Frank Keeney attended the University of Washington on an NROTC scholarship, earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa and other academic honorary organizations, and graduated with honors. Before graduation, he passed all four parts of the state CPA examination in one sitting.
His career included three years on active duty with the US Navy Supply Corps during the Korean War (he was the “Bull Ensign” of the Corps); 22 years working in large companies; and 26 years in small business startups and turnaround situations, which included numerous financings, a successful Chapter 11 reorganization, the sale of a turnaround to First Data Resources and sale of a startup to Qualcomm.
In retirement, Keeney developed a keen interest in government and founded the Act 2 reform movement.
Keeney started his professional career as a sales trainee at IBM in 1957. In second year on quota, was one of top salesmen in the company. Promoted to Assistant IBM Director of Budgets in the Office of the Chairman with responsibility to review all divisional operating plans. Subsequent management assignments were in divisions and the product development and manufacturing group. Last position was Director of Financial Planning for the company. When he resigned, the president of IBM offered him several promotion alternatives in an attempt to induce him to stay.
In 1968 Keeney was recruited as Chief Financial Officer of theWall Street firm Smith Barney to bring professional management to what was then described as a “cottage industry.” He was CFO, Director, and member of Executive Committee. One of his many major accomplishments was designing a new financial system that was copied by other major Wall Street firms.
After a short retirement, Keeney founded Ultra-Scan Corp. in 1989 to develop an ultrasonic scanner to capture fingerprint images for use in a proprietary personal identification system. The FBI was encouraging private companies to explore alternative technologies for this application because of the deficiencies in the optical systems then in use, which experienced 20 percent error rates.
This ultrasonic development work was challenging, but it eventually led to a successful product that was adopted by our military Special Forces for use in the field in Afghanistan, which was an extremely difficult environment for personal ID systems. It became the only identification system that the FBI approved for law enforcement work other than the original optical system. Because of its improved accuracy, it held the promise of becoming the only technology capable of achieving a fully automatic system that delivered accurate identification results.
The company was sold to Qualcomm in 2013.
Frank Keeney Contributions
- Constitutional Reform
- Government & Liberty