Frank Catroppa isn’t your typical CEO. He’s down to Earth, friendly, polite, and soft-spoken. But when it comes to his business, he’s more Jordan Belfort than he is Bill Gates. Just call him, “The Wolf of Aliquippa.” Catroppa can be looked at as the new standard-bearer for the young, progressive, entrepreneurial Beaver County and the Pittsburgh region as a whole.
A 2000 graduate of Aliquippa, Catroppa now leads one of the largest direct marketing companies in the United States. He still resides in Aliquippa, near the Club at Shadow Lakes, and credits his upbringing in Aliquippa as the foundations of his success.
“Growing up in Aliquippa teaches you things without even trying to learn them,” he said. “It’s kind of hard to explain, but if you grew up in Aliquippa you probably know what I’m talking about. From some people I learned what I wanted to do, and from some I learned what not to do. I took those principles and molded myself since I never finished school.”
Coast 2 Coast Communications
Catroppa is the chief executive officer of Coast 2 Coast Communications, based in Robinson. Coast 2 Coast is a direct marketing company that provides sales solutions to several Fortune 500 companies. But more importantly, their culture makes them who they are.
Catroppa said, “We have the best sales-force and administrative team that a business owner could ask for, which creates a work atmosphere second to none. Our numbers prove that. We provide a career path for anyone, big or small. Whatever your personal goals are, we help you achieve them.”
Learning the Hard Way
The fact that Catroppa is now the CEO of a company with only a high school degree is a testament to his hard work, determination, and business acumen. If Catroppa graduated from Aliquippa, then he got his Masters degree from the “School of Hard Knocks.”
“I started my first business at the age of 18, when I dropped out of college (which I don’t advise any student to do today). I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, but I always knew I wanted to own my own business. I did find success, but it made me realize how hard owning a business really is and the sacrifices you need to make as an individual to own and operate a successful business. Throughout my career I owned and operated a few other businesses before founding Coast 2 Coast.”
Coast 2 Coast has been extremely successful in just a short amount of time. What makes them so successful in addition to their motivated sales force? “We work with our clients,” Catroppa told me. “They tell us what their objectives and goals are and we work with them to help them achieve their goals. We are in 12 states, with 28 different locations and over 400 employees across the country.”
One of the main functions of Coast 2 Coast is that they are authorized resellers of Comcast Xfinity, meaning their sales representatives target customers who aren’t currently subscribers of the media conglomerate.
Finding Other Opportunities
This meteoric rise is truly a phenomenon in the business world, and is even more impressive with a “son of Beaver County” leading it. Catroppa isn’t just the CEO of a company with 400 employees. He’s involved in other diversified business ventures such as oil and gas, online marketing, and rental properties. He told me, “I just started a new company called Tier 1 Rental and Distribution that will be servicing the gas and oil companies in the northeast. The services provided will be trucking and equipment rentals. We will also be providing a variety of products to fit gas drilling needs.”
A Bold Vision of the Future
I asked Frank where he sees his company in five years. His answer is a reflection of his ambition, drive and vision. “I see Coast 2 Coast as the largest direct marketing company in the country, with more products in our portfolio, more employees and more offices across the country (today we are currently in the top five). I also see us continuing to produce great results for our clients, and changing the lives of our employees by creating more career opportunities for them.”
With all the success that Frank Catroppa has had in his life, he refuses to forget his roots and where he has come from. Catroppa and his company have a foundation, and donate to numerous charitable organizations.
Last year, the money raised by Catroppa was given to three different organizations and non-profits. Those recipients were the Beaver County K-9 Unit, Aliquippa High School basketball, and Hopewell youth baseball. Coast 2 Coast also has an annual golf outing, and the proceeds this year will go to three new organizations. The Coast 2 Coast golf outing is scheduled for July 11 at the Club at Shadow Lakes, and will also include live music and fireworks.