CREdible Talk | Episode 3: The Power of Relationships
When it comes to part-time jobs, a lot of teenagers end up working the drive-thru for fast-food restaurants. But Frank Benenate—pronounced “been a naughty”—actually built some of McDonald’s first drive-thrus when he was in high school.
That was more than 40 years ago, and over that time, Frank has done just about every kind of construction job, from busting out concrete to overseeing one of the largest corporate campuses in the nation—the 2.1-million-square-foot Toyota Motor North American headquarters in Plano, Texas.
After spending 30+ years on the general contracting side of development, Frank joined KDC in 2010. As a Senior Project Manager/Design & Construction, he’s currently focused on the 217,000-square-foot, six-story headquarters for Sammons Financial Group in West Des Moines, Iowa. On a daily basis, he manages relationships with clients and service providers including general contractors, architects, and engineers.
Prior to joining KDC, Frank worked for Dalmac Construction for 17 years. He spent his first 10 years there as a superintendent and the remaining 7 years as a project manager
Whether I’m on the developer side or the general contractor side, I love the feeling of accomplishment that construction provides. There’s a lot of gratification and pride that comes with building something.
Of all the projects Frank has worked on, he ranks the Toyota project as the most interesting. While the size and scale of the project certainly made it unique, he found the technology aspect to be the most intriguing, particularly automated lighting and video conferencing capabilities.
Within KDC, Frank was one of the first employees to get his LEED AP accreditation. He enjoys diving into the details of his projects “maybe too much,” he jokes. And he also enjoys the quality control aspect of his job—making sure everything is installed to KDC’s standards.
“Every client is going to get the best from us,” he promises.
Despite Frank’s unwavering focus on details, he tries to keep things light and have a positive attitude. He likes working with different personalities and learning how different people approach their projects.
Frank believes in the motto: “Be the best you can be.” On a daily basis, he strives to be his best self, no matter what he’s doing. “I believe you should always be kind and respectful to people because everyone has their own struggles,” he says.
Though Frank wasn’t born in Texas, he considers himself a Texan since he moved to the Lone Star State when he was five. He currently lives in Plano with his adult son and just a few minutes away from his daughter and grandson. An involved grandfather, Frank attends a lot of his grandson’s sporting events.
When he’s not spending time with family, Frank is digging around in the dirt. He loves working in his yard, from landscape design to prepping beds and planting flowers. His favorite flower is the moon vine, a fragrant, white, trumpet shaped bloom that only flowers once the sun goes down.
While Frank is content to stay close to home, he hopes to visit Italy in the future. His father was born in Sicily, which is considered part of Italy, and Frank dreams of exploring the Mediterranean island someday.