Frank J. Wilem, Jr., is an entrepreneur, author and professional speaker living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Frank has enjoyed a diverse and successful life as founder and former Executive Vice President of the nation’s largest ATM manufacturer, Triton Systems, Inc., based in Long Beach, Mississippi.
Frank is currently partner in a multi-media outdoor company called Gulf South Outdoors, based in Gulfport, Mississippi, and he has authored two books, The Keys, a novel released in 2010, and The Pass, a novel released in 2012. Frank is a frequent speaker to business groups of all sizes, where he shares stories of adventure, inspiration, and success along with practical entrepreneurial advice.
Business & Entrepreneurial Speaker
Early in his career, Frank worked in the R&D departments for two Fortune 500 companies, Texas Instruments and Chrysler, before his love of the ocean led him to join Computer Sciences Corporation at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
He left there to become a founder of Triton Systems, Inc., which he and his partners grew their $1500 cash investment into a $100 million company and the nation’s largest manufacturer of automatic teller machines. Triton Systems, Inc. won the INC 500 award three years running rating as high as number 30 out of 500.
Under Frank’s leadership, Triton grew from a start up to over $100 million in sales with over 400 employees. The company became the largest manufacturer of ATMs in the US and today is the fourth largest in the world. Triton was sold to Dover Industries in March of 2000.
Today, Frank shares the “Keys to Success” and other inspiration (and gut-busting humorous) business presentations to business groups and corporate retreats as well as industry trade show seminars and the like. If you are looking for an speaker with executive level experience to inspire a business group, contact Frank for more information.
Outdoor / Fishing Speaker & Storyteller
Most recently, Frank has dedicated his time to the growth of Gulf South Outdoors and the publication of his books. Gulf South Outdoors is a multi-media company promoting the outdoor lifestyle throughout the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in the Southern U.S. It’s flagship is a weekly television show by the same name broadcast nationally on the Pursuit Channel. Frank shares his adventures on this blog, his books, his media company Gulf South Outdoors and during live events at conferences, corporate retreats and large club, trade show or affinity events.
With the sale of Triton, Frank purchased his sportfish boat Vixen and pursued his passion for bluewater fishing. When he’s not speaking professionally or promoting his recently published novel, Frank and Captain Eric Gill can be found in the northern waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the Bahamas, chasing billfish, tuna, wahoo and dolphin.
Frank’s love for the sea blossomed during his high school years at West High in Torrance, California when a friend convinced him to snorkel off Lunada Bay in Palos Verde. When it was his turn to use the mask, one look beneath the chilly Pacific waters and he was hooked. After graduating from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, the call of the ocean led him to the University of Miami where he earned a Masters degree in Ocean Engineering.
Today, Frank lives in Gulfport, MS with his wife DeeDee and their daughter Brittany.
Quick Facts About Frank Wilem
Address: Gulfport, Mississippi
Spouse: Dee Dee Calvert Wilem
Children: Brittany Wilem, Chris & Michael Garcia (stepsons)
Parents: Frank Wilem Sr. who lives in Gulfport, MS
West High School, Torrance, CA 1968
BS Electrical Engineering Texas A&M 1972
MS Ocean Engineering University of Miami (Florida) 1978
Member of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi Honor Engineering Fraternities
Texas Instruments (1974-76)- Engineer involved in the development of electronic systems for offshore oil exploration. Co-recipient of patent for seismic source airgun phasing array controller .
Chrysler (1976-1978)- Management level engineer. Involved in the development of engine diagnostic system for developing digital engine control software algorithms.
Computer Science Corp (1978-1981)- Systems Engineering Group manager involved in the development of hi-tech ocean data acquisition systems for use by the US Government.
Triton Systems, Inc. (1981-2000)- Founder and former Sr. Executive Vice President. Responsible for corporate development including marketing, sales, engineering, and product conception/development. Company won the INC 500 award three years running rating as high as number 30 out of 500. Grew company from start up to over $100 million in sales with over 400 employees. The company became the largest manufacturer of ATMs in the US and today the fourth largest in the world. Company was sold to Dover Industries in March of 2000.
Miscellaneous Accomplishments/ Activities
- Former Port Commissioner for the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.
- Patent holder for design of seismic source phasing system design United States Patent # 4034827 Air gun utilizing magnetized shuttle
- Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology at Stennis Space Center
- Former Director of Westminster Academy
- Former Director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Big Game Fishing Club
- Former Director of the Gulf Coast Carnival Association
- Founder and former President of the Marine Technology Society Gulf Coast Section
- Founder and former President of the Stennis Space Center Dive Club
- Author of numerous published technical papers
- One of several co-authors of the book “University Spin-off Corporations”
- Founder and Former Co-chair of National Independent ATM Services Association (NIASA)
- Former Director of Electronic Funds Transfer Association (EFTA) 1998
- Former President and Director of the Mississippi Sound Historical Foundation Board of Directors
- Former Chairman for the Gulfport Harbor Redevelopment Executive Committee