In Greenville, Michigan, where Frank Gibson grew up, the major local employer was the Gibson Refrigerator Company. “My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father ran the company,” Gibson says, but the factory was sold when he was a child.
After high school, he dropped out of Kalamazoo College, moved to California and spent four years as a hot-air balloonist. It took 10 hours of training to get a license,” he says. “I flew charter flights, promotions and training, all over the U.S., Mexico and Central America.” He returned to school at UC Irvine for a degree in English and then entered law school at the UO. “I remembered Oregon from an Outward Bound program when I was 17,” says Gibson, who has worked in private practice law in Eugene since graduation in 1979. Also a trained mediator, he encourages mediation to settle disputes.
Inspired by the Oscar-winning short film Teenage Father, Gibson got involved with Planned Parenthood in 1980. “I felt I could help counsel young men,” he says. “But they asked me to serve on the board.” He served on the national board from 1986-92 and has since chaired local and statewide boards. In 2013, Planned Parenthood of SW Oregon gave him the Margaret Sanger Award, named for the movement’s founder. He also won last year’s Joseph M. Kosydar Award for Professionalism, presented by the Lane County Bar Association.