Frank J. Roddy
Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration
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My dad always encouraged me to look outside of the family business—a plumbing contracting company—to see what I could accomplish on my own. By the time I was in high school, I had a serious girlfriend who would later become my wife, so I had a practical reason for choosing a stable profession.
I attended John Carroll University, and when I took my first accounting class, I decided to pursue a career in the field. While in college, I worked at a small CPA firm close to the school. We did tax work for a lot of small companies—mostly pizza shops. I would do the business work, and the partners would do the individual tax work for the owners. That experience gave me a good base, helped me get my arms around the business, and reinforced that accounting was what I wanted to do.
After graduation, I joined Ernst & Young and held various positions in the auditing and tax departments during my nine years with the company. My work at E&Y helped me develop a clear thinking style. I learned to envision the optimal outcome, and then determine the steps I needed to take to reach the desired conclusion. That clarity of thought has proved beneficial throughout my career. I was also lucky to work with really good people—good partners and good clients, including Swagelok.
In 1993, one of the partners at E&Y told me that Swagelok wanted to talk to me about coming on board to start a tax department. I had only one interview with Swagelok. It was a two-hour interview with Mr. Fred Lennon, the company’s founder. He focused on personal aspects—asking me about growing up and family. He talked about his philosophy and some of the management team at the time. It was a very interesting interview.
Joining Swagelok was an easy decision. Swagelok had that “it” factor, and “it” was the people. Being a consultant, I had seen the financials and knew how successful the company was, but there was something about the people that made me feel good. What I didn’t know is that when I fully came on board, it would be even better than I imagined.
So I joined Swagelok as director of tax. I started a tax function at the company and learned that reviewing the company’s tax work was much different than figuring out the systems, getting the records together, and making it all work. I had one person to help me, and I taught her to do our consolidated tax return. We made it work.
Over the years, I’ve taken on more and broader responsibilities. I was appointed treasurer in 1999 and promoted to CFO in 2000. In 2012, I was named executive vice president, finance and administration, and am responsible for overseeing the financial, customer service, supply chain, legal, global sourcing and logistics, and information technology functions of the organization.
I’ve always considered myself a fiduciary for the company, and I take my responsibilities seriously. I am always looking at what is best for the business overall, and I hope that people who have worked with me would say they learned from me.
Outside of Swagelok, I enjoy helping others through my participation on several boards, including Cleveland Central Catholic High School. It’s an inner city school whose students are nearly all at the poverty level, yet almost 90% of graduates go to college. The school saves lives, basically. We led a capital campaign and saw all of the goals—including adding classroom space and a football stadium—come to fruition. It’s a great story.
I am also a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs, the Northeast Ohio Alumni Advisory Council for Ernst & Young, the Cleveland Advisory Board of FM Global, the Conrad Companies Board of Advisors, the Advisory Board of VEC Inc. and the Swagelok Company Advisory Board.