Did You Ever Imagine?
The Roach family roots run deep in Frisco, dating back to the early 1900s. Very few people can say they were born and raised in Frisco, Texas, and even fewer have made the impact that Sam Roach has made in Frisco. Sam not only lived and worked in Frisco for most of his life, but he also graduated as valedictorian in his Frisco High School class and is best known for helping shape Frisco into the city it is today. Sam Roach left a lasting legacy and clearly left a mark on Frisco. Read on to see if Roach ever envisioned Frisco as it is today.
A Treasure Trove of Frisco's History
He loved Frisco, and his stories about Frisco’s growth over the years make people smile. Sam Roach has told the “bulldozer” story many times, an effort that didn’t turn out as hoped but shows that our early leaders were innovative thinkers as they are today. You can watch the 2019 State of the City video clip to hear the story.
Contributions to the Business Community
At the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce, Sam Roach and his business, Sam Roach Business Park, was recognized for being its longest Frisco Chamber member to date – over 35 years!
Mr. Roach didn’t sit on the sidelines in Frisco. In the early days of the Frisco Chamber, he was instrumental in economic development, which led to the creation of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation in 1991, where Mr. Roach served as the EDC’s first Board President. Roach has over the years shared stories of the Economic Development Corporations’ first two projects, a sidewalk on 5th Street and a fire hydrant for the La Hacienda Ranch restaurant on Preston Road. The projects have grown larger over the years – today, the EDC attracts corporate and regional headquarters to Frisco.
A Leader in Education
Education was just as important to Sam Roach as was economic development. Mr. Roach graduated from Frisco High School in 1953 and strongly desired to give back. He served four terms on the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees, served 13 years on the Collin College Community College District Board, and was a Collin County Community College Foundation Board member for 15 years. In 2005, Roach became the namesake of a Frisco ISD middle school.
“Aww- Shucks" Demeanor
Roach received numerous awards over the years for his contribution to Frisco. In 1988, the Frisco Chamber recognized Roach as Citizen of the Year. In 2015, he received the Chamber’s Silver Citizen of the Year award for his contributions to the community over 25 years. “Sam Roach epitomizes such commitment, although many in our community would never know given Sam’s quiet and ‘aww- shucks’ demeanor,” shared the announcer as Roach was presented this award at the Chamber’s annual gala. Mr. Roach was also named the 2011 Person of the Year by Frisco STYLE Magazine.
In a January 2020 interview, the Frisco Chamber of Commerce had the opportunity to sit down with Sam Roach. When asked if he ever imagined Frisco as it is today, he clearly stated, “No way! Even in the 50s and 60s,” Roach shared, “I had no idea we would be sitting on the 25th floor of a building in Frisco, Texas!”
Sam Roach passed away on December 30, 2021, and will be greatly missed by so many, yet Roach’s legacy will live on through his efforts over the years. His work has impacted so many generations in Frisco, and Mr. Roach will forever be an integral part of Frisco’s story, a small town that grew up to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.