Originally from the Netherlands, Frank Schipper came to the United States in 1953 with his parents and three siblings. They settled in Santa Barbara where Frank attended Santa Barbara High School. After graduation, he tried his hand at various constructions trades, working as a ditch digger, carpenter, carpenter foreman, project superintendent, and general manager of a construction company before starting Frank Schipper Construction Co. in 1982. It was always his dream to build a company that felt like a family, and that held its employees to the highest standard of integrity and customer service. With Frank now retired, the success of this dream lives on in that the company is completely employee-owned.
Always looking for ways to give back to his community, Frank is the current president of the TRADART Foundation. He also serves on the boards of Partners in Education, the SBCC Foundation, the Lobero Theatre Foundation, and Casa Riviera HOA. He is a past president of the California chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), where he started the California Construction Education and Research Foundation. Today, he serves on the AGC’s national board.
Frank is a championing voice for those students wishing to pursue vocational training. In 1999, he personally started awarding the yearly Marvin Melvin award (Marvin Melvin was a metal shop teacher at Santa Barbara High School) as well as $500 to the top Career Education instructor in the South Coast high schools. In 2006, the TRADART Foundation joined Frank Schipper Construction Co. in giving an additional $500 annual award to a deserving north county CTE teacher. Frank was instrumental in starting the Construction Technology Program at Santa Barbara City College, and is grateful to TRADART for keeping the wood shop classes at Santa Barbara High School and San Marcos High School going for all interested students.
Frank Schipper Construction Co. has won numerous awards including Santa Barbara Contractors Builder of the Year (1998) and Association Member award (2003, 2004). In addition, the company has received builder awards for its completed projects from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and the Santa Barbara Contractors Association.
In 2009, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, Frank rode his bicycle 4300 miles across the United States. Currently, he rides most days all over the Santa Barbara area, and for a few months in Europe every summer. He is an avid leather carver, and likes to go skiing in Mammoth with his former boss and mentor, Joe Bailey. Frank also enjoys spending time with his two children, Arlan and Marla, and his five grandchildren.
Author: Jessica Tade