Frank headshot

Frank Shankwitz

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Frank Shankwitz is best known as the Creator, Co-Founder, and first President/CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an extraordinary charity that grants the wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.  From humble beginnings, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is now a global organization that grants a child’s wish somewhere in the world on an average of every 28 minutes.  Frank is a U.S. Air Force veteran and has a long and distinguished career in law enforcement.  He began as a Arizona Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officer, and retired as a Homicide Detective with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, with 42 years of service.  Frank has been featured in numerous publications and television programs, and has received several awards, including the White House Call To Service Award from both President George W. Bush and President Donald J. Trump, and the “Making A Difference In the World” award from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  In 2015 Frank joined six U.S. Presidents as well as Nobel Prize winners and industry leaders as a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In December 2015, following his commencement address, Frank was presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree, Doctor of Public Service, from The Ohio State University. In December 2015, Frank was identified as one of the “10 Most Amazing Arizonans”, in a front-page article in the Arizona Republic newspaper. In January 2016, Frank was identified in a Forbes Magazine article as a “Forbes Top Ten Keynote Speaker”. In April 2017, Frank was presented the Unite4:Humanity Celebrity ICON Social Impact Award, joining past recipients Matthew McConaughey and Morgan Freeman. In February 2018, Frank shared the stage with Matthew McConaughey at Universal Studios at the LA City Gala and was presented the first City Gala Hero Award. Frank’s new book, “Wish Man”, was re-released in September, 2018 and is available at In May 2019, following his commencement address, Frank was presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree, Doctor of Law, from St. Norbert College. In June 2019, Frank joined 89 celebrities, when he received his “STAR” on the Las Vegas Walk of Fame.  Frank’s life story, “Wish Man”, a feature motion picture, was released in June 2019. Frank is a board member on several non-profits,  including U.S. Vets, The Wounded Blue, Broadway Hearts, and Level Up Seattle, and Chairman of Cause Equity.  Information to contact Frank for a speaking engagement is available on Frank’s website –

Everyone Can Be a Hero

Hear Frank's amazing and inspirational story that covers incidents and people who helped develop his character during his childhood years, to his adventures during his 42-year law enforcement career, which includes being killed in the line of duty and brought back to life. And finally, the realization of what his mission in life was when he met Chris, the 7-year old boy who inspired Frank to create and co-found the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which has granted over 450,000 wishes all over the world and impacted over 1 million people.

Frank's story may make you a little misty-eyed, but will leave you feeling good about people and will want you to "give back" to your own community Frank is not selling a product or a program, only a message - pay attention! Every day is an opportunity to change a life.