Frank Sullivan has demonstrated a strong commitment to 4-H youth development in Brevard County throughout his adult life. He has given thousands of volunteer hours to the County Extension Program in 4-H, Wuesthoff Hospital, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Farm Bureau, Agriculture Agencies, Gift Fruit Shippers, Farm Credit Service and the County Fair Board.
His nominator for the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame, Dr. Robert Anderson, has worked under Sullivan’s leadership on a number of projects including the Brevard County 4-H Foundation.
“Frank helped raise thousands of dollars for 4-H’ers by serving as chairman of the annual 4-H golf tournament committee and high school rodeo,” said Anderson. These funds are used to assist 4-Hers with opportunities to participate in 4-H Congress, Legislature, camps and other events.”
Sullivan says his focus is on supporting young people. “I do all of this for the kids to help them grow and learn,” said Sullivan.
After a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, Sullivan became involved in the family operated Sullivan Victory Groves citrus growing and packing business, which he continues to operate today. He is a third generation citrus grower and packer/shipper. Through his generous heart, he has graciously donated citrus fruit/juice for various county 4-H events, Farm City Days, and his Rotary club’s senior citizen Christmas dinner.
“As extension agents, we continually called on Frank for fresh oranges and juice for our 4-H activities and events,” said J. Lowell Loadholtz, Brevard County Extension Director Emeritus. “He always graciously supplied us with whatever we asked for.”
Sullivan was one of the first people Loadholtz met when he arrived in 1971 in Brevard County. Little did he know that Sullivan would become a close friend and co-worker. “Throughout the thirty-five years I have known Frank, I have observed him to be a man of commitment to our 4-H youth, the county extension youth agents, and the volunteer 4-H leaders.”
His commitment is borne out in his actions, said Loadholtz. “He spends countless hours every year planning, organizing and conducting efforts to raise funds to provide scholarships and grants to 4-H members and volunteer leaders.” The funds Sullivan raises help young people go to Florida 4-H Congress, State 4-H Legislature, summer camp, and competitive events.
The county fair is also an area where Sullivan’s contributions are quite evident, according to Loadholtz, who notes that the fair “usurps a great deal of his time.” Sullivan volunteers to help with the Annual 4-H Market Hog Show and Sale. He works in the show ring supporting and assisting youth exhibitors. For many years, he has purchased a project pig at the fair.
In talking about his membership in the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame, Sullivan said, “What an honor it is for me to be a member of the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame. It is humbling to join a dedicated group of people who have contributed so much to forming young lives through 4-H principles.”
Sullivan’s efforts have helped the cooperative extension program in Brevard County in many ways. When the extension staff began planning for a new county agricultural center in 1986, Frank agreed to serve on the Planning and Facility Committee. Construction was completed two years later. “Because of his efforts and influence, hundreds of 4-H members and leaders from throughout central Florida have utilized this facility and created memorable learning experiences,” said Loadholtz.
The agricultural industry in Florida has benefited significantly from Sullivan’s leadership, where he continues to apply the 4-H motto “to make the best better.” “Frank has been a very committed leader in the citrus packing/shipping industry for Florida citrus growers. He has led the industry to develop and utilize new technologies in processing and shipping our citrus commodities around the world,” said Loadholtz.
He is a past president of the Florida Gift Fruit Shippers Association, a board member with the Florida Packers Self Insurance Fund and Indian River Sales, Inc., a board member and past president of the Brevard County Farm Bureau, and a past board member and chairman of the Brevard Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. He is also a former member of the Florida Farm Bureau Citrus Advisory Committee, a former chair of the Brevard County Citrus Advisory Committee, and a member of the Brevard County Extension Advisory Council.
He has been honored with several awards, including the Distinguished Farm Service Award by the Brevard County Farm Bureau, and membership in the Brevard County Agricultural Hall of Fame. He was also named “Outstanding Man of the Year in Agriculture” by the Florida Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Sullivan has been married for 39 years to his wife, Jeanette. They have three daughters, Teresa, Mary Pat and Sally Ann who is deceased. They have six grandchildren.