Chicago wedding planner extraordinaire Frank Andonoplas will be inducted into University of Illinois at Chicago’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
Meet Frank Andonoplas
Over the years, Master Bridal Consultant and Event Expert Frank Andonoplas has won numerous awards for his events. He established Frank Event Design in 1993, and his work continues to be innovative and imaginative. This, along with his attention to detail and always raising the bar, make him one of the most sought-after wedding planners in Chicago.
A second generation Greek American, his paternal grandparents came to America from Athens. His mother, though not Greek, converted to Greek Orthodoxy and embraced the Greek culture with great zeal. Religion and culture were a significant part of his upbringing. Growing up, Andonoplas was an altar boy at Holy Cross Church in Justice, IL. om Athens. His mother, though not Greek, converted to Greek Orthodoxy and embn raced the Greek culture with aplomb. Religion and culture were a significant part of his upbringing. Growing up, Andonoplas was an altar boy at Holy Cross Church in Justice, IL.
This is actually his second career, but by far, his true calling. Andonoplas had an aptitude for business, which led him to study finance and marketing at DePaul University. After college, he had a 16-year career in banking, at one of the city’s top financial institutions. In 2006, he told The Greek Star, “I learned a lot there, in terms of client service skills, which really help me now, but it really wasn’t my ‘thing’.” Andonoplas was recruited to help with his sister’s wedding, and little did he know, that would evolve into an entirely new career for him.
“It started as a hobby,” he explained. “After my sister’s wedding, I helped a few friends. I began to realize this was my passion.”
Shortly after he started Frank Event Design, Andonoplas began what amounts to a several-year, extensive training program with the Association of Bridal Consultants. In 1993, he was certified as a Professional Bridal Consultant. The next phase of the program, which takes about three years, led to the designation Accredited Bridal Consultant, in 1996. The final phase is one in which many apply, but never achieve – that of Master Bridal Consultant. To become a Master Bridal Consultant, one must meet several requirements, including: be an authority on wedding planning and resources; have a stellar reputation in the industry; give back to the industry; and be someone the media looks to as an expert in the field. Then, the applicants are put through a stringent trial of their skills. Andonoplas earned the designation in 1999,which then madehim only one of 19 in the world to hold that distinction.
The Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, part of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will honor Andonoplas and 19 other local businesspeople at a gala event on October 8. The event, part of the institute’s 30th anniversary celebration, will be held at the Field Museum in Chicago. The new inductees are being recognized for building successful businesses and fostering a thriving economic engine in Chicago. The oldest and most prestigious Chicago area entrepreneurship award, the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame celebrates entrepreneurs whose contributions have had an enduring commercial and social impact; enhanced their communities; and brought transformative innovations to life.
Congratulations Frank Andonoplas!
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