Lou Frank is currently the director of business development at Coatings for Industry, Inc. (CFI), but he’s perhaps known best in the industry as the founder of CoatingsPro Magazine.
With the magazine starting the celebration of its 20-year anniversary in November 2021, Frank recently joined the CoatingsPro Interview Series to reflect on the publication’s remarkable journey over the past two decades. Back then, Frank was running his own advertising agency on the U.S. West Coast, and he gradually met a handful of coatings clients. From there, it became something more.
“During my years working with coatings companies, I ended up at a large trade show in Las Vegas called World of Concrete,” Frank said on the podcast.
“In early 2001, I’d been to several World of Concrete shows. By that time, I went looking for a magazine at that show to advertise in to reach out to the coatings applicator. I was looking for a publication that delivered content for all the challenges those people face. After a lot of hours of walking the show halls, I honestly could not find that magazine. I was walking the halls with a really nice person, and I said, ‘You know what? We should create this magazine.’ And she turned back to me and said, ‘Okay. When do we start?’ That was really the [start] of what happened to grow into CoatingsPro.”
As it turned out, CFI was the original advertiser of CoatingsPro. While Frank acknowledges “a few scary moments” in the early going, he always believed the magazine was a good fit for the industry, and it quickly became profitable.
“The magazine remains a good fit because of the skill, talent, and determination of the coatings contractor and how he or she will make or break a well-executed job,” Frank said. “The magazine does a great job of ensuring that message still gets across. Until machines can paint stadiums, bridges, and intricate petrochemical pipes and equipment, this will always be true.”
Frank’s complete podcast interview, which also features his perspective on what’s to come for the coatings industry over the next 20 years, can be listened to below. For more information on CoatingsPro’s 20th anniversary, check out the November 2021 print issue.