Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology head lives second life as 'pit master'
By William Ehart
Seventh place in brisket. That ain’t chopped liver, no matter how you slice it, when you are competing against real barbecue pros.
That’s as high as Frank Krause’s professional barbecue team has placed in regional competitions, even though Krause has been barbecuing seriously for only a few years. The other two members of the team—Blue & Gray Barbecue—are Krause’s neighbors in Woodbridge, Va. They also cook chicken, ribs and pulled pork, using natural lump charcoal or wood pellets as fuel. (The team has its own Facebook page.)
“This just started in our backyards when I moved to Virginia from Chicago (in 2011),” Krause told CEO Update. The team’s next competition is in York, Pa., June 28-29.
When the smoke clears, Krause is CEO of $17 million-revenue Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. From 2011 to 2017, he was chief operating officer of the $58 million-revenue American Geophysical Union.
“We all were fans of the show ‘BBQ Pit Masters,’” he said. “And then our wives bought us tickets to attend a barbecue cooking school (run by the show’s star, Myron Mixon) in 2016. And that kind of sealed the deal for us.”
“I think the only reason AGU was sad to see me leave was because I was no longer able to cook and host their annual summer picnic,” Krause joked.
“I did the FASEB picnic last year where I cooked brisket, ribs and hamburgers, and even some veggie burgers. I’m on the hook for that again, coming up in July. I try to take care of my staff, too.”
Other beneficiaries include friends, family and local charities, and Krause’s team also does catering.
Krause concedes the smoking and grilling has become “like an addiction”—and that his family sometimes tires of chicken thighs—but says it’s all good weekend recreation for the group of busy executives.
“This is a group of three pretty tight guys,” he said. “We’re really good friends, our whole families are friends. It’s a good opportunity to destress from a long week and think about something else we’re still
passionate about but gives us a break from the office.”