Prior to getting into politics, Francis ran and operated Royal Pita Baking Company with his brothers. Under their stewardship, the operations distribution quickly expanded to Toronto and London in Ontario, and twelve U.S. states.
In 2003, he was awarded the Windsor Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his work with Royal Pita.
Francis was first elected to Windsor City Council in a by-election in June 1999, becoming the youngest City Councillor in Windsor history. Shortly after being elected to City Council, Francis enrolled in the University of Windsor Law School. He graduated in 2002. Francis was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
As an active member of City Council, Francis was involved in many of the city’s major committees, agencies, and boards. Among the positions that he held:
Director of Windsor Canada Utilities, Member of the Detroit–Windsor Tunnel Commission, Chair of the Windsor Licensing Commission, and Chair of the International Relations Committee.
Following his successful years in City Council, Francis was elected Mayor in the 2003 Municipal Elections. One of his first acts as Mayor was to join the Planning Committee for the 2006 Super Bowl festivities in Detroit, ensuring that Windsor would receive some of the economic benefits of participating in a major tourist event.
He was subsequently re-elected in the 2006 election, garnering 77.56% of the votes cast in the mayoral race. He successfully ran and won once more in the 2010 election, with 56.17% of the vote.
During Francis’ mayorship, Windsor has consistently reduced municipal debt and reportedly passed six consecutive budgets with zero tax increases.
Francis announced in March 2014 that he will not be running for a fourth term as Mayor, in order to assume the position of Executive Vice-president of the Windsor Family Credit Union, a position he has held since 2014.
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