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W. Frank Fountain

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Information about W. Frank Fountain

Profile image of W. Frank Fountain

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/17/1944
Birth Location:
Brewton, Alabama

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/17/1944
Birth Location:
Brewton
See how W. Frank Fountain is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born in Brewton, Alabama, on July 17, 1944, W. Frank Fountain, Jr., was the eldest of Willie Frank and Janie Fountain’s seven children. The Fountain family ran a small farm in Tunnel Springs, Alabama, where Fountain learned the value of “working hard and working smart;” he brought those skills with him to Hampton University, where he earned his B.A. degree in history and political science in 1966.

From 1966 to 1968, Fountain served as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Bengal, India, where he employed the lessons he had learned on his family’s farm to aid in the improvement of agricultural techniques. In India Fountain also worked with craftspeople to extend their base of customers through innovative marketing strategies.

In 1973, Fountain received his M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and accepted the position of Investment Analyst at Chrysler Corporation. Over the next twenty years, Fountain rose through the ranks, working in the Corporate Controller’s Office, the Treasurer’s Office, and the Government Affairs Office in Washington, D.C.

In 1995, Fountain was appointed vice president for government affairs, and in 1998 he became the senior vice president for government affairs for DaimlerChrysler. In this capacity, Fountain was able to combine his academic training with his business experience while he maintained communication between DaimlerChrsyler and government officials. Fountain’s position also enabled him to exercise his commitment to community service, due to his responsibilities for community relations and educational programs, and his service as president of the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund.

Fountain further demonstrated his commitment to service through his activities as chairman of the board for the Corporate Council on Africa, Hampton University, and the Detroit Public Schools Board of Education. Fountain served as vice chairman of the board for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce; Citizens Research Council of Michigan; and New Detroit, Inc. Fountain was also a board member of Africare; the Wharton School of Business; the Museum of African American History; and the Hudson-Webber Foundation. For his contributions to society, Fountain was awarded an honorary doctorate of public service from Central Michigan University.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating for W. Frank Fountain's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain describes his father's hometown
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain describes his paternal ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - W. Frank Fountain describes his father's personality, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - W. Frank Fountain describes his father's personality, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his father's family history of farming
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - W. Frank Fountain describes his maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his parents' meeting and his family's move to Tunnel Springs, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - W. Frank Fountain lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - W. Frank Fountain remembers the woman who cared for him during his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his neighbor's impact on his education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain recalls his early school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his relationship with his neighbor and childhood caregiver
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain talks about returning to Pensacola, Florida over the years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - W. Frank Fountain describes the sights, smells and sounds of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - W. Frank Fountain describes his chores and interests growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - W. Frank Fountain describes his transition to life in Tunnel Springs, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - W. Frank Fountain describes the house he lived in as a teenager in Tunnel Springs, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of W. Frank Fountain's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain talks about the schools he attended growing up
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain recalls his school and family responsibilities while growing up
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain describes the social dynamics at Monroe County Training School in Beatrice, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his dating life at Monroe County Training School in Beatrice, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - W. Frank Fountain talks about applying and being accepted to Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - W. Frank Fountain talks about experiencing classism as a young man
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - W. Frank Fountain reflects on his motivations for overcoming adversity
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - W. Frank Fountain explains his motivation for pursuing a college education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - W. Frank Fountain shares his initial impressions of Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - W. Frank Fountain describes the atmosphere at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his social and academic experience at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain remembers student teaching during his senior year of college
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his motivation to become a Foreign Service officer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - W. Frank Fountain describes the books that sparked his desire to become a Foreign Service officer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - W. Frank Fountain describes his experience in the Fidi Amici social club, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - W. Frank Fountain remembers his experience in the Fidi Amici social club, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - W. Frank Fountain talks about the conservative administration at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - W. Frank Fountain reflects on his years at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain shares his thoughts about historically black colleges and universities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain talks about joining the Peace Corps
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain explains why he hoped to be assigned to Thailand with the Peace Corps
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - W. Frank Fountain remembers his time in India with the Peace Corps
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - W. Frank Fountain describes his work with the Peace Corps in India
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - W. Frank Fountain compares growing up on a farm with his Peace Corps work in India
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - W. Frank Fountain recounts his achievements with the Peace Corps in India
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - W. Frank Fountain describes his impressions of India's government and society
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain explains why he turned down a job with USAID
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain describes his transition into business
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain remembers his initial experiences in business
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - W. Frank Fountain explains his decision to attend Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - W. Frank Fountain describes his experiences at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - W. Frank Fountain explains his interest in working with Chrysler Corporation
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - W. Frank Fountain reflects on the trajectory of African Americans in business
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - W. Frank Fountain speaks about notable black alumnae from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain talks about African Americans entering the business world
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain shares his thoughts on how African American business leaders can gain economic power
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain reflects on his black empowerment efforts within the business world
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - W. Frank Fountain remembers forming his middle-management executive mentorship group
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his middle-management executive mentorship group
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - W. Frank Fountain describes the composition of his middle-management executive mentorship group
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - W. Frank Fountain explains how he succeeded in business without a traditional mentor
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - W. Frank Fountain shares his thoughts about advancing in a business career
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - W. Frank Fountain remembers the economic downturn of 1974
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain recalls surviving the economic slump at the Chrysler Corporation
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain talks about working on a business plan assessment for Chrysler Corporation
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain remembers the lead-up to the Chrysler Corporation's 1979 government bailout, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - W. Frank Fountain remembers the lead-up to the Chrysler Corporation's 1979 government bailout, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - W. Frank Fountain talks about the significance of the Chrysler Corporation bailout in 1979
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - W. Frank Fountain talks about the first minivans developed by the Chrysler Corporation
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - W. Frank Fountain explains the timeline for producing a new line of cars
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - W. Frank Fountain talks about the Chrysler Corporation in the 1980s and early 1990s
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - W. Frank Fountain recalls his appointment to the Washington government affairs office of DaimlerChrysler
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain describes his tenure as executive director of government affairs at DaimlerChrysler
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain explains how he was elected vice president of government affairs for DaimlerChrysler
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his philanthropic responsibilities as vice president for government affairs of DaimlerChrysler
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - W. Frank Fountain reflects on his achievements as senior vice president for government affairs with DaimlerChrysler
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - W. Frank Fountain talks about successfully surviving the Daimler-Chrysler merger
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - W. Frank Fountain talks about serving as chair on the board of Corporate Council on Africa
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - W. Frank Fountain talks about his philanthropic work with the Detroit Public Schools system
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - W. Frank Fountain shares his vision for economic empowerment of the black community
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - W. Frank Fountain talks about the Executive Leadership Council, pt.1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - W. Frank Fountain talks about the Executive Leadership Council, pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - W. Frank Fountain reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - W. Frank Fountain describes how he would like to be remembered