Bob Franceschelli Interview: Big Time Beer Exec and now Pickleball Fanatic -- "Goes for The Whole Nine Yards"
Diana Landau | October 12, 2021
Carl talks with Bob Franceschelli, a former top exec for Anheuser Busch, CEO for a new cardiac rehab program, present Board Member of USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), and more. Bob "goes for the whole nine yards" -- he really feels like anything and everything is possible. This is exactly Bob Franceschelli‘s vision for how he’s living his (un)retirement.
Bob grew up in an Italian family outside of Springfield, MA. As a college student, Bob took some marketing classes. “I have always liked being involved in a lot of different things with a lot of different people, having fun along the way. I did a case study on the beer industry and the lights just went on.”
Planning his next steps, he took an internship in college with a beer distributor, offering to work for free in exchange for help getting interviews after graduation. Bob’s rising career at Anheuser Busch (AB) included show product placement, working with the Rolling Stones and George Strait among others. He developed and built alliances with smaller craft brewers. In 2001, he led the test development and product launch of Michelob Ultra. In 2010 and after 28 years with AB, Bob went on to rejuvenate profit at the Pritikin Longevity Center, commuting every week from his home in St. Louis, Mo. to Miami. He then developed and launched their new intensive Cardiac Rehab division.
Always interested in living a healthy lifestyle, Bob, now 62, had to make some decisions. “I had a 6.5 hour back surgery in 2008, due to broken vertebrae and a disc issue … and have two 4” and two 5” screws in my back. Then, in 2015 … I had a total hip replaced. I truly feel blessed to be as mobile as I am to play Pickleball … and part is the lifestyle--- eat right, exercise, healthy mind--- and part was surgical.”
Bob and his wife now play Pickleball several times a week, and he is a 4.5 level player (!) as well as a Board Member for the USAPA. Bob and his wife have created a detailed bucket list that they review and update often—whether it’s taking off to rent an RV and touring the parks in Utah and Colorado for a couple of weeks or daily stuff like learning to make maple syrup from their own backyard trees—and wanting to play much more pickleball, of course.
Bob Franceschelli’s Top Tips:
• “It’s important to have a mindful approach to (un)retirement. You have to really think and plan for what you really want to do.”
• “The key to this (un)retirement thing (for me) is that I love having structure but I also love having some flexibility. Get out there and just try something!”
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” weekly blog.