Interview with Francie

Francie, you’ve put in roughly two decades of service to Luke and MPM, right?

Crazy, but yes! Luke hired me in 1995 to support him when he was working at Accel Partners.  I was with Luke there for three years – Luke moved to Boston to begin working with Ansbert in 1998, which turned out to be well-timed for me because my second son Will was born just after my stint with Luke at Accel ended. I held Will in until the week after Luke left!

 

And how did you first get pulled in to MPM then?

Luke reached out to me to ask if I’d be willing to help open MPM’s west coast office. He probably realized I was a soft mark, given how hard I was crying when he and I both left Accel. I started off supporting him from home before we even had a physical presence, and then we started with a tiny space on the same floor we are still on today in South San Fran. Things got nicely settled and MPM raised its second fund, which was a huge success, and I took that as an opportune time to step out of the business in order to focus on raising my boys, who were little at the time.

 

Congratulations on raising two wonderful boys as a single mom.

Well, I think they are wonderful! In a nutshell: this California Catholic girl got married in a castle in Scotland to a Scottish Protestant – and divorced in a Frank Lloyd Wright building in Marin. So I raised the boys on my own, and today Andrew is studying at UC Berkeley – something with “big data” or whatever, search me (no pun intended) – and Will is at College of Marin and where he made the soccer conference and is a communications major, active with the school newspaper. He won a national scholastic press association award for one of his articles in the school newspaper!

 

Nice! Hey, ask him if he’s interested in a staff position with the Motley….. But here you are back at MPM, what’s the story?

Well, after five years of being a “desperate housewife,” my kids were older of course, and I was chomping at the bit to get back to work. So I called Luke in 2005 and asked if he’d serve as a reference for me, and he said “come on back!”  At first I was supporting other MPMers – including some familiar faces, like Bill Greene and David Kim. David and I both demonstrate that working at MPM is just a karma-loop – you can leave, but chances are you will come back. By the time I came back MPM had taken over the whole floor of our building, and by 2007 I was supporting Luke full-time again.

 

Funny Luke moment? Do tell. 

We were all down in Florida for our Healthcare Leaders’ Summit one year when I got a frantic call from Luke. His cab had broken down and I jumped in a hotel car to go get him and bring him back for his meetings. When I got there, he was sitting on the back of a flatbed tow truck in his golf clothes – oh and the truck was parked in the middle lane of I-95 during rush hour. Sadly, there were no cell phone cameras then. But you can picture it.

 

Something like a cross between the cover of a Garth Brooks album, a Polo by Ralph Lauren ad and an outtake from Fast and Furious?

Exactly.

 

I’ve heard you love to swim for fitness and fun.

Yes, I try to get in the pool at least a couple of times a week.

 

I’ve also heard a rumor that you were very serious about swimming in your youth. True?

At one point I was ranked first in the country for 50-meter breaststroke – I was two tenths of a second away from breaking the national record. I set that record just a couple of months before my dad, who took me to all my swim meets, died of cancer. I know that is part of the reason I am so passionate about the work that MPM does. I feel very fortunate to work for MPM, and for Luke – I’m just constantly blown away by how brilliant he is and how hard he works. I believe in my heart that one of our portfolio companies is going to find a cure for cancer, and that is what has kept me motivated.