In just a couple weeks, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Comply365, and it’s been amazing to reflect on the journey over the last 10 years.
Being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest things I have ever done. All the odds are against you – three out of four startups fail. To add to that complexity, I started with nothing, so I had to build this business from scratch and live on $50 a week for a family of 5. I had no aviation or technology background and didn’t go to college, yet I’m the first woman-founded tech company in aviation. I guess my mom was right. When I was a kid – she would say, “Give Kerry the hardest challenge or tell her she can’t do it, and I will guarantee she will figure it out.”
The crazy part is I never even thought about being the first woman in aviation to start a technology company. It wasn’t until this year when I was watching a documentary on Amelia Earhart that it hit me that there are no other women CEO/founders of aviation tech companies. Then I started to think back to how hard my first four years were and realized a lot of my challenges were also because other women weren’t doing what I was doing.
During meetings at airlines, I would hear words like, “Oh, that’s so cute that you think you can change aviation.” One time when (my husband and Comply365 Chief Product Officer) Dude and I traveled together, we toured an office where a lady said, “Oh that’s nice that you get to travel with your husband for business. Do you always do this?”
The way my mom spelled my name is usually how it is spelled for men. Numerous times I’ve been waiting in a reception area for a meeting with an executive, and when they were ready for me, I’d stand up.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I am meeting with the CEO – Kerry Frank,” I’d hear.
I would say, “Hi, nice to meet you. I am Kerry Frank.”
I wouldn’t change a thing. Sometimes it takes one woman to dare to dream and step into the unknown to inspire others that anything is possible.
Most people don’t realize that I had to wake up each morning for the last 10 years and put on my warrior spirit and armor to fight against these odds. I have been determined to beat all the odds, saying, “I will not fail,” and energize those around me to believe the same. Those of you who know me know that my passion and love for aviation have grown into a deep appreciation for the people who work in this industry – and that’s fueled me to continue to look for more ways to revolutionize how we work. It has not been easy, but it has shaped and impacted my life in ways that are unbelievable when I reflect on what we have built in the last 10 years.
When I was a kid, I thought I was privileged to have been born in America. I have the opportunity, I thought back then, to do whatever I want, and I have the freedom to change my legacy and that of my kids for generations to come. The power is in my hands.
While I still have big dreams and have not “arrived,” it’s amazing to hit this 10-year mark – and beaten the odds to this point. I am grateful for all of you who have believed in me:
- For those who risked their own careers and reputations in the early years of my journey and bet on Comply365.
- The team of incredibly talented people who work at Comply365 and make this company possible.
- Most of all, Dude Frank, my hero, the man who always stands behind me and also supported my passion and crazy ideas to risk everything we had for this business. He is responsible for many of the great products that we have today and selflessly fills whatever role has been needed over the years at Comply365.
Thank you everyone for an amazing 10-year journey, and I am looking forward to continuing this journey with as much passion and persistence as I’ve always had.