Ask just about any Baby Boomer in Chicagoland about the "Z Frank" Chevrolet radio jingle they grew up with and odds are good you'll hear an off-key version of what became a broadcast classic.
"Z-Frank (Honk! Honk!), Z-Frank (Honk! Honk!), Z-Frank for your Chev-ro-let!" they'd sing-and it was Zollie Frank's store thousands would buy from.
"Those were great days," says Chuck Frank, son of the legendary Zollie-or "Z" Frank.
"But dad knew and taught us that success was not just about money or cars rolling out of the dealership. Dad was deeply involved in the community and it's a tradition we believe in to this day. Family is always first, but our community is nothing less than an extension of our family. We try to involve ourselves in as much as we can because we know that a great neighborhood and community is beneficial to everyone."
Chuck Frank, who now operates the dealership, learned his father's lessons well. He has served on the YMCA Metro Board of Trustees-and various committees-for almost two decades. The dealership has pledged $20,000 to the new Rauner YMCA building.
"I've been honored to be a board member first for a local Jewish Community Center and then for the Central JCC Board of Directors since the mid-70s," said Frank. "I've also been inducted into the JCC Heritage Society Hall of Fame which is one of our group's highest honors. But I think I'm proudest of the local JCC Day Camp that's named after my father. He died in 1990, but he was so thrilled to help kids. I know he's smiling on what it has become."
Also opening this summer will be the brand new Elaine Frank JCC Day Camp in Hawthorn Woods for which the family gave the lead gift to honor the 91-year-old mother who was the first female president of JCC, elected in the early-70s.
The entire family finds time to devote to various organizations and causes, including the Sierra Club and the Children's Memorial Hospital Medical Research Institute Council.
Mr. Frank, who now is the dealer principal of Z Frank Chevrolet/Kia on North Western Avenue in Chicago, has worked to raise millions of dollars for many social, religious, medical and environmental organizations.
It's a family with a great history in Chicago's automotive scene, and one that brings great pride and warrants admiration from customers and fellow business people alike.