A Tribute and Celebration of the Life
Lt. Colonel (Ret.)
Francis Xavier McGovern
August 14, 1953 – January 31, 2011
A Friend, Co-Worker and Records Manager Extraordinaire
An unedited compilation of thoughts, comments and condolences from IBM employees and industry colleagues and friends, reflecting their love, respect and admiration
Craig Rhinehart’s email as sent to some key customers, partners and industry colleagues:
It is with deep sorrow, and personal grief, that I write to tell you that Frank McGovern passed away Monday evening after a battle with lung cancer and kidney failure. Frank was a significant asset to his team, IBM and to the Records Management profession as a whole. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues. Many of you knew Frank well, but for those who didn't ...
Frank spent 22 years in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a Lt. Col. after commanding a fighter wing in the first Gulf War, then serving as an aide to Defense Sec. Weinberger and General Colin Powell. He then served as the Records Officer for the U.S. Air Force staying in the records management profession upon retiring. During this time, Frank led the development of the first DOD 5015 standard which has become the defacto industry and government standard by which all records management products are measured.
In the private sector, Frank was President of the U. S. operations for Tower Software and their TRIM records management software. Tower had success under Frank's leadership and even closed the largest known records management deal in partnership with EDS. A record that may still stand today. With Tower, Frank also helped the FDIC clean up recordkeeping practices of failed institutions during the savings and loan crisis in the 90s among his many accomplishments.
I knew and respected Frank from the industry and his days at Tower. When I got the chance to build a team at FileNet, there was only one guy I wanted to build a team around. I hired Frank at FileNet in 2004 and he was doing demos his very first day on the job (at the MER Conference) the week we launched P8 Records Manager and ZeroClick. The business, and the team, grew fast. With Frank's help we achieved market leadership very quickly ... a genuine business success story. After we were acquired by IBM, he continued lead the records management strategy and marketing efforts. Frank was integral to the tremendous success of IBM's Enterprise Records ... a business that was literally zero in 2004 and is many millions of dollars today. Frank also served on the Board of Directors of AIIM International and was a frequent speaker and highly respected industry expert. Many customers have sought his guidance over the years. Here is just one example of what our customers think of him from Dr. Stephen Chambers:
"Frank was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. When Texas A&M started looking at the Records Manager product back in 2005, it was Frank who made the trip here to speak with us in person and help guide us in our discovery stages. Through his efforts we were one of the first installations of RM. It was with Frank’s guidance, deep knowledge, and unending patience that saw through to setting up RM. For six years we have been running RM and because of Frank’s efforts, Texas A&M has been a reference client to IBM ever since. I have spoken to many corporations, to many executives, and to many record managers about the capabilities of RM, but it is through Frank’s help that brought us to be in that position and pass the knowledge on to others in the industry"
Frank helped define, change and influence an entire industry, IBM and many customers.
When I visited Frank last week with Bill Neale, we spent the afternoon discussing many things ... life, golf, wine and records management (shocker). He reflected on how satisfying his life has been over two great careers and how fortunate he was for the many experiences and things that had come this way. He was genuinely appreciative, truly fulfilled and at peace with his life and what he was facing. I can only hope to have such a perspective one day.
I will especially miss playing golf, talking red wine and records management with him. Most of all, I will miss his friendship and his tremendous spirit. He was a good and humble man who was was beloved by everyone who knew him. I know that all of you will join me in celebrating the life of Frank McGovern.
Memorial services will be held this Saturday at 10am at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Woodbridge, VA (http://seas1.org/) with burial at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Frank is survived by his wife, Karen, and two daughters who were with him at his passing. If you would like to send condolences, send them to:
2813 Ringgold Court
Woodbridge, VA 22192
This was forwarded and forwarded … many people responded. Here are some of the responses I have collected so far:
Julie Colgan – RM industry colleague
I just learned of Frank's illness on Monday. Such a loss. Frank will
absolutely be missed. My sincere condolences to all who were close to him.
I am so sorry to hear about Frank. My heart is heavy. A wonderful person, and a true loss.
Tina Lustig – FileNet / IBM colleague
I'm so sorry to hear of Frank's passing. He was a good man, and contributed so much to our business over the years. My heartfelt thoughts go out to you and his family.
Dave Carlon – FileNet / IBM colleague
This is sad news. I enjoyed working Frank and had a great deal of respect for him. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. Your tribute is well done.
Archie Miller – FileNet / IBM partner (Iron Mountain)
Frank was a magnificent man, I am broken hearted about his passing...it was a privelege to know him, work with him and I will cherish the time we spent together both personally and professionally. This is a beautiful and moving tribute! May God Bless and Keep Him Always!
Gary Rylander - IBM colleague
Terrible news. He will be sorely missed.
Joyce Woznica – FileNet / IBM colleague
Thank you for letting me know. This is terrible news.
Art Bellis – FileNet / IBM / Tower partner and competitor (OmniRim)
Craig thanks you for letting me know, I echo your sentiments.
I met Frank first as a competitor while he was at Tower and later as a partner working with you and your team. I always found Frank to be fair and professional in our dealings, but the thing I will remember most will be his humor and his love for this business we all make our living in. He spoke to me many time of the importance of making a difference with his work, and he did that in spades.
He was the consummate professional and a true ambassador for the records management community as a whole. He will be sorely missed.
Graziella Rossi – FileNet / IBM colleague from Italy
I share with you the big respect for Frank and will give a pray for him from here......
Tom Woodward – customer (H&R Block)
Frank was an amazing man, and even though the time I spent with him very short in the grand scheme of things, I will sorely miss him.
I will dearly miss the General. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while and always hoped to spend more time with him. He was entertaining, but also a man I respected.
Priscilla Emery – industry consultant and expert
He will be greatly missed by many people and I want to express my condolences (and will separately) to his immediate family but also to his IBM/FileNet business family.
Your note reminded me of the fact that I wrote a letter of support for Frank's nomination to the AIIM Board in early 2001 at his request. I still have it and have enclosed it here.
"Dear Peggy and the Board of Directors Nominating Committee:
I am writing this letter of support for Mr. Frank McGovern, president of Tower Software US. Having attended quite a few AIIM Board meetings as a former AIIM staff member I think I have an appreciation for the kind of person that can provide an added value set to the other members.
Frank would bring to the Board an experienced senior management perspective of how a smaller software enterprise deals with the challenges of growing a business in today’s environment. He also understands how global operations work in a decentralized environment since Tower Software US is a subsidiary that has managed to thrive under the technological direction of an Australian-based parent.
Mr. McGovern now heads one of the more successful records management companies in that market but also has a breadth of knowledge beyond the records management space that would give AIIM the kind of pragmatic vision it needs in this era of continual change. Tower Software’s customer retention rate is at 98%, an enviable statistic for any enterprise. I think that has a lot to do with the company’s communication skills with its clients. Frank is respected by both his clients and his employees as a person who knows how to communicate well, set expectations and follow through with results.
And, lastly, but probably most importantly given some of the interesting discussions that go on during Board meetings, he is a genuinely good guy. Don’t misconstrue this to mean he’s a pushover but he knows how to get things done in an ethical manner. I am writing this not as an industry consultant (since Tower Software does not retain my services and they have not communicated any future plans to do so) but as an AIIM member who has spent some time talking with Frank about records management, knowledge management, the industry and baseball (he’s unfortunately from Boston). Nevertheless, I think he would be a valuable asset to the AIIM Board."
Frank and I would discuss baseball from time to time and I will miss his jibes about the Mets.
Also from Priscilla Emery
I am so very sorry to hear this terrible news. I will send my condolences to the family but I also extend my condolences to you and all the others at FileNet / IBM who are his work "family" who I’m sure will miss him very much. I know him as not just a great records professional but also a great guy.
Barry Murphy – industry analyst and expert
Very sorry to hear this. I enjoyed interacting with Frank. My condolences on the loss of your friend.
Shari Morris – FileNet / IBM colleague
I am so sorry. Frank was a WONDERFUL guy and a GREAT asset to both FileNet and IBM. He will be greatly missed by all. Thanks for letting me know. I will drop a line to his family.
Barbara Churchill – IBM colleague
Thanks for copying me on this Craig. The world has lost a wonderful person.
Very sad, he is a good guy.
let his family know I am thinking of them.
Michael Bahr – FileNet / IBM colleague
I am very sad to hear about Frank’s passing. Frank was a great man and I will miss him.
Kristi Perdue – FileNet / IBM competitor (Hummingbird, MDY, CA and Autonomy)
He will be greatly missed!! So sorry to hear this news!
Pete Jensen – FileNet / IBM colleague
Thanks for sending this on, very sad news. I really enjoyed working with Frank as well as the extended IBM/Filenet RM team.
John O’Neill – FileNet / IBM colleague
Thanks for passing this along. Sad to hear. Frank was a truly great guy. He was a huge college football fan and we talked about it often. He got a huge kick out of the fact I officiate it.
Celine Collins – FileNet colleague
Wow Craig.... I am shocked to hear that. I had no idea and I feel like it was not that long ago that I saw him! I am so sorry to hear that. Frank was always so nice, incredibly good at his job, and always willing to help. I enjoyed working and knowing him for the short amount of time I did and I always made a point to chat with him at IBM events. I am sure he will be very missed by his family, friends, and colleagues. Thank you for including me in your heartfelt note.
Grant Johnson – FileNet / IBM VP, executive
Thanks for sharing. Sad passing for sure.
Kim Poindexter – FileNet / IBM VP, executive
very nice words you wrote for Frank. Frank was indeed one of the good guys. Very sorry to hear the news.
Phil Rugani – FileNet VP, executive (who publicly presented Frank’s team with a sales appreciation award in 2005 in Bermuda meetings)
Thank you for sharing this excellent note that highlights the career of a great man. I enjoyed working with him. He was the consummate professional and he will be missed.
Dan Elam – FileNet / IBM partner and industry expert
I am very saddened by this. Bill and I were just talking last week after you guys had seen him.
Tom Gerkin – FileNet / IBM colleague
I knew Frank well while I was at FileNet/IBM and worked with him on many occasions. He was always very helpful and extremely knowledgeable. The FileNet family has lost a good one. My respects and prayers to his family.
Jeff Wade – FileNet / IBM colleague
Thank you very much for your email communicating the news of Frank's passing and the reminder of what a great guy and colleague that Frank truly was. While I did not work that much directly with him, I did have a number of pleasant conversations at various times. It was clear that he was embraced by all who knew him and that he left the positive mark of his presence wherever he traveled.
Please include my message of condolences for his family, with the many others I know you will receive from FileNet and IBM staffers, when you are with them this weekend.
Terry Torson – FileNet / IBM colleague
Thanks for letting me know about Frank. He is in my thoughts and prayers. Our chuch in Illinois is also St. Elizbeth Seton.
Davor Razlog – customer (BC Hydro)
This is very sad news for all of us who knew Frank. He was great person and mentor, always ready to advance the cause for records management and help with pragmatic advice. On couple occasions he was hear in Vancouver at BC Hydro and very quickly built confidence and trust relationships with our stakeholders. As one of my colleagues just said - Frank was an impressive man. I will always remember our discussions and conversations here in Vancouver and in Las Vegas, especially one that "Las Vegas was not his cup of tea". Our thoughts are with his family.
Bob Williams – industry consultant and expert, MER Conference founder
Your thoughtful remarks about Frank, both today and earlier, were so well done. They truly reflected the man I knew. I remember well when you called me for my thoughts about Frank being part of your FileNet team. My response was: don’t miss the opportunity for such a good person.
Dr. Chambers’ description of Frank as a true gentleman in every sense of the word is so accurate about the man I was privileged to know and now will remember as a professional colleague who was very special. It was Frank, when he was at Tower, who was the very first MER exhibitor. On several occasions since then, we reminisced about that fact and the dinner we had together to celebrate his important role in inaugurating that major new dimension to the MER.
I envy you for having had the opportunity to work really closely with Frank and to come to know him in what was clearly a very special and valued friendship.
When we next have dinner together, let’s have a toast to Frank – and honor all the fine qualities he manifested, the extraordinary impact he had on our profession, and the very special inspiration he gave others.
Another comment from Bob Williams
He was an important person in our profession. Those, such as you and Craig, who had the opportunity to work closely with him, know best how talented he was and the impact of his efforts.
I have valued his friendship for many years for he always was both a leader and a gentleman.
Cheryl Campbell – FileNet / IBM colleague
Everyone who worked with Frank, myself included, have been saddened at losing such a valuable and wonderful colleague. And I want to offer my condolences to the two of you because I know this is a deep personal loss for you as well. I can only imagine how hard it will be to replace someone irreplaceable on so many professional levels, but as a man and a friend, he was one of a kind. Besides praying for his family, I'm also thinking of you both.
Cheryl Campbell, IBM (in a note to Craig and Bill)
Everyone who worked with Frank, myself included, have been saddened at losing such a valuable and wonderful colleague. And I want to offer my condolences to the two of you because I know this is a deep personal loss for you as well. I can only imagine how hard it will be to replace someone irreplaceable on so many professional levels, but as a man and a friend, he was one of a kind. Besides praying for his family, I'm also thinking of you both.
Jim Coulson – industry consultant and expert
Your note re Frank’s passing was forwarded to me this morning. It was sad to hear the news. I have known and worked with Frank for a long time – he was a good man. Thank you for sending out such a thoughtful message celebrating his life and reminding everyone of his many accomplishments and contributions
Larry Hawkins – customer (FirstEnergy)
Thank you for letting us know. Frank was well respected by all who worked with him here at FirstEnergy. I'm going to miss the man tremendously and I'm grateful for having known him. He will be tough to replace.
Andy Jacobs – customer (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee)
I heard about Frank’s passing yesterday. What a great loss of an amazing man. He has accomplished more in one life time than most could in many. I know you were good friends and I wanted to extend my condolences to you as well. He will be missed.
Jim Mazurowski – customer (Pennsylvania Power and Light)
Thank you for the note and my deepest sympathies to his family, you, his IBM family and all who had the privilege to know him.
Larry Fritz – FileNet colleague and IBM partner
I just heard the news about Frank. Very sad. He filled me in on his health at IOD but he said it wasn’t a big deal, he was fine, and was even going fishing.
From what I was told second hand this was liver failure and not his lungs.
I have his address in my files but it will take some time to find and I would like to send a card to his family… Do either of you have his address handy or any information on services? Thanks.
Sorry for you the two of you also… I know the three of you have been working closely for a number of years. Frank will leave a big hole on your team.
More from Larry Fritz
I met Frank when he first started working at FileNet. I was one of the few at FileNet already working on the records management product before Frank came onboard. Because of that, Frank and I worked a lot together. He would mentor me on demonstrations, and in turn we did many presentations together. He taught me a lot about records management. Even after I left FileNet, he was always there for me when I had a question. I will always be grateful to him for recommending me for a job that brought me a long contract which in turn kept my consulting firm going for another year. He was definitely a major contributor and mentor in my career. From a personal standpoint he was a friend and we had many good times together. We would always try to have a beer together at events. He would tell me what his family was doing and about his last fishing trip. He was very proud of his family. He was such a good sport. I would often call him "Frankie" and teased him about his accent and his use of the letter "r"… why the word "yard" was "yad" yet the word "metadata" was "met(er)data(er)". Out of the many times we hung out, a couple of specific occasions standout… One was having beers with him watching the Red Sox win the World Series. Frank was all smiles and we had a great time. He was about as happy as I can remember him, and I actually coax him into a high five. The other time that stands out was when Craig, Frank and I all went to have a drink and check out Dennis Rodman’s club in Newport Beach. Craig and I felt a little out of place with everyone dressed to the hilt, in designer clothes and wild hair. And as out of place as we felt, Frank stood out like a sore thumb… yet "dad" got up and was walking around the bar like it was no big deal. He was unflappable. I was able to see Frank last October at IOD and did get my usual hug from him. OK, I would hug him because that is something he would never initiate in a million years but that was the fun of it, and I always would get a smile from him. He was a joy for me to hang out with, and I will miss his knowledge, his friendship, his accent, and his smile. Frank was a kind and giving man, and my greatest sympathies to you in your loss.
Jerry Mahony – FileNet / IBM colleague
I'm so sorry to hear about Frank's passing. I always enjoyed bringing Frank on sales calls, and he was the voice of reason regarding records management. He was so proud of that Worcesta accent -- a Holy Cross grad to the core. He would often rib me for attending Boston College -- a long-time HC rival. Frank was a man that always upbeat, and such a pleasure to work with. He was always willing to assist, regardless of the situation. I'm sure he treasured your friendship over the years. I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to know him.
What a great guy....we will miss him dearly.
Mohan Natraj – IBM colleague
My sincerest condolences to each and every one of you for your loss. I did not have the privilege to work as long w/ Frank as you all did, but the little time I did, I was immensely impressed with him as a person and colleague. My last meeting w/ him at the IOD was extremely meaningful given that it was an education session was to help me come up to speed with our business (especially the history over the past many years). I loved his enthusiasm and straight talk. If there is anything at all I can do to help you in these difficult times, please do not hesitate to ask. Once again my sincere condolences.
Jerry Bower – IBM colleague
I echo this, and though I did not have the opportunity to work together with Frank all that much, his voice, his wisdom, his candor - and his humor - were unmistakable on the other end of so many of our group conference calls. And what a distinguished career, I had only heard parts of it until now. My condolences as well to his family and to everyone who knew him. He had a unique personality, was a real leader, and he will be sorely missed.
I consider myself fortunate to have known Frank and I'm proud to say that I learned from him.
More from Jerry Bower
I don't know you well. But that didn't stop me from admiring your decisiveness, fortitude - and your forthrightness about what was right, and frankly, what really need to be improved -- about our products, our messages and sometimes even our work situation. I can only say that I learned from you and I know that many others did too. You are a recognized, experienced, no bullshit subject matter expert in our business - a term that sometimes gets applied to people who aren't quite there, or maybe can't easily convey their expertise (not in our group of course :-) -- but these were never concerns with you. You were a leader for us Frank, not an easy thing with people like us, who generally all consider themselves to be as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Ron Ercanbrack – FileNet / IBM VP, executive
So sorry Craig!!!!
Joe Kurtzweil - FileNet / IBM colleague
As we all share our memories and prayers with the McGovern family, I would also like to express to you and your team that I am very sorry not only for the loss we all have experienced, but more specifically the loss to your very close team as well. Frank supported me on MANY occasions and specifically was instrumental in helping maintain our relationship with First Energy, Key Bank and others while we positioned and sold our compliance infrastructure.
Frank will always be remembered as a friend of mine with some of the MOST interesting stories to tell.
Dr. Stephen Chambers – customer (Texas A&M University)
I would like to offer my most heartfelt condolences to the McGovern and IBM families. Frank was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. When Texas A&M started looking at the Records Manager product back in 2005, it was Frank who made the trip here to speak with us in person and help guide us in our discovery stages. Through his efforts we were one of the first installations of RM. It was with Frank’s guidance, deep knowledge, and unending patience that saw through to setting up RM. For six years we have been running RM and because of Frank’s efforts, Texas A&M has been a reference client to IBM ever since. I have spoken to many corporations, to many executives, and to many record managers about the capabilities of RM, but it is through Frank’s help that brought us to be in that position and pass the knowledge on to others in the industry. It is comforting to know his presence will always be felt every day in the systems that he helped develop, nurture, and support but most of all we will miss Frank as a friend and colleague.
I had the honor of being a co-presenter with Frank on the last day of IOD 2010. The true professional he was, he was not going to miss that opportunity to speak to people about his passion. I knew in the few hours I was with him that day that his health was declining but I was struck by thoughtfulness and dedication to his profession.
If there is anything I can do to assist the McGovern or IBM families please do not hesitate to ask.
We will miss Frank dearly.
Doreen Paul – FileNet / IBM colleague
Aww, so very sad. At least he is no longer suffering. Thanks for letting me know.
Mark Jones – FileNet / IBM colleague
I just learned of Frank's passing and wanted to express my condolences to you. Frank was a wonderful, kind and caring man. He was a role model for success in everything he did. My prayers go out to his family. Please convey my thoughts and prayers to his family.
John S. Fairfield – Lt Gen, USAF (Retired) / IBM colleague
God rest his energetic soul! He never wanted to spend a day away from the office or helping others. We are blessed from knowing him this side of heaven - now I know you all have the hope that God will comfort those who no longer can see
Weston Chisholm – FileNet / IBM colleague
We have just heard the news, please pass on our best wishes to his family. He was one of the great gentleman of the industry and his passion for Records Management and Red Wine will be sorely missed.
James Rae – FileNet / IBM colleague
Please pass on my best wishes to his family during this difficult time.
Bao Vu – FileNet / IBM colleague (came the day of his passing)
If you have a chance to see Frank, please tell him to be strong; and let him know that I am praying and sincerely sending all my love and peace to him and his family.
Bill Neale’s email as sent to IBM and industry colleagues:
I am sorry to tell you that Frank McGovern passed away last night after a battle with cancer and kidney failure. His wife Karen and daughters were with him. Frank was a great guy and a major asset to IBM and to the records management profession as a whole. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues. When Craig Rhinehart and I were with him last week he told us how satisfying his life has been, with two great careers, the first 22 years in the Air Force where he retired as a Lt. Col. after commanding a fighter wing in the first Gulf War, served as an aide to Defense Sec. Weinberger and for Colin Powell. He then served as the records officer for the Air Force, staying in the records management profession upon retiring.
In private life, he was the President of the US operations for Tower Software and their TRIM records management software. He has been with FileNet and then IBM since 2004 where he lead the records management software marketing efforts. Frank was a major reason for the tremendous success of IBM's Enterprise Records. Frank also served on the Board of Directors of AIIM International. He was a frequent speaker and highly respected industry expert. Frank also shared with Craig and I how many friends he has made on his journey, and how much that meant to him. And of course what a great family he has enjoyed.
His wife Karen tells me that the funeral will likely be on Friday, with burial in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date since it takes time to arrange things with Arlington. I will let you know when the service will be held once arrangements have been finalized. In the interim, if you want to sent condolences to the family, send them to:
2813 Ringgold Court
Woodbridge, VA 22192
I have had the honor of calling him a friend and know that all of you will join me in celebrating the life of Frank McGovern.
Responses to Bill Neale’s email
Michael D. Lackey, Hewlett Packard (Former Tower co-worker
Unfortunately I will not be able to attend on Saturday as I have plans I cannot change however if the service later in Arlington is open to me to attend I would really like to be there when he is finally laid to rest in Arlington.
That is becoming his character and I would be honored to attend. Please extend my deepest condolences to Karen and the rest of the family, he did cherish them so. Frank helped me tremendously while at TOWER as he did the rest of us. He was instrumental in getting TOWER on the map with the NMCI project as well as the simplest things like just getting me into buying stock so you can see he was a mentor to me personally in a lot of ways. He saved my bacon a few times while on the road and even visited me in AU so I am saddened to know I will never be able to speak with him again. My heart does hang low.
Marilyn Wright, former AIIM Staff Member and IBM Colleague
Please give my condolences to the family and his colleagues.
Michelle Christensen and Wally Bitaut, enChoice (IBM Business Partner)
We are very sad to hear about the passing of Frank McGovern. He was a very good friend of our firm and many of our team. We would like to send flowers or contribute to a cause on his behalf. Do you know if Karen has organized something like this or if a wreath would be appropriate for the funeral. Thanks so much.
Larry Heathcote, IBM Colleague
Very sad news, our thoughts and prayers to Frank's family
Ron Campbell, IBM Global Services
If you spent any time with Frank, you enjoyed the pleasure of a man committed to his God, his family, his Country, his friends and his vocation - all of them passionately and in that order. I am so much richer for having known him, having learned a ton on the job and outside the job from him.
And I will never be able to talk about one of our key topics without calling it "Rek-ihds Management" - in his honor. Missing you already, Frank.
Janice C. Anderson, President, Access Sciences Corporation (an IBM Business Partner and friend)
…we will continue to keep Frank’s family, especially Karen, in our thoughts and prayers.
Corinne Elliott Garrett, IBM Colleague
My thoughts and condolences are with his family, you and his friends...
Ron Bray, IBM Colleague
Frank's family will be in my prayers on Saturday.
Carol Thornton, former IBM Colleague
I'm so sorry to hear this news. I feel so fortunate to have known Frank and to have been his friend -- it was truly an honor. My deepest sympathy is with Karen and the girls as they go through this difficult time. We lost one of the good ones last night.
Terry Slotnick, IBM Colleague
First of all, I am in shock to hear of Frank's passing. I knew he was ill in the past, but did not realize it was life threatening.
Secondly, I have to say you wrote a beautiful note about Frank and I can tell you were a good friend. I never met Frank in person but had the pleasure of working with him"virtually" over the last few years since I started supporting the FileNet products, specifically IER, and mainly through the OT meetings. I liked him immediately...and he made a lasting impression on me. What a nice, down-to-earth person he was and I'm sure he will be missed by all who knew him.
Dr. Charles Dollar, Cohasset Associates
I am sorry to hear about Frank's passing. I share with you a keen appreciation of his friendship and the opportunity to work with him on a professional level.
There were many opportunities for me to see Frank but one of the more memorable ones was the dinner we had in Fredericksburg, VA several years ago. You and Nancy drove up from Mechanicsville and Karen and Frank drove down from Woodbridge. I had never met Karen so this was a wonderful opportunity to meet her. Of course, she was the common Oklahoma connection for me and Frank (obviously she did not know about me during my Oklahoma days).
Peter Kurilecz, IBM Colleague and former employee
Will miss Frank greatly. never got a chance to hear the wedding story, but did always enjoy driving with Frank from the Arlington office to his car down at the Woodbridge Park and Ride. a good man who touched many
Carol Taylor, IBM Colleague
He will be sorely missed. How very sad.
Kathleen Delgado, IBM Colleague
My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time, in the times I worked with Frank his candor, humor and intelligence always made me smile.
Yolanda Yates, IBM Colleague Australia
This is very sad news, although I am sure there must be some respite knowing Frank is now at peace. Frank was always a wonderful support to us in ANZ and will be sorely missed by those in IBM ANZ and in the broader RM community down here who knew Frank. Our condolences go out to his family.
I only hope his days are filled with comfort and peace.
Mia Winn, IBM Colleague
I am so sorry to hear about Frank. It is a significant loss, which has been felt far and wide. I have even seen some of his colleagues shared the news in the social media space (Twitter, etc.) and I was wondering if there was a way for people who knew Frank via his extensive business connections (AIIM board, etc.) to send condolences -- perhaps a charity donation or something of that nature? That way someone who didn't know him personally enough to send flowers to his family can still honor his memory. If you know of anything, please let me know.
Cindy Cheng, IBM Colleague
I'm sorry to hear that we lost a great man. When we spoke, I found out he's been sick but didn't know his time was so short. I did call & left him a message a few times. I also sent a card yday but it was too late.
Thank you for sharing the news. Frank's passing is indeed, a tremendous lost not just for his family & friends, but also IBM & the industry. His enthusiasm, passion & dedication to his work & life is infectious. Even though I haven't worked with him and the compliance group much in recent years, Frank & everyone in the group have a special place in my heart.
Julie Gable, Gable Consulting LLC
I am very sorry to learn of Frank's passing. I had a high opinion of him professionally and I always liked him personally. It was easy - Frank was clearly one of the good guys.
… We will all miss him.
Nia Eton, IBM Colleague
He will be sorely missed –
Holly Gomes-Pauli, IBM Colleague
This is a sad day. He was a wonderful man and I'll miss him.
George Parapadakis, IBM UK Colleague
We'll miss him! R.I.P :-(
Bruce Schinkelwitz, Former IBM Colleague and employee
please tell him how much my wife Margaret and I are thinking about him and the family.
A sad day indeed. I also am proud to say he was both a friend and a mentor.
I will proudly count Frank as a friend and as a mentor in the area of enterprise records management. I was hired by Frank at TOWER software in 2000, and again at his instigation at FileNet in 2005, and we became both colleagues and friends over the years. One of the many memories was that he always wanted the server to leave the coffee pot at the breakfast table, never wanting to have to ask for a second coffee. Frank was the kind of person who stood out as a leader – it as his sense of what was right, what was fair, and what was funny. What sums up his final persepctive was his favorite saying: "It is what it is." I will dearly miss him along with the many others whose lives he impacted, even if it was only in the space of a product demo or short presentation. See you later Frank!
Posted by Bruce to the Records Management List Serve
With sadness I learned early this morning of the passing of Francis (Frank)X.
McGovern on January 31, 2011, after a brief battle with cancer.
He is deeply missed already by those who knew him well, and it is a sad loss to the worldwide records management community. Frank was a passionate advocate for electronic records management and a leader 'on and off the field.' From his amazing stories of his wedding journey across America to his sense of what is right and fair to his ability to laugh to his final stoic calm in the face of an unavoidable end, Frank was a true leader, a mentor and a friend, something I will always be proud to tell. His motto, "It is what it is," will be remembered by the many I know who held him close in their thoughts. I miss him already, and I hope that others will join me in sending deepest condolences to his wife Karen and his daughters, whom he spoke of often and with love.
Cheryl Greene, IBM Colleague
My thoughts and prayers are with Frank and his family.
Hans Howald, IBM Colleague - Switzerland
This is touching and makes us very sad. We will keep him a good memory. Thank you for describing him in such wonderful words. Our thoughts will be with him ….
Dave Hornstein, IBM Colleague
Sorry to hear this news. I'm saddened by the loss of Frank...a GREAT guy, I/we'll all miss him.
Ned Bader, IBM Colleague
I am sorry for the team's loss... but especially sorry for his family and his close friends. It sounds like you were able to spend quality time with Frank - and I am glad for that. Please express my best wishes to his family.
John Mancini, President, AIIM International
So sad. I found out last week and had communicated with Karen and asked her to tell Frank that he was in our prayers . Betsy had said they had about all they could handle so left them alone. But have been thinking so much about Frank. What a great guy.
John Frost, IBM Colleague and friend
God bless our friend Frank.
John Breeden, Records Manager, Old Dominion Records Co-Op
He and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for letting me know.
John Phillips, Consultant, Infotech Decisions
Really sad event. I always like Frank a lot and thought Frank had it all –
career, family, immensely respected and admired. Proof that every day we have is
a blessing to be thankful for.
Rob DuMont RKO Solutions
Thank-you for keeping me in the loop. I read your first email on Friday and it saddened me greatly – I had a HUGE amount of respect for Frank, plus I really liked him as a person, and the world has truly lost something significant in his passing. My condolences to yourself and others on the team who worked much closer to him than I did, I can only image how much this loss must be impacting you.
Josh Payne, Former IBM colleague, posted on his blog
Three Things I’ll Remember about Frank McGovern
with 4 comments
A former IBM colleague and role model, Frank McGovern passed away last night. I took a few moments to pull together a few of things I learned from him and will always remember about him:
1) Your personal epic. We should all have at least one epic story we can tell. Every year I knew Frank, we plied him with a cocktail and coaxed his "wedding story" out him. It involved a multi-week vacation, a cross-continental drive, a mix-tape, a wedding (of course) and Colin Powell. It never disappointed.
2) Stay grounded. At IBM, it was easy to get caught up in the machine (i.e. the buraeucracy that seems to be independent of the business of solving customer problems with software). Frank made a big impression on me at a trade show (must have been ARMA) where he fired up a VMWare with his product on it, to try something out. Mind you, he’s leading a multi-million dollar business, has all sorts of "strategic" responsibilities at IBM and has 10 people in the vicinity that could just as easily find the answer to the question. Always be a user of your product. Every single day. The former Air Force pilot was always grounded in reality.
3) The Worcester Accent. Frank hadn’t lived in Worcester, MA in probably 35 years when I met him. But he talked like my mother (a Worcester native). It was always fun to speak to an audience right after Frank because there were always easy jokes to be made about his accent, my Worcester heritage and my complete lack of accent. Hopefully my lame jokes about his accent distracted the audiences from the fact that I was half the speaker he was. He was an absolute expert in his domain (records management) and I was just trying to keep up.
I’ll miss you Frank.
Terry Ellis, IBM Colleague
I too missed the wedding story. Frank was great to be around, much admired and respected. My favorite story was when he was raving about a great place in Costa Mesa to get meatloaf, and then Bill chimes in about getting food poisoning
Tod Chernikoff, IBM Colleague
A big loss to the RM community. please send my good regard/wishes...
John Isaza, Hi Lawgroup
I feel deep sympathy for his family and colleagues at IBM. This is a huge
loss. Regrettably, I will not be able to attend the services.
Laurence Leong, IBM Colleague (Frank’s Manager)
Bill, this is very sad news. Thank you for passing it on. I can only add that it was also a great privilege of mine to be able to know Frank personally and professionally. As you noted he was a tireless, passionate, and expert leader and expert in the area of records management, and I consider it an honor to have been able to work with him. I consider him a role model in terms of his integrity and professionalism.
More from Laurence Leong read to Frank before his passing
Craig, Bill and Michele have been keeping me updated. I wish I could be there with you but can't, so please accept this letter as a way for me to express my wishes. Would love to talk to you if you can take a phone call.
First of all let me say that the positive attitude and spirit that you're demonstrating is fantastic and is an example to us all.
Over the last few years it's been a true privilege and a great learning experience for me to know you personally and work with you professionally. As I've always told people, you have forgotten more about records management than I'll ever know! Work aside, I've learned a great deal from you - I don't know anyone more dedicated, passionate and loyal than you. And, now I know how to pronounce "Worcester"! :)
Frank, no matter what happens please know that my life has been enriched by knowing you, and that I have you in my thoughts and prayers. Take care and God bless
T J Malabie, IBM Colleague
This is so sad.
Cheryl Miller, IBM Colleague
I will miss him. It is so sad.
Sheyda Saponarm, IBM Colleague
My condolences to you. I'm so sorry to hear the news. At least he is not suffering any more.
May his soul rest in peace.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Chuck told me about Frank couple days
ago and I was so so sorry to hear it. When I saw him at IOD, I noticed he did not look so
good. I did not know he was sick. It is truly remarkable how he is positive and at peace.
He always impressed me as someone kind and with high integrity.Well, I have tears in my eyes now and this is really sad. I wish he does not suffer.
Thanks again for sharing this with me. My thoughts and prayers are with him.
Lorna Gorny – FileNet Colleague
Thank you for letting me know about Frank. I really enjoyed working with him and learned a lot from him. He knew what he knew, and it just showed. He was such a genuinely nice man, always had time to talk or help, give advice, or chat over dinner after a big presentation.
Your letter was such a nice tribute to him, thank you for sharing that with me.
Lee Roberts – FileNet CEO / IBM executive
Craig, thanks for including me in this. I really appreciate it. I am sorry to hear about Frank. He was a good man. Hope all is well with you.
Tom Rieger – FileNet / IBM colleague
You have officially made me cry today Craig. I knew he was sick but I had no idea to what level until I read this note. Please send my well wishes to his family from 'the guy from Minnesota'.
Darren Peloso – FileNet / IBM colleague
No better person to follow to help keep up in the world of Compliance. Thank you for the updates on Frank. Honored I got to know him
John Gable – FileNet / IBM colleague
Thank you for including me Michele.
Frank was indeed a good friend. I'm sure I join millions who feel they were very special friends. Good people have a way of making people feel that way.
I wanted to share a very funny story about Frank, Karen and I. On the first trip he took to the Adirondacks to go fishing, a trip that became a yearly excursion he looked forward to, I gave Frank directions to my house and a time to meet me. Unbeknownst to me, my wife also planned a surprise birthday party for me that same day. My friends picked me up for a car show and wouldn't return me at the time I planned so I could be there for Frank's arrival. When I did finally get back home I saw tons of cars - around 150 people - and completely forgot about Frank in the excitement. About 10 minutes later after greeting people I hadn't seen for years, I spy Frank and Karen in the corner of my yard talking to my brother. FRANK! Turns out, he and Karen had to park about 1/4 mile away, and as they walked down the driveway prior to my arrival, 150 people stopped talking, stared at these people no one knew, and finally my wife stepped up and said "You must be Frank! I'm so sorry but I had no way to get a hold of you and I couldn't ask John for your information". Frank and Karen smiled their way through and by the time they left a few hours later, they had 150 new friends - as well as my sister for a dinner date the next night. That's another story.
Feel free to share this story if you feel appropriate, Michele. I will follow up with a note to Karen in a week or so after she's had time to register her new reality. I feel this story illustrates a lot about Frank - his follow through, his love of nature, his ability to handle the unknown, and above all, to turn a large group of half drunk ordinary people into good friends. All in a day's work, right?
"IT IS WHAT IT IS" as Frank would say. I miss you Frank. I love you, man. And I remember you. God rest.
Jill Taylor, IBM Colleague and Friend
I can honestly say I never had a conversation with Frank that I didn’t enjoy. And rarely one in which I didn’t laugh at least once. What a gift. It was a true pleasure to work with Frank and an honor to call him my friend.
There are so many things I’ll miss about Frank, it would be impossible to list them all. Just a few…
His complete and utter professionalism; if I was doing a project with Frank…it was done right!
I could ALWAYS count on Frank…at a show, for presentations. For anything.
"It is what it is"
The wedding story. It has reached legendary status in our circle. Every time I heard it, he added a new nugget. So I loved hearing it every time he told it. My favorite part has to be how he timed the music as he crossed the bridge into NYC! Classic.
His superior ability to cut through the bull
Trading Redskins-Cowboys insults. We kept that conversation going year-round.
How he always identified himself by first and last name on group calls even though everyone knew who he was as soon as he opened his mouth due to his accent
The annual ARMA "drunk dialing" of Russ tradition he inaugurated. I will never forget his impression of Bill Neale in his Worcester accent!
Dinners on the road. Great stories.
Frank the professional touched an amazing amount of people. The knowledge he had about records management and our industry was truly astounding. And his military service was exceptional and inspiring. But Frank the person was even more incredible. I love you, my friend. You will truly be missed.
Thomas E Utiger
please tell frank that while I may not have the right words, I my thoughts and best wishes are with him and that while our journey together was brief, I treasure the time we had.
Thank you for passing this along -- I appreciate the update. Please continue to pass along any other news. Frank is truly one of those people you meet in life that makes a difference -- as I am sure you know as well.
George Darnell, Chairman of the Board, ARMA Northern Virginia Chapter
Please let Frank know that his friends in the Northern Virginia Chapter have him in our thoughts and prayers. We are proud to call him a friend and colleague. He contributed much to the profession and to our chapter. We pray that the Lord will bless and comfort him and his loved ones during this difficult time.
Sean Fitzpatrick, RKO Solutions
Our thoughts are with Frank, a truly wonderful, memorable person. Would you kindly keep us up to date?
Tom Reding, Dayhuff Group, IBM Colleague and partner
Please let Frank & his wife know that they are in my and my family's prayers.
He and his family will be in my prayers.
Please keep me updated as you get information.
Matt Garst, matt.garst@EIM-USA.COM
I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers.
Karen Ross, IBM Colleague
Sad to learn today of Frank McGovern's passing http://tinyurl.com/4kv6uyc He was a leader in records management in and far beyond #IBMECM
I *did* hear the wedding story. His team adored him. RIP my good friend
An IM leader passes
#RiP Rest in Peace Frank McGovern former #AIIM Board member #IBM #Tower #TRIM #ECM & #AirForce vet & a great guy
my cndlnces RT @jmancini77: Rest in Peace to Frank McGovern, former #AIIM Board member, #IBM, #Tower/#TRIM and #AirForce vet and a great guy
Dianne Jolly, IBM Colleague
I am learning so many things about Frank that I did not know. He was CEO of Tower Software? Wow! Of course now that I think about it I am not surprised since he was so good at what he did and so very knowledgeable about everything. Why this stands out to me is because Frank never acted like he was better than anyone, he never talked down to anyone, he was so approachable and patient. Well, he was patient with me. I think he had to explain ILG to me at least two times. That must have been frustrating. I will never know because he never made me feel bad for not understanding something. He was always there to help and so committed to what he did. I remember back when he saved me by coming to the Records Manager event I planned at FirstEnergy. Everyone one else cancelled at the last minute, but not Frank. He came and saved the event. I will never forget him. He will truly be missed.
Melinda Seifert – FileNet colleague
Thank you sending this to me. I enjoyed working with him while I was at FileNet.
My heart goes out his family and I will remember him in my prayers.
Linda Clark, IBM Colleague
Please convey my condolences to Frank's family. I have a high regard and respect for Frank and his many accomplishments. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work with him. Please let me know if there is an organization that his family would like to receive a donation from me in his name.
I will not be able to make the funeral mass for him tomorrow, but appreciate you giving his family my message. I will keep him in my prayers.
Richard Hogg, IBM & Dyn Colleague
Dear Karen & Family,
Our condolences to you and your family for your loss this week of Frank.
Frank was a great colleague and friend to me over the years, helping me out and advising me in his always-with-a-smile ways over the years. I worked with him first almost 12 years ago at Dynsolutions/DynCorp where we achieved one of the first erecords paired-integration solutions and achieved one of the first DoD 5015.2 certifications (Always ".2" said Frank…).
Since his joining FileNet and then IBM, I enjoyed our daily contacts, discussions, brainstorming and execution to help colleagues and customers worldwide. His passion and wry humor was infectious, especially on the road and in the field, across customers and many events and conferences. It was a pleasure when traveling to always try to bring him a cup of coffee each day and appreciate his humble under-his-breath thank-you.
I’ll miss you Frank :-( Rest in peace.
Michele Kersey, IBM Colleague
Karen, Sandra, Laurel, and family:
Frank was a dedicated, consummate professional, a seasoned leader, an inspiring mentor, and a lovely gentleman. Twice I was fortunate to be present when, with a sparkle in his eye, he regaled his colleagues with his "epic" story, as Josh Payne noted, of meeting and marrying his bride Karen.
I'm lucky to have worked for Frank: he’s the best manager I’ve ever had, and was dedicated to his team. Frank knew when to lead, when to inspire, when to listen, when to command (usually prefaced with a "Lookit!") … always with honesty and respect. His dedication to excellence kept others focused and committed, with his "at the end of the day …" summaries as pragmatic advice for noting what’s important.
Frank’s sage counsel, shared with me many times: "Your health and your family come first." His wit, patience, kindness, and love of family are sterling examples for all who knew him. I’m so thankful I had the chance to visit with Frank several weeks ago, and to join John Frost in sharing a meal last week with his mother and brothers as they spoke so fondly of "Franny". I wish you and your family warm and comforting solace in the hearts, minds, and arms of all of us who loved and respected Frank. I miss him dearly.
Greg Young, IBM Colleague
comment posted on Josh Payne’s blog entry
Josh – very nice post. I still remember the first time I heard Frank’s voice. He was doing a presentation with Campbell Robertson. The subject of course was records. I can’t imitate the accent in this note, but there was no mistaking where Frank was from : )
I remember when he invited me to have dinner with him and his childhood friend while we were in Boston for an IBM event. And how I thought to myself that I’m not sure I would have been so gracious to have done the same. It was then I began to see that he was a really great guy and a good friend.
I remember all the times Frank and I spoke on the phone and how he helped me when I was a new manager. And after each conversation, I would try to remember at least one thing we spoke about and tuck it away, knowing that one day it would come in handy.
I remember the time we were at dinner and we all begged, pleaded and cajoled him to tell the "how I met my wife story" and for those of us who had not heard it before, we sat in rapt attention. My favorite part still, is when he reached over and put his foot on the gas while Karen was driving and was immediately pulled over by a state trooper.
And the one about Billy (I think) and the ragged pick up truck doing what no other branch of the military could do – driving Cap Weinberger (his 2nd line – Colin Powell being his first) home during a DC winter blizzard.
And the countless other "Frank" stories.
We will always remember him, and the stories, and the laughter and joy each one brought! We’ll miss him dearly.
I am very sorry to hear that Frank has passed away. I truly enjoyed working with him. His exuberance,his passion, and his deep understanding of our domain was inspirational to me. It is rare to find someone who loves this work as much as he did.
I wish that I could have spent more time with him, but with people like Frank there is never enough time...At least now we know that heaven is going to have a good RIM program by the time we get there!
My condolences to his family, and to you, as I know you were close to him.