By Kaylee White
Belmont County Court Judge Frank Fregiato boasts not only an extremely successful career in law but is making a notable impact in providing health and cultural services to his local community.
Fregiato kicked off his fruitful career in law in 1977, graduating in the top five percent of his class at Ohio State University Law School. During his time there, he received Order of Coif honors and served as an editor of the school’s Ohio State Law Journal. Fregiato also earned his undergraduate degree from OSU, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Following graduation, he worked as a partner at the law firm of Fregiato, Myser & Davies. Starting in 1997, he also served in the Northern Division Belmont County Court as a judge until his appointment as a judge for the General Division of the Belmont County Court of Common Pleas in 2013. Additionally, Fregiato served as special counsel to the Ohio Attorney General and a Solicitor of the Villages of Belmont and Brookside, amongst many other achievements.
Fregiato initially wanted to go to veterinary school but changed his mind in his sophomore year of high school. Instead, Fregiato saw himself making a difference in more human-involved way.
“The sixties was a very turbulent political time, and that inspired me to go into the practice of law,” explains Fregiato.
Fregiato stayed true to his vision of helping others not only through means of law and advocacy but through community service as well. As a certified personal trainer since 1991, Fregiato most recently put on a free Lunch-n-Learn for all county employees where he gave tips on living healthy and being active. Fregiato also inspires local youth to be active, helping instruct them on what lifestyle and exercise options are available to them, all free of charge.
One of the community organizations Fregiato is most active in is Sons of Italy, a non-profit organization formed to promote Italian heritage in America and support local communities. Formerly the Bellaire chapter’s Orator-Consigliere, Fregiato now volunteers as a pasta waiter and is currently helping to provide affordable Italian language classes through the organization.
Fregiato is a first-generation Italian-American, and when asked about his passion for and involvement with Sons of Italy, Fregiato explains, “I have been to Italy approximately 10 times, and I am very much in favor of supporting Italian-Americans where I can do so with it still being equal rights under the law.”
Fregiato also refers to Phi Beta Kappa as one of the many accomplishments he is proud of and that he finds his membership carries some weight when he mentions it in his resume or an introduction. However, his greatest advice to Phi Beta Kappa members wanting to make a difference is to get involved in their local community. Fregiato recommends looking out for any opportunities to volunteer for community service or events where you can sign up to join various groups and organizations. This kind of connection, Fregiato advises opens up the opportunity to meet new people and is a great way to network.
“Community service is the key to everything,” says Fregiato. “It helped me secure clients, and when I ran for election, it helped me get votes. But most importantly, I quite frankly enjoy it.”
Photo taken by Robert A. Defrank, The Times Leader, where Fregiato is promoting Italian language classes with the Sons of Italy, one of his many community outreach projects.
Kaylee White is a recent graduate of Southwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa there in May 2022. Southwestern is home to the Theta of Texas chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Kaylee is currently working on a Master of Science in psychology at the University of Texas San Antonio.