Frank E. Eck, chairman of Hilliard, Ohio-based Advanced Drainage Systems Inc., died Dec. 13, from complications related to open-heart surgery. He was 84.
``Frank and I worked together for 27 years,'' said Joe Chlapaty, ADS president and chief executive officer, by phone. ``We had a very strong business relationship and personal friendship during this whole period.
``It's a loss for our company, and the entire industry.''
Eck graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1944. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Upon returning home, Eck earned a master's of business administration degree from Harvard Business School.
After working more than 20 years in the petrochemical industry, Eck joined ADS in 1973 as vice president of sales and marketing. He would later become president and is credited for growing ADS from a small regional manufacturer of corrugated polyethylene pipe to the world's largest producer of plastic drainage pipe.
Eck made several large donations to Notre Dame during his lifetime, including a $21 million gift in 2005 to build the Eck Hall of Law. In total, Eck has donated more than $35 million to the school.