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The Great Franchisee: Al Fragnoli, Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching, Detroit

The former Pittsburgh Pirates sales consultant started his own business with the fast-growing executive coaching franchise.

By Sheri Hill1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 2:14PM 04/12/22

Al Fragnoli has spent much of his career working within the sports and entertainment industry. After working with Central Michigan Athletics, the Buffalo Bisons, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Toronto Blue Jays and, in a rare non-sports position, as a MillerCoors distributor in Southeastern Michigan, Fragnoli knows what it takes to lead a team. Now the sports and entertainment expert is starting his own busines with Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching (ILEC), the 15-unit executive coaching franchise.

As an executive coach, Fragnoli is reflecting on his passion for what he does, where he’s been and how he’ll bring that experience to his leadership coaching career. 

1851 Franchise: Tell us your story – what did you do before franchising?

Al Fragnoli: Before franchising, I got my undergraduate degree in Education in 2009 from Wayne State University. With that degree, I went into teaching high school and coached basketball and football in the Utica Community School District. I then left education to pursue my master’s degree in sports management from Central Michigan University.  While working on my graduate degree, I was honored to be able to spend time working in Central Michigan University’s Athletic Department mentoring student-athletes.  From there, I worked in sales for the Buffalo Bisons before moving on and working as a Sales Consultant for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their Spring Training location of Sarasota, Florida.  I also spent time as an Associate Area Scout for the Toronto Blue Jays. I was in the sports industry for several years before I had an opportunity to move back home to Michigan to take on a sales role for a Miller-Coors Distributor.  I quickly moved into a leadership role with the organization and was able to be a sales manager which allowed me the opportunity and privilege to lead a team.  Currently, my wife, Tina and I are franchise owners of Apex Leadership Co and Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching.

1851: How did you initially find out about franchising and what was your perception of franchising before becoming a franchise owner?

Fragnoli: I initially found out about franchising through a franchise consultant. We started talking with her in December  2020. It was about a four-month process. My wife and I researched four different franchises and ended up choosing ILEC and Apex Leadership Co.  The process allowed me the opportunity to truly be able to pursue my passion.   

1851: How did you decide you wanted to be a franchisee?

Fragnoli: The one thing that I loved about franchising is that there is already a program in place. I liked the model of having a support team and having someone there to assist when need be.

1851: How did you perform your research?

Fragnoli: The franchise consultant that I worked with introduced me to a variety of different brands that I could invest in. I knew I wanted to get involved with a brand where I could use my prior skills and knowledge to help others. My life goal is to serve others and lead people in a way that could inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams.  When I came across ILEC, it seemed like the perfect fit.  From there I spoke with the corporate team and other franchise owners within ILEC to learn more.

1851: Why did you pick ILEC? What excited you most about the potential?

Fragnoli: The leadership at ILEC is what won me over. Everyone that we spoke with was genuine and humble and shared a common goal of making sure every person can be the best version of themselves. 

1851: What are your dreams with the business? What does the future look like?

Fragnoli: My goals are to grow my name recognition in the coaching world. Further into my executive coaching career I would love to write a book to help others. In the end, I just want to grow as an individual and as a business and help others become the best versions of themselves and the best leaders they can be.

1851: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise? 

Fragnoli: My biggest advice is to follow your heart and to pursue your passions. Everyone was put here for a reason. It is important that we all find our “why” and to live out our life’s purpose.  Find out what your reason is and pursue that passion with relentlessness. 

1851: What do you do in your personal time?

Fragnoli: I am obsessed with sports. I love the competition of team sports.  Baseball, football and hockey are my favorites.  I have a lovely wife, Tina and we are truly blessed with three kids.  We have one son, Frankie and two daughters, Luciana and Stella.  They are my pride and joy.  I have also made it my personal goal to hike all 50 states' highest points.  I have currently hiked 11 and look forward to seeing that number climb.  The challenge both physically and mentally is what I love most about hiking these state high points.   

About Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching (ILEC)

Established in 2010, Co-Founder John Mattone is globally recognized as the world’s #1 authority on Intelligent Leadership (IL), the world’s top executive coach, and the pioneer of the unique, powerful and game-changing Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching® blueprint for success. Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching® (ILEC) is the world’s top executive coaching franchise dedicated to growing leaders, building cultures, and driving results. Co-Founder and Visionary Entrepreneur, Terry Powell, brings 40 years of Franchising experience to the team. The ILEC unique coaching methodology provides a proven philosophy, system and tools to empower leaders and future leaders to unlock and unleash their potential. ILEC clients benefit from a high ROI that delivers real results. For more information on working with ILEC, visit