Students, faculty and staff packed the Mount Carmel Auditorium (formerly the Grand Courtroom) last Thursday for alumnus Frank Casanova (’80), featured guest lecturer for the Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series.
Casanova, a senior director for Apple Inc., spoke about his personal life, profession, and the “nonlinear path” that led him from Quinnipiac University to Silicon Valley.
Frank Casaova currently leads a team managing the marketing activities for iPhone and iPad with telco partners around the world. He works with Apple’s Enterprise team helping manage relationships with companies like IBM.
Frank earned his bachelor’s degree in Information Systems (IS) from Quinnipiac University. During the lecture, he spoke about the decision to change his accounting major after an “Introduction to Computers” elective class.
“Computers spoke to me,” he said before giving credit to the friends that helped him through his student career.
After graduating, Frank joined Apollo Computer outside Boston where he was Senior Product Manager for a line of desktop workstation computers. After just a few short months and one large acquisition, Frank was laid off and forced to find another job.
Reflecting on this experience, Frank told the audience, “Don’t sweat it. When the floor is taken out from underneath you, those are opportunities.”
Frank would eventually be recruited by Apple to join their High-End Computer Group, and after more than 25 years, has had four entirely different jobs at Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters. In Frank Casanova’s opinion, “Changing jobs is good.”
When it comes to management and leadership, Frank tells students to learn as many bad things from bad managers possible, and then push them away. Relationship management is crucial, and the key to successful relationships is being kind, approachable and honest.
Quinnipiac University, Frank says, was his “spring board,” and he has remained close with Computer Information Systems Professor Bruce M. Saulnier. Especially in recent years, Frank has enjoyed talking with West Coast hockey fans about the impressive Men’s Ice Hockey team.
Frank and Debbie Casanova (’81), a member of the Quinnipiac University Board of Trustees, have two children, Caelyn and Cory. They reside in Saratoga, Calif., and as one audience member had asked – they are in fact fans of the HBO television show Silicon Valley.