Frank Costa

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For the football player, see Frank Costa (American football). For the American guitarist, see Animosity (band).

Frank Costa OAM (born 1938 in Geelong) is an entrepreneur, 1997 Order of Australia Medal recipient, and philanthropist. The Geelong native has been a prominent figure in the region for more than four decades, after inheriting the family's produce business in the late 1950s. The company has become largest service wholesaler of fruit & vegetables in the country with operations in five major states.

In 1998, he became president of the Geelong Football Club.

History[edit]

Costa was the eldest of five sons born to Sicilian immigrants that moved to Australia in the 1880s. His great-uncle established the Geelong Covent Garden in 1888 — a produce grocery which he ran until the 1920s, at which time he turned it over to Costa's father.

When Costa was 21, he (along with his brother Adrian) convinced his father to sell the business to them. Costa successfully grew the business with help from his brother, as they made forays into wholesaling. Although Adrian died in 1972 as a result of an automobile accident, and there were a few business blunders along the way — including the failed development of a state-of-the-art warehouse — the remaining Costa brothers were able to keep the business afloat. By the 1980s, the company had an annual turnover to the tune of A$100 million.

In the early 1990s, Costa's fruit operation; Costa Logistics, was forced to cooperate with the Melbourne underworld. [1]

As of 2006, the company has 800 employees, and a turnover in excess of 800 million. Its head office is an ex-church purchased by the Costa Group and converted into modern offices, located in Myers Street, Geelong.

Costa is the subject of a recent biography,[1] with a foreword by eminent historian Geoffrey Blainey and references to Geelong identities, the Geelong Football Club, and Italian immigrants in Geelong.

Philanthropy[edit]

The Order of Australia which was bestowed upon Costa in 1997 is one of many occasions where his involvement in the community has been acknowledged. He was also awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2001 for his instrumental role in Australian rules football, which includes the restoration of the Geelong Cats to a position of prominence.

According to a 2004 poll, Costa held first place on the list of the regions Movers and Shakers." It was also a year that saw him (out of frustration) publicly urge the authorities to keep its promise of developing a recycling and irrigation facility in the Werribee region.

Frank Costa is Patron of the Geelong Volunteer Resource Centre and the Geelong Volunteering Network.

Political scandals[edit]

His push for the recycling/irrigation plant is one of many events has caused some to raise conflict of interest concerns, as his company was apt to obtain a substantial benefit from the project. In addition to being a Committee for Geelong board member and being president of the Geelong Football Club, Costa has been involved in some of the most prominent development projects being touted for the region. These include the development in North Geelong near the Ford site and at Point Richards near Portarlington.

In early 2006, Costa was embroiled in controversy due to his undisclosed financial support of political campaigns.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Des Tobin with foreword by Geoffrey Blainey, (2006), Frank Costa. Family, Faith and Footy, Killaghy Publishing, Malvern, Victoria

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ron Hovey
Geelong Football Club president
1998 – 2011
Succeeded by
Colin Carter