Frances Rice, Esquire - Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired)
Frances Rice's great-great-grandparents were slaves. She spent her formative years in poverty in the segregated South during the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. She suffered personally from discrimination in the Democrat-controlled South and while in High School participated in civil rights protests.
Frances was born in Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, the same hospital where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. She occasionally attended Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. was the pastor. She knew that Dr. Martin Luther king. Jr. was a Republican, as was the rest of the King family. This fact was recently affirmed by Dr. Alveda C. King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in an article posted on the Internet at: www.NBRA.info
Over the years, using her Republican Party principles of hard work, getting a good education and personal responsibility, Frances pulled herself out of poverty. She joined the Army in 1964 as a Private and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of active service. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Drury College in 1973, a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in 1976, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1977 - all while serving in the US Army.
During twenty years of active duty in the US Army, Frances served in a variety of positions, including commander of a WAC company, adjutant of a basic combat training brigade, a prosecuting attorney, and chief of the administrative law division. She also served as a special assistant to the Army Judge Advocate General and an adviser to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity.
Subsequent to her military career, Frances worked for the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, serving first as a member of that company's "think tank," and then as a government contract advisor. She later taught Business Law for the European Division of the University of Maryland in Brussels, Belgium.
Frances became politically active in 1982 and served as a member of President Ronald Reagan's Private Sector Initiatives Task Force. She worked as a volunteer in the campaigns of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, as well as Florida Governors Jeb Bush and Rick Scott.
Frances is active in the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Sarasota County. In 2005, she became a co-founder and Chairman of the National Black Republican Association, an organization that is committed to returning African Americans to their Republican Party roots. She was honored as the Volunteer of the Year by the Republican Party of Sarasota County.
Among the awards she received during her military career is the Legion of Merit, the second highest honor that can be bestowed upon a non-combatant. In 1987, she was accorded the distinction of being one of America's top 100 Black Business and Professional Women by the editorial board of Dollars and Sense magazine.