Frank Emmerich, COO, Retires on a High Note

After four and a half years as Chief Operating Officer Frank Emmerich officially retired on Friday, May 24. In five years, Frank has co-led the elite team who built Autovol’s operation and team of Solutioneers. He leaves behind a legacy of game-changing milestones in helping advance modular construction—and is considered an exceptional part of Autovol’s success, according to Rick Murdock, Autovol’s co-founder and CEO.

“Frank has been an amazing leader as we’ve pioneered new methods of construction at Autovol,” Rick says. “He’s a good man to blaze the trail with. He has left the company in a strong position and done a job far beyond anything we could have expected.”


After graduating from Olathe High School in the Kansas City area, Frank honorably served a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps. He then built a career on successive roles in several construction-related manufacturers, including Fleetwood Homes, Schult Homes, Palm Harbor Homes, Blue Homes, Factory_OS and Clayton Homes.


Frank was one of the first Autovol hires, beginning his role as COO soon after Autovol broke ground for its game-changing operation in Nampa, Idaho.


“We were able to start from day one with Rick’s leadership and a shared vision of the kind of operation we had always dreamed about,” Frank says. “We were able to start from scratch and create the best modular plant there is. There are companies that have been around for 30 years that haven’t achieved what Autovol has in five.”


Frank’s varied career has taken him to the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts with many stops in between.


“When people ask me where I’m from, I say I’m from the USA,” he said.


Frank and Anne, his wife of 36 years, have two sons and 7 grandchildren. Two of those grandchildren share his interest in robotics, and just recently competed in The VEX Robotics World Championship. With the flexibility retirement will bring, Frank looks forward to sharing in events like this with his family and friends.


A naturally busy and active guy like Frank already has a gameplan for his first months of retirement life. Later this year, he plans to hike 440 miles over 24 days on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mount Ashland Ski Resort to the Columbia River at Cascade Locks. He also plans to do some pike fishing while visiting the family cabin in the woods of Morson, Ontario.

We’re sure he has lots of other projects and “honey-do’s” on his list. And of course, he’ll be part of this year’s Autovol Shindig, a summer party that is already legendary for its over-the-top activities and door prizes. 


Reflecting on his career and time at Autovol, Frank has a few words of wisdom for career seekers considering construction or manufacturing.


“The modular construction industry is a great one for building a career,” he says. “You can move up in this industry without a degree. And once you get to know people, if things aren’t working out where you’re at, you have lots of people calling you with opportunities. I’ve worked 43 years and never had one day unemployed.”


That said, you might not be surprised which modular opportunity he recommends.


“Things are changing in construction—they have to,” he says. “Autovol is the first step of that. The industry is going to need the skills people are learning here, so you have a huge opportunity to be in demand, but also to get in at the ground floor of a company that is already a proven success with automation and new methods already proven to build higher quality homes faster more efficiently.”


Autovol and all our Solutioneers wish Frank the very best. We look forward to the times he’ll stop by between adventures. We owe him a debt of gratitude and hold him dear to our hearts. We’ll always consider him a part of our family and he’ll always be a Solutioneer.


Thanks for everything, Frank!