Daniel F. Ponder


“Captain ‘o Captain”

As Franco’s chairman, Dan Ponder is responsible for the company’s stakeholder relations, strategic alliances and overall performance. He is often sought out for his extensive knowledge of board of director governance, c-suite communications, community relations and business operations.

Dan joined the Franco team in 1985 and is credited for building the company’s culture of caring – caring about each other, clients and the community at large. Franco’s culture has provided a sense of belonging and great purpose in his work life. He puts his whole heart into Franco’s core value of Opportunity, driving results and impact for clients and serving as a source of inspiration for everyone he works with.

Dan represents Franco across many community organizations, including:

  • The Salvation Army Great Lakes Division Metro Advisory Board – Executive Committee, Chair – Program and Service Committee
  • The Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center Advisory Council – Chair of the Board, Executive Committee
  • Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors – Executive Committee, Chair – Finance and Audit Committee
  • Crime Stoppers of Michigan Board of Directors – Past Board Chair, Executive Committee, Chair – Annual Fundraiser
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors – Past Board Chair, PAC Board Member, Senior Advisor

Dan has been honored for his business and community leadership with many awards and recognitions, including the Community Leadership Award presented by Crime Stoppers of Michigan (2014); Corporate Hero Award presented by Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation and Metro Youth Day (2015) and Michigan State University Executive MBA Alumni of the Decade Award (2015).

Prior to joining Franco, Dan was a member of Deloitte’s Private Company Advisory Service. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Michigan State University and an Executive MBA from MSU’s Broad College of Business. He is a graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit X and a graduate of the U.S. Army War College National Security Seminar.

Fun fact about Dan: he has his pilot’s license. He secured this accomplishment at the young age of 17 and completed his first solo flight in a fixed wing Cessna airplane when he was only 16. Dan has worked in downtown Detroit his entire career. He has lived in Northville most of his life, and his life motto is: “When deciding, choose the road less traveled.”