Mission Statement

Mission: The Sam J. Frankino Foundation is an independent family foundation dedicated to creating opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for children and families in need.

Vision: Through this foundation, the Frankino family desires to share God’s blessing by a commitment to philanthropic excellence.

The Foundation awards monetary grants to qualifying institutions and agencies for initiatives designed to improve the quality of life along with the advancement of medical research. We are a family foundation guided by the enduring business philosophy and personal values of Mr. Sam Frankino. His approach to business and community participation were the groundwork for the foundation’s philanthropic direction overall. As Executive Director of the foundation, Lorraine Frankino-Dodero guides the foundation by seeking out and researching charitable organizations that are best able to make a meaningful impact. Building on the legacy of our founder, we believe that the leadership of our grantees will make a profound impact and create lasting change within our community.

“My father, Sam J. Frankino, taught our family the importance of giving back to our community — in time or through our family’s available financial resources.”

“The Sam J. Frankino Foundation welcomes opportunities to partner with nonprofit organizations to help women, children and families in need — whether through neighborhood revitalization projects, educational advancements, community outreach projects that answer basic human needs, health care innovations, environmental studies or efforts to nurture and preserve the arts. 

Our family was blessed.  We want to share God’s goodness with others.”

– Lorraine Frankino-Dodero Executive Director | The Sam J. Frankino Foundation


Picture of Sam J. Frankino


A Cleveland native, Sam J. Frankino was born into an Italian-American family that struggled to make ends meet during the Depression years. Yet despite financial hardships, the Frankino family remained close-knit — always eating meals together and pitching in to complete household chores. Young Sam, along with his siblings, soon modeled the strong, traditional Italian family values of hard work, thrift, faith in God and compassion for others. By age 12, Sam was working several small jobs, wanting money in his pocket to help support his family.

Sam’s mother proved a strong influence throughout his life. Sam would say she taught him the rewards of being frugal, the value of hard work done well, and the need to remain faithful to God’s call to serve the less fortunate. (This lifelong philosophy is a gift and legacy that Sam passed down to his family and the foundation that bears his name today.)

As a young man, Sam served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army.  With WWII’s end, he entered the workforce, eager to support his young bride and later, their daughter, Lorraine.  Hard work and a passion for excellence eventually found Sam J. Frankino on top in business.  As CEO of Agency Rent-A-Car and National Auto Credit, the savvy businessman became the face of auto rental and leasing in the community.  While Sam looked for untapped business opportunities and kept his finger on the pulse of the business and financial market, ultimately it was in the end Sam’s tough work ethic that made his business career exceptional.

During the span of his long business career, Sam Frankino created thousands of jobs.  Inside his offices, Sam insisted on an “open door” policy.  He enjoyed mentoring others, including his daughter Lorraine.  The strong business leader and loving father also enjoyed personal financial success, becoming a self-made multi-millionaire.  He lived well but without pretension or extravagance, and always with a wry sense of humor.  Sam J. Frankino was comfortable — whether seated with dignitaries, business presidents, neighbors, volunteers or children.  He never lost touch with his work ethics, his Italian-American heritage, or compassion for those in need.  Sam’s legacy of warmth, involvement and commitment to improvement remain alive today through the Sam J. Frankino Foundation.