Don M. Franco

Don M. Franco is, in many ways, an American success story. The product of a broken family, he was raised in the type of impoverishment that hinders and destroys the promise of so many potentially productive African-American youth. Yet instead of becoming another casualty of the inner city, Don overcame to become a college graduate, a successful businessman, an associate pastor, and a happily married man for 35 years.

Don was raised in Linden, NJ. His parents separated when he was one, leaving his mother to raise him and his older sister in a one-bedroom apartment. Though his mom did an admirable job of providing Don with a strong sense of values, Don could not escape the emotional pain of growing up fatherless and poor. Like many youngsters stuck in a complex situation, Don many times felt inadequate.

Nonetheless, his mother's emphasis on education paid off, and Don became an honor society student. He also was a star basketball player, earning a scholarship to perennial basketball powerhouse, Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, and later finishing his high school career at Linden High School. During Don’s senior year, he was selected New Jersey’s first-ever “Player of the Year.” Don attended Virginia Commonwealth University, the recipient of a four-year basketball scholarship.

While Don's college basketball career was not as successful as he had hoped, he did graduate from college with a business degree. During his time in college, he also married his best friend and love, Twyla. The couple resides in New Jersey with their four adult children.

Armed with ambition and a college education, Don became an award-winning pharmaceutical salesman. He has worked with some of the most valued companies in the world through various sales, marketing and training positions.

Don is a lover of God and is an Associate Pastor at Christ Community Church in Union, New Jersey. Don is also the founder and CEO of, a social-entrepreneurial company that seeks to contribute financial resources for empowerment to African-American communities across the country.