Dennis Frank, the son of immigrants from Germany, was born in Detroit, Michigan. Having lived in different parts of Germany, Dennis’ parents did not meet one another until they both attended a social gathering in the Motor City. Dennis’ father, Jack, was a chemist. After moving to the United States, his mother, Gretl, initially worked in a children’s home and in retail before taking a position as a market researcher conducting interviews. She was an enthusiastic swimmer.
Dennis’ father designed products in the plastics industry and manufactured them in a plant with a partner in Detroit. In the mid-1940s, Dennis’ two grandmothers immigrated from Germany and came to live with his family. Likewise, Dennis’ aunt and her family lived in the Frank household for a period. He laughed while describing daily life as “quite an experience.” These adventures began to shape Dennis’ strong familial bond that has remained important to him through his days as a husband, father, brother and grandfather.
Dennis’ parents were very involved in activities at Temple Beth El. His mother was an active volunteer with the Temple Beth El Sisterhood and cooked food for various events. Dennis is a life-long member of Temple Beth El and served as president from 2004-2006. Prior to his presidency, he served on many committees at TBE, including the archives committee, audit committee, ways and means committee, and the rabbinical and cantorial search committees.
As a young student, Dennis attended Hampton Elementary School from 1946-1954 and graduated from Mumford High School in 1958. He started his working life early — delivering the Detroit News on Fairfield Street, and then working at George V Drugs on Dexter. Dennis remains in touch with many of his peers who grew up with him in Detroit; some of them are close friends and others are even clients. Dennis stayed in Detroit for college, majoring in accounting at Wayne State University.
Dennis and his close friend, Mark Weisberg, both worked at a local CPA firm, Bernstein, Bernstein & Wile CPA, entering “as a package.” Subsequently together, they started Weisberg & Frank CPA. Today, Dennis is still actively working with Frank, Hirsch, Subelsky & Freedman CPA. Dennis has used his accounting knowledge to serve the community, acting as President, Treasurer and Board Member of many organizations including Oakland Family Services, Metro Federation of Reform Synagogues (METFED), Mumford High School Reunion Committee, Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition (MJAC), Jewish Gay Network (JGN) and Jewish Community Center of Metro Detroit. (JCC),
When describing his profession, Dennis conveys, “My practice is 60/40 or 40/60 accountant and psychologist. It is all about the people and the relationships, you get into a lot of interesting discussions with clients. It is extremely rewarding from that standpoint. Many of my clients are my friends, and many of my friends are my clients.” In some cases, Dennis has served four different generations of clients from the same family. He finds great joy in serving an original client’s great-grandchild.
Dennis’ devotion to his family is the main source of his desire to serve the Jewish community. He wants to make the world a better place for his children and grandchildren. Dennis and his wife, Peggy, have been married for 58 years, and have a son, Jeffrey, married to Julie Sturman, and a daughter, Julie. They have three grandchildren: Ryan, Zachary and Gilana. Dennis and Peggy always make time to support their children and grandchildren, whether attending a tennis match or a school theater production.
Dennis is a strong believer in dedication when describing helping other people. He teaches others that “whether you give time, money or effort, it will come back to you in multiples of what you give.” Dennis finds great pride in serving on both Jewish and secular boards in the community, which he believes is an impactful way to repay the community that helped him grow personally and professionally.