Member Spotlight: Frank Purcell

In our latest Member Spotlight, we’re featuring ALX Community member Frank Purcell, President of Cardinal Waypoint LLC, a consultancy for health policy, advocacy, and leadership. Originally from St. Louis (“home of Cardinals baseball, cold beer, and toasted ravioli”), Frank now calls Alexandria home. He’s been a member of ALX Community since March 2020, just before the pandemic lockdown. Pop over to his office (#111) and say hi!

Frank with his son Ryan, wife Christine, and son Ian. All photos courtesy of Frank Purcell.

Why did you join a coworking space?

My business outgrew my townhome-based office space. That and I wanted to be able to gain a little work life separation from home life. That’s turned out to be really valuable to both me and my family.

Why did you choose ALX over other coworking spaces in the area?

The waterfront location supports my personal serenity. The community and neighbors are wonderful. The pricing is competitive and it’s a turnkey, no-fuss solution. There’s a canine-based wellness development infrastructure.

Also, coffee! Can’t believe I didn’t bring up coffee, which is probably where most of my rent goes.

What’s your favorite part about coworking at ALX Community?

So there’s the waterfront, and access to Thai food, and so many interesting people, and a place to park my bike when that’s my route to work. Through relationships build here at ALX, I’m much more engaged in our wonderful community.

Tell us about your work, how long you’ve worked there, and how you arrived at this role.

I founded Cardinal Waypoint LLC as a consultancy for health policy, advocacy and leadership in October 2017. It’s my fourth career following service in congressional staffs on Capitol Hill, health care professional association government affairs, and an association CEO role. Cardinal Waypoint clients include national and state-level health care organizations and a pharmaceutical company. The company name comes from my hometown, present home state, and from geography: A cardinal waypoint is the first, most important place on the way to where you really want to go.

Pink Floyd bike gear!

Pink Floyd bike gear!

How has working at ALX Community positively impacted your business and/or life?

Business has grown and my family has remained sane and refrained from duct-taping my conference call voice.

How did the pandemic impact your business?

It demanded massive adaptation. Advocacy and government affairs are a people business. So we’ve all gone from seeing people in meetings, conferences, social events, and around town, to seeing them on a screen. Even if the coronavirus vanished tomorrow, we’re not going back to the way things were. Our present and tomorrow is mostly virtual for formal meetings. But those vital informal connections will start migrating back to in-person.

What are your goals for 2021?

Stay healthy! Strengthen the business by achieving clients’ audacious goals. Learn and apply new knowledge. See more live music and resume choral singing—miss that so much.

Finally, tell us about any furry friends, if you have any!

If something has more hair and legs than I’ve got, I’m probably allergic to it. So it suits me fine to enjoy brief counseling visits with Piper, Frankie, Bear, Swiss, Hannibal, and Dieter at the waterfront.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.