Frank Pappas

Frank Pappas

Chief Experience Officer


Brief info

Frank Pappas is a visionary leader dedicated to creating events and experiences that build brands, foster economic development, and enhance quality of life. With a passion for supporting the development of vibrant and resilient communities, his innovative works have earned recognition from industry and regional leaders, catapulting him to the forefront of his field.

Frank has collaborated with an incredible roster of global organizations, including Viacom, Marriott, Land Rover, and the Smithsonian Institution. His expertise in designing and executing captivating events and experiences has set new standards for audience engagement, brand activation, and revenue growth for his clients, positioning them as industry leaders in their respective sectors.

Frank’s successes span a wide range of industries. He and his teams have revolutionized in-flight entertainment, delighting travelers while creating new revenue opportunities at 35,000 feet. He has partnered with renowned auto manufacturers to reimagine the car-buying journey, delivering unparalleled customer experiences in both the brick-and-mortar and digital worlds. His collaborations with premium cable TV networks have produced electrifying pay-per-view events that captivate audiences worldwide.

As a leader in the realm of innovative and immersive events and experiences, Frank has left an indelible mark on the guest experiences of many beloved brands. His innovative guest experiences have transformed how people engage with art, culture, science, and history, amplifying the Smithsonian Institution’s impact on the communities it serves.

He has developed, led, or advised large-scale events including cultural celebrations, music festivals, culinary experiences, holiday attractions, and events built around unique intellectual property, including Warner Bros.-owned Harry Potter events. By seamlessly uniting creativity, strategy, and complex logistics and operations, Frank has generated extraordinary outcomes, invigorating local economies and creating new avenues for brands and communities to thrive.

Frank’s unwavering commitment to community welfare was best exemplified during the COVID-19 pandemic when he was asked by Virginia’s most populous county to envision, build, and lead a monumental effort to counter the effects of pandemic-related food insecurity on the county’s 1.3 million residents. Working in partnership with key leaders and both public and private organizations, Frank developed a food distribution program that, over the course of nearly 85 events in two years, distributed nearly 5,000,000 pounds of food for families in need, along with 35 tons of pet food. Frank’s leadership skills, collaborative spirit, and meticulous planning ensured the success of these critical initiatives, and he was honored as the 2022 “Hunger Hero” by Volunteer Fairfax for his efforts.

In addition to his achievements as an events and experiences professional, Frank actively contributes to the community in other ways. As an Emergency Medical Technician and BLS Unit Officer with the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department, he provides life-saving care to those in need. Frank’s commitment to public safety extends to his role as a Team Leader and Incident Commander with the Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team, where he plays a vital role in supporting communities during emergencies and disasters.

Frank’s extensive education and expertise in communication, marketing, and experience design have fortified his ability to craft events and experiences that resonate with audiences on a profound level. With a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University and a diverse range of professional certifications, he combines theory with practical know-how, enabling him to envision and bring to life experiential moments that surpass client and guest expectation.

Frank is honored to have become an influential figure in the events and experiences industry and is frequently asked to advise localities on strategies for improving economic development, tourism, and events strategies. His unwavering commitment to building stronger, more vibrant, and more resilient communities has left an indelible impact, enriching the lives of millions while promoting strong local economies. Through his exceptional work, Frank has demonstrated the profound impact that extraordinary events and experiences can have not only on critical business- or mission-related outcomes, but also on the world in which we live.

Select brand partners have included:

  • BOP Magazine
  • Brita
  • Britney Spears
  • CarlsonWagonlit Travel
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Country Inns & Suites
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Häagen-Dazs
  • Jaguar
  • Kellogg’s
  • Land Rover
  • Lincoln Motor Company
  • Marriott
  • Motorola
  • MTV Networks
  • NBCUniversal
  • Pillsbury
  • Primedia
  • Radisson Hotels
  • Regent Hotels
  • Seventeen Magazine
  • Showtime Networks
  • swissair
  • Taco Bell
  • Teen Beat Magazine
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • Tiger Beat Magazine
  • Univision
  • Viacom
  • Wunderman
  • Young & Rubicam
Select Specialty Training

Frank is dedicated to ongoing professional development and trains whenever his schedule allows with organizations including: International Association of Venue Managers; Texas A&M University’s TEEX; the University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4); and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) and Emergency Management Institute (EMI). Event-focused coursework includes:

  • IAVM Trained Crowd Manager
  • Sport and Special Event Public Information and Emergency Notification
  • Crowd Management for Sport and Special Events
  • Sport and Special Event Enhanced Risk Management and Assessment
  • Sport Venue Evacuation and Protective Actions
  • Sport Event Risk Management
  • Safety and Security Risk Assessment and Mitigation
  • Sport and Entertainment Venues: A Community Asset for Emergency Response Operations
  • Virtual Queuing and The Spectator Experience
  • Event Public Health Screening: Technology and Procedure
  • Mass Casualty Incident Response
  • Active Shooter/Assailant: Behavioral Indicators
  • Special Events Contingency Planning for Public Safety Agencies
The Fight Against Food Insecurity

As the COVID-19 pandemic closed businesses and disrupted supply chains, Fairfax County, VA (population 1.3M) asked Frank to envision, develop, and lead a logistics-forward mission to ensure critical food supplies reached families facing food insecurity. Frank provided nearly full-time, pro bono consulting services and operational leadership for more than a year, successfully producing 65 events in 52 weeks that distributed more than four million pounds of food across six Northern Virginia sites. The program continued successfully for another year in support of Fairfax residents struggling to feed themselves and their families, distributing significantly more critical food supplies and hope over dozens of additional events.

Through an innovative partnership with the county animal shelter, 70,000+ pounds of pet food were also distributed to ensure pets stayed healthy and happy despite the pandemic.

Frank’s work in building and leading this distribution mission involved deep coordination with local public health, law enforcement, and fire/rescue agencies; elected and appointed government officials; coordination with many community-based organizations (CBOs); and the management of hundreds of volunteers who worked thousands of hours through heat, wind, rain, and snow.

For his significant volunteer efforts, Frank was honored to receive the 2022 “Hunger Hero” award for his fight against food insecurity by Volunteer Fairfax.

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