Frank Shines (Stroud) – Biography

Frank Shines, affectionately known as Rio, was born in the heart of Silicon Valley, at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California. His early years were marked by a unique blend of challenges and opportunities. Growing up in the Oakland, CA ghetto as the only son of a single mother (Vanessa Stroud) with four daughters, he was surrounded by poverty and hardship. School, music, art and sports provided him a safe haven.  Additionally, his innate curiosity and love for learning shone through, making him a B+ to A student, a cellist, a soccer player, a gymnast, and a techie. His love for reading inspired in him a sense of exploration, travel and flying, an embodiment of his perpetual curiosity[1].

 Frank’s journey took a significant turn when he earned a Presidential appointment to the US Air Force Academy. Here, Cadet Shines not only trained and competed with Olympic athletes as the Captain of the Men’s Gymnastics team but also earned academic and leadership honors, learned to fly, and became comfortable in the presence of our nation’s top government and military leaders, like Apollo mission and Space Shuttle astronauts, the Tuskegee Airmen, Secretaries of State like Henry Kissinger, and top military brass that worked directly with the US President and his cabinet. His time at the Academy was marked by numerous accolades, including the maxing the Cadet Fitness Test, Nathaniel Booth MVP of NCAA Men’s Gymnastics, Honor Flight, and the General Burshnick SERE Golden Knife (Survival) Award.

After eleven years of distinguished service in the military, ranging from avionics communications work on the E-3 AWACS aircraft, flying and industrial engineering, Captain Shines embarked on a new adventure, moving to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Here, he began writing a book and worked under the guidance of a Brazilian attorney and economist, Dr. Carlinhos Pinto Alveres, for a year.

 Upon returning to the USA, Mr. Shines’ career took a turn towards business and technology consulting. He held roles of increasing responsibility with Westinghouse, Ernst & Young, IBM, Pilgrim Software, Tech Data, and CCS Medical. His work spanned from Santiago, Chile to Anchorage Alaska and from Asia to Europe and the Americas.  He became an award-winning IBM and EY consultant, specializing in enterprise technology, Lean Six Sigma, Change Leadership, and AI and Advanced Data Analytics. During this time, he worked under the tutelage of Quality & Productivity pioneers like Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Jesse Wingard of the GM-Toyota joint venture NUMMI plant (now the Tesla plant), Dr. Mikel J Harry of Motorola, and Forrest Breyfogle[3][6][9].

 Rio’s educational background is as diverse and impressive as his career. He holds a BS in Management from the US Air Force Academy and an MBA in Marketing Statistics from National University of Sacramento. His certifications include IBM Certified Principal / Project Manager, Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Champion, ServiceNow (Developer, Admin, ITSM, Virtual Agent), Management Engineer, Project Management, Strategic Alignment, Organizational Change Leadership, and Avionics-Communications and Computer Systems.

 Despite his professional success, Rio never lost sight of his roots. His personal and professional vision is “to use his perpetual curiosity to share knowledge, wealth, and happiness with people around the world.” He achieves this by providing mentorship and free job seekers advice to at-risk youth, inmates, the military, college students, and seasoned professionals. He provides mentorship through the Stroud Leadership Academy, Analytics AIML, and Colorado College Stroud Scholars and has extended his reach through the Tiger Woods Foundation, the Computer Mentors Group, and BDPA.

 Today, Frank is working with IBO and Joao Rocha on an opera (, pop and rap music, and a documentary film ( as a producer, leveraging Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI). He is also committed to preserving and passing on the legacy of his pioneering Stroud family, which includes African American, Creek Nation, Tawakoni Nation, and British-Irish heritage. His work is a reflection of his unique journey, from the streets of Oakland to the halls of the Air Force Academy, and beyond. His story is a demonstration of the power of perseverance, curiosity, and a commitment to making a difference[1].