Frank Correa is a master of time management but even with that valuable asset working in his favor, most days his feet swing out of bed and hit the floor around 4 a.m.
His daily compass is a jam-packed calendar that literally accounts for almost every minute in each 24-hour segment. It’s the only way he can attend to dozens of commitments spread over dozens of organizations that all share one common denominator – helping people improve their lives and their communities.
It’s a calling that Frank was born to answer and, this year, it led him to the distinction of TALL Texan of the Year award from the TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute. He embodies the principles of the TALL Texans to work with others, to network, to step away from individual comfort zones, and to think in new ways. It’s about helping others to grow as leaders and as people.
Frank was born and raised in the culture and traditions of the Rio Grande Valley. People familiar with horses know “the Valley” sets the definition for speed on the racetrack, serving as one of the most exciting and romantic aspects of the area.
Frank was raised on a farm where his father taught him respect for the land and the deep-seated value of helping others.
“I never traveled more than 20 miles from home,” Correra said in a soft, almost musical voice and accent. “But I was so eager to learn things. I read dozens of books and listened to a variety of great mentors I met along the way. I followed the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Dale Carnegie. I joined Toast Masters International and set out on what I knew would be a magical journey. I had a goal not to influence people but, instead, to educate them.”
His entire journey was, and still is, marked by life-changing experiences in the insurance and financial markets.
“Everything is based on a network of relationships,” he said. “My involvement with organizations such as Toast Masters, Lion’s Club, Junior Achievement, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and more allowed me to meet judges, senators, attorneys, and national figures such as Colin Powell to build those relationships. That, in turn, let me become part of an industry that advocates for consumers at the government level.”
One of the things he does through Junior Achievement is visit schools to teach financial literacy. “We teach the kids how to take care of themselves financially, how to invest, how to understand credit scores, how to understand compound interest, and how it works for them on a personal basis.”
Frank had insurance agencies in Grapevine and Granbury and sold them in 2019. “My wife, Belinda, and I traveled cross-country to figure out our new direction. I felt a calling to do more for communities, including doing more to fill the huge void I saw in financial education. I also wanted to help kids from abusive circumstances. The pay-off is seeing the joy on their faces when they realize they’re capable of turning around their lives. We’ve helped around 4,000 families through the Lion’s Club. I’ve also tried to help eradicate elder abuse by working with the Texas Congress.”
He added, “To me, none of this is work. It’s all about faith, belief, time management, and balance. I never anticipated it would result in the TALL Texan of the Year Award – especially when you feel helping one person at a time is more than enough reward on its own.”
Frank has always been resourceful and so eager to help others that he seemed to possess a mysterious knack for consistently finding what he needed to accomplish his goals. Use his 40-year marriage as an example.
“I worked in a T-shirt store,” he recalled, “and Belinda came in to buy a T-shirt for her boyfriend. He got the T-shirt, but I was the one who married her!”
“It’s all so worthwhile, and it all keeps me going,” Frank said. “Time? It’s there. You just find it.”