July 13, 2004
Members will hear statements from the following nominees:
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Mr. Albert FrinkAssistant Secretary for Manufacturing and ServicesDepartment of Commerce
?I would like to first begin by stating that I am profoundly aware that thehe President’s nomination authority is one of his most important constitutional responsibilities. The U.S. Senate’s constitutional responsibility to give its “advice and consent” to Presidential nominations is one of its most important responsibilities. Service at the highest level of the federal government requires both the President’s nomination and confirmation from the U.S. Senate. As such, a Presidential nomination is one of the highest honors bestowed on an American. I am very honored. Chairman McCain, Senator Hollings, and distinguished Members of the Committee, I am humbled and very proud to have this opportunity to come before you today. I wish to thank the President for nominating me to be the first Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services and also Secretary Evans for supporting my nomination. Thank you for giving me the chance to recognize my wife Denise and my family who are here with me today. Denise has been a blessing and a source of strength for me. I have asked her to sell our home and move thousands of miles away from friends, family, and the life we have known. This is a real sacrifice. Thank you, Denise. ?I want to summarize briefly my personal and professional background to help you determine how those experiences would affect my approach to the responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing and Services. It is not my style to talk about myself, so this testimony does not come easy. I am a man of business and industry, not of politics. I have, having never served in government before. I am pursuing this position as a thank you to this country that has given me so much. I am a Hispanic immigrant, born in Chihuahua, Mexico. My Spanish mother Blanche Olivares was born in El Paso, Texas. My father, in New Mexico. His father was German Dutch (a Pennsylvania tulip farmer) and his mother was Native American. I was raised in California in a blue-collar environment, and very early on, my father taught me the importance of a strong work ethic, and I have followed his advice. My father also taught me the importance of an extensive formal education. Sadly, I didn’t follow that advice, as I left college early to pursue the American Dream. Having said that, I am convinced that this judgment has driven me to work harder to excel throughout my career. Never the less, the diversity of my somewhat limited formal education with training in tool engineering, mechanical drafting, and electronics, to name a few, has played a major role in my success. In 1974, along with two partners, and with the help of a small business loan from the SBA, I founded a California carpet manufacturing company. We started with 5 individuals, 3 of us entrepreneurs. We now employ over 400 people. And, in over 30 years, we never experienced any major layoffs. It’s been a passion and a privilege to be part of building a successful organization from the ground up that attracted some of the best people in the industry. Fabrica International is generally ranked as the #1 high-end carpet manufacturer in the United States. Many of the carpets you walk on throughout government offices are fromwere manufactured by Fabrica. My extensive background of 35 years in manufacturing brings with it a practical experience and authenticity that I believe will assist in recognizing and hopefully removing the barriers that challenge American manufacturers.I have devoted 30 years of these years to the highly competitive carpet industry in California. This experience also includes over 23 years of international trade experience, thus providing a global perspective. I also havehave also spent over 35 years in of merchandising, marketing, selling, and developing successful sales teams. I believe this experience brings with it a practical experience and authenticity and provides me with a keen insight into the needs of the U.S. Manufacturing and Service Sectors. ?These experiences have also provided me with an expansive background that’s necessary to tackle the complexities of this newly created position. ?Our country’s ability to create and commercialize new products is unmatched, and that ability has led to unsurpassed economic growth. ?As we go forward, if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed by the Committee and the Senate, I pledge to make myself available to personally deal with any and all challenges that confront us jointly in the future. I believe it was destiny that brought me to this point, as I did not seek this opportunity. With your support and God’s help, I will not let you down. In closing, I would like to thank my family and friends, and most importantly my wife Denise, for their support of my decision to take on this assignment in public service. I am proud to be here. And am proud of having the opportunity to serve President Bush, Secretary of Commerce Don Evan, and this Senatorial Committee. Mostly, I am proud to be an American and to play a small role in serving our great country.
Admiral David Stone
Click here for a PDF version of Mr. Stone's remarks.