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 a partner in a multimedia outdoor company called Gulf South Outdoors, based in Gulfport, Mississippi, and he has authored four novels, The Keys, released in 2010, The Pass, released in 2012, and The Aral and Tears of Coral both released in the fall of 2014. 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 of two Fortune 500 companies, Texas Instruments and Chrysler, before his love of the ocean led him to join Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
He left CSC to become a founder of Triton Systems, Inc., where he and his partners grew their $1500 cash investment into a $100 million plus company – the nation’s largest manufacturer of automatic teller machines. Triton Systems, Inc. won the INC 500 award three years running, ranking as high as number 30 out of 500.
Under Frank’s leadership, Triton grew from a start up to a company sustaining well over $100 million in sales, with over 400 employees. The company became the largest manufacturer of ATM’s 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 inspirational (and gut-bustingly humorous) presentations to business groups and corporate retreats, as well as industry trade show seminars and the like. If you are looking for a 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 multimedia company promoting the outdoor lifestyle throughout the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in the Southern U.S. Its flagship is a weekly television show by the same name, broadcast nationally on the Pursuit Channel. Frank shares his adventures on this blog, in his books, through his media company Gulf South Outdoors, and during live presentations at conferences, corporate retreats, large clubs, trade shows, or affinity events.
With the sale of Triton, Frank purchased his sportfish boat Vixen and pursued his passion for blue-water fishing. When he’s not speaking professionally or promoting his recently published novels, 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 Verdes. 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: Mary Lee (Dee Dee) Calvert Wilem
Children: Brittany Wilem, Chris & Michael Garcia (stepsons)
Parents: Frank Wilem, Sr. who also 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 Sciences 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, ranking 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 is 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