The other day I asked Brother Frank Arrington how he benefitted from being an SAE from Cal Theta.
He replied that had he not been an SAE, he may not have had his successful career in Mortgage Banking in San Diego (Frank and his wife Linnea own San Diego Funding, the sixth largest mortgage banking firm in the County).
As Frank was nearing graduation from SDSU with a degree in Economics, three other Brothers, Ned Smith (CA-TH '61), Ken Krause (CA-TH ’63) & Jim Crane (CA-TH '62) were hired by a Business Broker with Colonial Mortgage (Philadelphia). The Broker was unable to find a mortgage company here in San Diego to purchase, and told them that he would like to "start one himself". Ned had worked for Palomar Mortgage for awhile, so he was able to teach Ken and Jim the business and they soon brought Frank aboard after he graduated. After a few years the company grew and the group was able to acquire the franchise from the Broker. Jim Crane's Little Brother Dick Troncone (CA-TH '67) was the company's accountant. After a few more years, Philadelphia National Bank purchased Colonial Mortgage and bought the San Diego franchise.
In the 1970s there were very few women in the Mortgage Banking field but Frank's wife Linnea wanted to get into the business. The only person who would hire her was Ned Smith who had stayed on with Colonial after the buyout. Linnea then joined Advance Mortgage which was the third largest in the country. She was “Rookie of the Year" in her first year followed by "Salesperson of the Year" the next year. She then became the San Diego Branch Manager for Anaheim S&L and then with Frank established San Diego Funding, a Mortgage Banking firm, in 1981.
Frank & Linnea’s son, Brian Arrington (WA- GA ’91), also worked in the company until he went into real estate and now has eight offices as the Franchisee for Sotheby's International Realty in San Diego County.
Frank says that if it wasn't for his involvement in SAE many years ago he wouldn't be able to enjoy his many philanthropic activities today — while his wife and son now do all of the work!
Editor’s Note: Those of you who know Brother Arrington, appreciate the fact that he did not want to dwell on the details and public recognition associated with his numerous philanthropic activities. However, when one of our own so well represents the high ideals expressed in The True Gentleman, it is only fitting that we celebrate those accomplishments.
In addition to his long service on the Board of the SAE Alumni Association of San Diego, Brother Arrington is past President of downtown Rotary Club 33 and has served on several of their community service committees. One of their activities that he has led since 1996 is the Interact Club Mentoring Program with Wilson Middle School, where each week Frank oversees student leadership and community involvement activities for the students.
Brother Arrington has also helped other kids in our community through his 33 years involvement with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, early on as a Big Brother mentor (twice), and since as a Board Member & past Board Chairman. Frank was recognized by the organization in 1994 as their “Man of the Year”.
Brother Arrington is past Chairman and Board Member Emeritus of Sharp Health Care Foundation, and serves on the Advisory Boards of the USD School of Education and Leadership, and the San Diego Opera. In addition, Frank is a Member of the Board of the Legler Benbough Foundation for Philanthropy.
Frank and his wife Linnea also support the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, through their membership in the museum’s Collectors’ Group.