Local Kid Frank Bennack at Top of the Heap!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
August 19, 2010
The "New York, New York" song by Frank Sinatra says, "If I can make it there, I´d make it anywhere." Frank Bennack has done and continues doing just that as Vice Chair and CEO of the Hearst Corporation.
Last week, my wife Karen and I briefly visited New York City and thought to take the opportunity to visit Frank Bennack. He is one of our local products who has distinguished himself in the corporate world nationally and internationally. In our larger community, region and State, Frank Benack has literally gone right to the top! In the Southeast San Antonio and St. Gerard High community (Class of 1949) in which he was raised, he "hit the ball out of the park!"
While George R. Hearst Jr. serves as President of the Hearst Corporation, Mr. Bennack serves as its CEO and Vice Chairman. Mr. Bennack also serves in a number of civic leadership capacities in New York: he is a Trustee of the Hearts Family trust, Chairman of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Managing Director of the Metropolitan Opera, Trustee of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Chairman of the Paley Center for Media, Director for Polo Ralph Lauren and CEO for William Randolph Hearst Foundations.
The Hearst website says that the "Hearst Corperation is one of the nation´s largest diversified media companies."
Though spontaneous, our unannounced visit could have been the perfect excuse to decline to meet. But that did not stop Mr. Bennack from taking time to squeeze us into his schedule. His very gracious assistant proceeded to give me some times that would work for Mr. Bennack. Hours after our first visit, when my wife and I returned at the appointed time, we were shown up to the 44th Floor of the Hearst Tower.
There, we looked out over the Cityscape, met Mr. Bennack, discussed local experiences here in San Antonio and some of the mutual acquaintances we have. We spoke of the fact that Mr. Bennack was just 33 years of age when he became the Publisher of the San Antonio Light. I threw papers for the Light and Frank knew my Route Manager, Curtis Dotson.
Interestingly, Mr. Bennack has a familial link to our former Texas Governor John Connally and bears the distinguished Connally look. John Connally was born on a farm near Floresville and attended Harlandale High School here in San Antonio before going onto graduate from Floresville High School. My late father was the head coach of the Harlandale Indians Basketball Team from around 1958 to 1968 and coached Harold Connally, part of the Connally clan as was his mother who taught me third grade.
Local kid on a world stage, Frank Bennack has brought great distinction to San Antonio and Texas!