Frank Fawzi ’84 MMS ’87: A Passion for Building Businesses
Drawing early lessons from an entrepreneurial father — and armed with a Stevens education — Stevens alumnus Frank M. Fawzi ’84 MMS ’87 has risen to the top in the business world as CEO of IntelePeer, a leading provider of on-demand, cloud-based communications services based in California.
Growing up in Turkey with a father who conducted business ventures on a global scale, Fawzi saw up close what it would take to succeed.
“I learned by his example that if you plan well and have the persistence and tenacity to get something done, you will be rewarded,” he says.
Another necessary ingredient to entrepreneurial success: passion.
"I love what I do. I’m driven by the desire to build, grow and create,” he explains.
This ceaseless drive to exceed his own expectations and past achievements propelled Fawzi to found and grow wildly successful enterprises. From 1990 to 2001, he founded, built and later sold — for $178 million — CommTech Corporation, an early leader in the communications software sector.
His track record for raising venture capital funding and attracting and retaining exceptional talent has helped Fawzi earn a reputation as a strategic thinker and visionary in the entrepreneurial world. He was tapped to lead IntelePeer, a venture capital-backed company he had joined in 2006 as a board member, as its CEO in 2007.
Under Fawzi’s leadership, IntelePeer has realized significant growth and received awards for its products and services, including being named to the prestigious “Inc. 5000” list as one of the fastest-growing U.S. companies and to the “Deloitte Technology Fast 500” list.
In 2015, Stevens honored him with the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. Entrepreneur Award.
His education at Stevens was an essential component to his success, Fawzi says.
“Whether it’s creating a software product or widget, engineering is at the core of almost everything you do in business,” he notes. "But what differentiated Stevens from a lot of other competitor schools was that, although I was specializing in electrical engineering and computer science, the breadth of the courses and knowledge at Stevens provided a well-rounded education which I found very helpful in my career.”
When asked what he would do if he were to sell IntelePeer tomorrow, Fawzi says he would do as he has always done — start and build another company.
“In my mind, so long as you’re seeking new challenges, setting new goals and having fun at it, you’re constantly climbing upward from where you are," he says. "There is no such thing as reaching the pinnacle of your career.”