Fran Ford: A Lesson in Leaving a Wealthy Legacy

Most of my articles for “Million Dollar Mindset” are about creating financial wealth. But having just attended the funeral and celebration of life for a good friend of mine, and a good friend to the entire industry, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on the wealth that really matters.

It seems to me that Fran Ford may be one of the wealthiest people I have known. He did OK enough financially, but financial gain was never first and foremost on his mind.

Fran lived his life to be a friend, mentor and advisor to everyone he met without regard to any financial gain.

When I first met Fran more than 20 years ago, we created a special bond and friendship. I thought that bond and friendship was unique. But, over the years, I came to find out that just about everyone who knew Fran shared that special bond and friendship.

Not only did Fran not expect financial gain from his relationships, he never sought to burden anyone with his own personal issues. Fran had more than 220 chemo treatments and more than 400 other types of treatments for his cancer. I remember calling him once and asking if he could chat. He said he could talk but asked me to hang on for a minute. I heard some noise in the background and asked if it was really a good time. Turns out he was in the hospital for a chemo treatment but continued our conversation without complaint.

Fran’s contribution to our industry is legendary. He was an amazing friend and mentor to countless thousands of people in our industry. He lived his life in service to others. He leaves a wealthy legacy that’s beyond anything money could ever buy.

We are thankful we had the opportunity to induct Fran into the Proforma Hall of Fame. He will be forever remembered not only there, but in my heart and the hearts of the thousands of people he called “Hey, Buddy.”


Read past articles in Greg’s Million Dollar Mindset at Promo Marketing Magazine

About The Author

Greg Muzzillo started Proforma as an industry distributor in 1978. The company grew quickly and in the early 1980s Proforma was recognized for three consecutive years on Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in North America. In the late 1980’s Proforma introduced its membership program to empower distributors to retain their business ownership and independence, and to share in sales and marketing resources, purchasing power with industry suppliers, one back office including all billing, accounting, vendor payments, cash flow, computer systems and more. Today Proforma has over 600 Members and is the $500 Million leader in the Promotional Products and Print Industry. Proforma’s record breaking success includes having 18 of its Affiliates named to Inc. Magazine’s 2020 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies and 193 Affiliates achieving its Million/Multi-Million Dollar Club with sales up to $38 million.