A ‘little’ about Frank

This is my hometown, and that’s all you need to know.

I never thought I’d have a hometown. Born into a military family I moved around, and was proud of my ability to adapt to new settings, make new friends, every few years. But one day (I know the exact one) after I had lived here nearly 30 years I realized that I had a hometown, and it was like being re-united with a long-lost friend. I’ve included both a standard resume and a resume of my community engagement below, and on the Experiences/Issues page you’ll find my opinions about the issues of the day.

Francis (Frank) F. Mand

20 Chilton Street, Plymouth MA

dogd@aol.com (774) 454-0856

Education: 

BA English Literature, Boston College

MBA, Northeastern University

Certificate in Professional Publishing, Stanford University

Certificate in Web Design, Emerson College

Current employment: 

Tour Guide, Insider Tours of Historic Plymouth

Manager, The Barrens (Airbnb)

Director, The Pine Barrens Alliance

Past work experience:

Multimedia Reporter: The Old Colony Memorial

Columnist: “No Mand’s Land,” Community News Group

Executive Editor: The Journal of Nuclear Medicine

Editor: The Chronicle

Publisher: The Carver Independent

Associate Editor: The Independent Voice

Reporter: The Patriot Ledger

Community involvement:

Candidate: Plymouth Select Board

Former President, South Plymouth Little League

Manager, The Center Hill Preserve

Board of Directors, Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMPBA)

Member, Plymouth Art and History Collections Task Force

Creator, CommuniTREE

Founder, Explore Natural Plymouth

Board of Directors, Plymouth Task Force to End Homelessness

I have…

a journalists’ curiosity and enjoy learning by doing, which has led me to master the creation of the authentic on-the-beach clambake, the historic charcoal pit, and to travel to England to learn firsthand (on the Mayflower Trail) about the origins of the Pilgrims.

In 2013 I undertook a year of sunrise pictures at different locations all across Plymouth leading to a final sunrise picture on December 31 at Plimoth Plantation that was attended by 500.

In 2014 I created “CommuniTREE,” to celebrate the key role that non-profits play in maintaining a vibrant, caring community. For 7 years the Town Christmas Tree has been decorated with oversized, largely hand-made ornaments representing over 100 community non-profits.

In 2018 in search of knowledge about community engagement I attempted to walk across the country, beginning from Ventura, California and though I ended that effort in Amarillo, Texas I had a lifetime of experiences and raised $15,000 for the Plymouth Task Force to End Homelessness.


Chronology of Community Engagement, 1984-2020

  1. Hockey Parent: This is like joining the French Foreign Legion. It’s combat duty. It’s cold rinks in the early morning, tiny dressing rooms with an overwhelming aroma, vacation trips to Tyngsboro when the rest of the world is reclining on a beach in Florida. Then again, it teaches you restraint. It takes superhuman discipline not to strangle the parent with the air horn standing next to you at 7 a.m. in the creaking wooden rink in Hyannis.  It takes great humility to stand for hours with a can at Shaws asking for donations so your team can go to Lake Placid for a hockey tournament. I do love the sport and the fitness it takes to play it with speed and skill but after giving up spring vacation and weekends for nine months of the year for over ten years when my second son was born my first words to him as I held him up against the fluorescent sky of the delivery room at Brigham & Women’s – Kunta Kinte style – was “I will do anything for you Patrick, but you will not play hockey!”
  2. Little League President: My friend Dan Sullivan recruited me to be his VP and Player Agent when he took charge of South Plymouth Little League 25 years ago and, when he moved on to Babe Ruth, I took over. I established the first ‘opening day’ league celebration in our league, maybe the town. I rented a trolley to drive people around the area, organized a home run derby (a fundraiser that depended on the egos of Little League fathers who still recalled their Little League glory days), and stopped wasting time having players sell candy bars (most of which were purchased by their parents) and when I moved on I left our League in the black.
  3. Little League Umpire: I never threw a player out of a game. Coaches, parents, even grandparents got ejected, though just a handful in close to 20 years, but no players. The truth is I loved umpiring Little League games, because of the kids.  Baseball is a difficult sport and children of Little League age are a long way from fully-grown yet somehow they manage a remarkable level of skill.  I’d be umpiring today but when I began working for the Old Colony Memorial I couldn’t be sure of my schedule.
  4. Local reporter: There are two reasons why I believe that my time as an employee of the hometown newspaper qualifies as community service. First, because I was paid so little that you can’t really call it a full-time job. Second, because I sincerely believe that a vibrant local paper is a required element of a vibrant community. I worked an average of 60 hours a week – including weekends, holidays and during storms – for a decade, because I loved knowing what was going on, and sharing that with local readers.
  5. 365 Sunrises: An unpaid outgrowth of my work as a reporter for the Old Colonial, was the year (2013) when I rose every day at 4 a.m. and found a new location at which to take a ‘sunrise’ photograph. For 365 consecutive days, on the beach, in the woods, at the top of the Wind Turbine off Camelot Drive, on an icy floating dock in the harbor, I roamed the town looking for unique perspectives on this 100-square mile town. On the last day over 500 residents – including our Congressman, both the Chiefs of Police and the Fire Department – along with representatives of some of the leading nonprofits in Plymouth joined me at 6:15 a.m. with the temperature hovering between 15 and 18 degrees, to pose for #365.
  6. Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMPBA): I was one of the first board members of SEMPBA whose mission is to preserve what is the second largest remaining concentration of Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens in the world. Our Pine Barrens – and much of Plymouth – contains a wide variety of rare plant and animal species included within over 40 ‘Natural Communities’ that – even if you can’t name them – give this area the rich biodiversity, plentiful water, and beautiful landscapes that we all instinctively crave and which, if we lose because of development, deforestation or climate change, we will miss sorely. As a board member of SEMPBA I have initiated or been co-creator of several programs and events including Pine Fest, our annual “Moth Ball,” and a variety of grants including a $470,000 match from the US Forest Service, and $20,000 for the Where Do You Love” campaign from the Cox Foundation.
  7. The Plymouth Task Force to End Homelessness: For the last five years I have been a board member of this important non-profit who presently own several transitional homes and operate the annual “Overnights of Hospitality” sheltering program from the late fall into the early spring. As a member I work to raise funds and awareness on the issue of homelessness and its twin – affordable housing – and volunteer to chaperone or provide meals to sheltered homeless men.
  8. CommuniTREE: With the realization that successful communities are supported not just by government but also by an army of volunteers and non-profits I sought to publicize the importance of those non-profits and hit upon the idea of CommuniTREE. It is now a tradition in Plymouth to decorate the town’s Christmas Tree in Town Square with oversized ornaments representing those non-profit organizations and like-minded groups. On the tree this past year there were ornaments representing Girl Scout troops, schools, churches, environmental, mental health, arts and many other organizations.
  9. WalkingHome: In 2018, inspired by Plymoutheans, I began what I hoped would be a yearlong walk across the country to discover the roots – or the weeds that get in the way  – of community. I began in Ventura, California and walked – for the most part – to Amarillo, Texas, and along the way I had conversations with Native American elders, city councilors, homeless shelter managers, community activists, Moose, Rotarians and others. While I was not able to complete my walk I returned home to Plymouth with a new sense of purpose and an even greater love for my hometown – raised $15,000 for the Plymouth Task Force to End Homelessness and within two weeks of my arrival had taken out papers for election to the Select Board.
  10. Explore Natural Plymouth: The economic value of open space and biodiversity is now well-established but, in Plymouth, that economic potential is largely untapped. That’s why I established the 501c3 nonprofit, Explore Natural Plymouth, which aggregates a wide variety of parks, recreation areas, beaches, conservation properties and town preserves to present to potential visitors as yet another reason to visit and stay – in this unique community.

I’m not ignoring the virus: for my perspective on the virus, how we’ve behaved, what we need to do… go to my BLOG.

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