank then had to lead the family business with the help of his mother and two younger brothers. In both hard times and good, the Devlyn chain of optical stores has continued to expand. Today the Devlyn Optical Group of which he is the C.E.O. has more than 700 stores and is the largest retail optical company in Latin America, with branches in México, Guatemala and El Salvador.
As testament to this prodigious networking ability, Frank has sat and continues to sit on the boards of numerous national and international groups. He is frequently asked to serve in a public capacity and it is not uncommon to see Frank being interviewed by the media, Mexican government, or by organizations representing both N.G.O.’s and private enterprise seeking his advice worldwide.
Frank describes joining Rotary in 1970 as “a turning point in my life” and he brought to Rotary the same energy, determination and forward thinking that were hallmarks of his business career.
His blueprint for Rotary in his 2000-01 presidential year was characteristically ambitious. To help Rotarians accomplish his goals and give meaning and life to the theme of Create Awareness – Take action
Frank & Gloria Rita, his wife of 43 years, have three daughters, Melanie, Stephanie and Jennifer. Nine grandchildren: Alexia, Luis, Carlos, Jennifer, Pablo, Michelle, and triplets Elena, Viviana and Luis. Gloria Rita has been Frank´s partner in Rotary as in life, joining him at Rotary functions at all levels. She was made an honorary Rotarian by Frank´s México City-Anahuac Club.
Frank is a true Rotarian Family with his 91 year old mother Nelva being a honorary Rotarian. His Brother Jesse and his wife are well known Past District Governors , his brother Pat is a Past President of the Mexico City R.C. and recognized motivational speaker, brother Gordon is a Rotarian in Elk Grove, IL as is his brother- in- law Mario in El Paso, Tx.
- Educated in El Paso, Texas, and México City. University of Texas at El Paso and the I.P.A.D.E. Business School in Mexico City.
- Graduate of the School of Optometry of the Mexican Association of Optometrists.
- Presented a honorary doctorate in business administration by the prestigious Hanyang University of Korea in 2005.
Past President of the:
- Optometrist and Opticians Association of Mexico
- Optical Manufacturers Section of the National Chamber of Industries of Mexico.
- Hearing Aid Distributors Association of Mexico
- Toastmasters Club of México City
- And of the National Contact Lens Manufacturing Association
- Past member of the board of Goodwill Industries International.
- Past Member of the board of directors of the Mexican Red Cross
- Past Advisory Board member of The Wheelchair Foundation.
- Past Board Member of Heartbeat International-
- Past Board Member of the Order of Malta in México.
- Past Board Member of Mexico’s Civic Group
- Past President of México´s Neighborhood Watch Program sponsored by Rotary clubs, and a broad group of organizations.
- Named honorary citizen in numerous cities worldwide where he has represented Rotary.
- Founding editor and director of the Rotary regional magazine, Rotarismo en México.
- Governor of District 4170 in 1977-78.
- R.I. Director in 1986-88.
- President of Rotary International for 2000-2001.
- Trustee of the Rotary Foundation of R.I. for 1996 /98 and 2002-2005 & Chairman in 2005 / 06
- Chairman, Avoidable Blindness Task Force, 2001-2003.
- Avoidable Blindness Advisor for R.I´s Health Concerns Task Force 2003-2004.
- Chairman of the Future Vision Committee of the Rotary Foundation in 2006 / 07
- Recipient of The Rotary Foundation´s Distinguished Service Award and its Citation for Meritorious Service for his support of its international humanitarian and educational programs.
- Member of the Paul Harris Society, Bequest Society and the Arch Klumph Society of The Rotary Foundation.
- Awarded the Medal of Honor of the México City Chamber of Commerce by Vicente Fox, President of México in 2001.
- Named to the Mexican Hall of Entrepreneurs in 2009 by the Impulsa Group of Mexico.
Presently Serves as:
- Regional board member of a leading Mexican bank, Banamex (Citicorp Group)
- Board Member of Funsalud – Mexico’s leading health-related foundation.
- Treasurer of the Tuberculosis and Lung Association of Mexico.
- Board Member of Mexico´s “CEMEFI” (The Mexican Philanthropic Center) which unites Mexico’s most reputable philanthropic organizations.
- Treasurer of the Women’s Perinatal Hospital in Mexico City. The largest in Mexico helping the poor.
- Board Member of The General Hospital in Mexico City. The largest hospital helping the poor.
- Board Member of the Juarez Hospital in Mexico City. The 2nd largest hospital helping the poor.
- Board Member of “A Favor de Lo Mejor” which monitors Better Television and Media.
- Board Member of the prestigious University Club of Mexico City
- Honorary Consul of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for the country of Mexico
- President of ANDECO, the association that brings together all the accredited Honorary Consuls in Mexico from all countries.
- Co-Author with David Forward for a Series of Frank Talk Books which are Rotary Best Sellers.