Franco Finn '99 attended high school at Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco. He enjoyed math and science so he started at SCU as an engineering major. During his freshman year, he realized that he wasn’t passionate about engineering so when a friend encouraged him to consider switching to communications as the friend thought that it would be a good fit for him, Franco took the leap. When he walked into the Communications Department TV studio, he felt at home.
His freshman year he got involved with Barkada, the Filipino student group, and APSU – Asian Pacific Student Union. He remembers meeting in the basement of Graham to plan activities including the well-known Filipino Culture Night at Mayer. Participating in the FCN was the first time he really emerged as a performer. He was one of the main leads his freshman year and was involved in dances, hosting, acting, and skits. He absolutely loved the world of productions and entertainment. The experience helped him gain confidence and shaped who he is now. He also was able to explore the world of TV through an internship at KRON working on the show – Bay Area Backroads. Shout out to Winnie (Duggan) Sullivan ‘94 who agreed to an informational interview and gave him a backstage tour of the TV studio which led to his first internship in media.
After graduating from SCU, Franco’s first job was to help start up Radio Disney AM 1310 in San Francisco. It was a small station backed up by a big brand playing pop music at its best. He wasn’t getting paid much, but he was learning a lot! During his time there, he developed a personality, the “Prince of Prizes”, and traveled to host grand openings for movie screenings, retail stores, festivals etc. Based on his performance at those, his boss recommended taking the microphone at live Disney events to entertain the crowd. This is when his second personality “Freestyle Franco” evolved. His energy was contagious and his can-do & care-free personality earned him his new on-air nickname. He moved from younger skewed children’s entertainment to more mature Disney artists like N*SYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Bros. He became an on-air guy, and started producing shows. He also began doing intros at major Disney concerts at large scale venues including being an opening act for Hilary Duff/”Lizzy McGuire”. He had to fill time before the introduction and get the sold out crowd pumped up as Hilary Duff had no opening act. He was exhausted from the effort, and was catching his breath backstage when he was approached by some Warriors executives who were there with their kids. They loved his energy, and offered him a new opportunity.
That opportunity opened doors. At first they needed a radio emcee. That led to him announcing the Warriors lineup and getting the crowd excited, hence the personality of Warriors “Hype Man”. Along the way he hosted a TV show called “Warriors Weekly”. Other involvements included “Stir TV” – a magazine-style show for and about Asian Americans. The Oakland Raiders asked him to host a TV segment featuring families and fans at the end of the Raider “Silver and Black” show called “The Finn Zone” which was aired on the NFL Network. As if that wasn’t enough, he worked with Red Bull and NASCAR, and hosted large corporate conventions and conferences to bring energy and fun to the attendees.
As he was hosting all these events, Franco was asked several times to participate in live auctions and help “sell” certain packages – particularly those related to the Warriors. In doing so, he realized he was outselling the auctioneer, and had a gift for getting attendees to bid on items. That led him to getting his auctioneer license and offering his services to local non-profits, in particular Catholic schools. It is a way for him to use his talents to give back to his community.
In addition to giving him the educational foundation that led to many successful and diverse career and service opportunities, SCU developed him as a whole person. He was taught how to get things done, reminded of the value of the Bronco network, and encouraged to give back. The sense of community and faith that he gained at SCU guides him every day and he’s proud and grateful to be a Bronco!