To contribute to the war effort, Dr. Collazo dropped out of high school at the age of 15 to join the Army during WWII. He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer after 30 years of military service to the Army’s Air Defense programs. In January 1969, Dr. Collazo was presented the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding meritorious service. In 1970, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and First Oak Leaf Cluster for distinguishing himself in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam.
Dr. Collazo enlisted in the Army before he finished school, but he left the army an educated man, knowledgeable enough to become a respected consultant and later to start his own company. He earned a bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Texas and a master of Computer Systems Engineering from the Southeastern Institute of Technology.
In 1980, Dr. Collazo and his wife started COLSA Corporation in the garage of their southeast Huntsville home. The two-employee company offered systems analysis and engineering in support of air defense systems material development. There was but one goal: to serve the company’s customers with dedication and excellence.
COLSA grew rapidly, moving from the Collazo’s garage to small offices on South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville to Sparkman Drive and to its current facility in Cummings Research Park. In 1983, the SBA under the 8(a) program certified COLSA as a socially and economically disadvantaged company.
In 1988, in recognition of its outstanding growth and excellence in government contracting, COLSA was selected by the SBA as the Regional Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year. And, in the subsequent national competition, the SBA named COLSA the National Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year – a prestigious national honor. In 1991, the Huntsville and Madison County Chapter of the National Management Association named Frank J. Collazo manager of the year, in recognition of his superb leadership.
COLSA Corporation successfully graduated from the 8(a) Program through exceptional growth. Today, with corporate headquarters in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park, COLSA Corporation has grown to over 700 employees. The Cogswell Award for Excellence in Security Operations was awarded to COLSA in 1997, and in 1999, the company was registered to ISO 9001. In May 2003, Mr. Collazo was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
COLSA also has business activities in Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey; Washington, DC; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Orlando, Florida; and internationally in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Berlin, Germany.
Collazo Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) was incorporated on January 2, 1996. CEI is a holding company that owns all stock in COLSA Corporation, COLSA International, FJC Growth Capital, and FCA Properties. CEI provides administrative services to its subsidiaries. Francisco J. Collazo owns CEI.
Collazo Enterprises, Inc. and its subsidiary employees lead the way in serving our community through contributions and active participation by the Association of COLSA Employees (ACE). The firm also provides scholarship opportunities to its employees and maintains an outstanding summer-hire program to assist students in gaining valuable experience in the work place.
Today, CEI and COLSA Corporation continue to grow while remaining customer and quality focused in a sound financial and stable atmosphere.
Dr. Collazo’s motto in life has always been: “Character is what you do when no one is watching.” The tremendous personal and corporate contributions he makes to the community and to hundreds of disadvantaged organizations is primarily kept confidential and low profile. Note the source of this information is the webpage http://www.fjcollazo.com/.
Edited by Ramón Luis Vázquez of Noticiasillescanos.com