Franklin is a special community. It has a rich cultural history of national significance and was founded and has prospered in a gentle and beautiful landscape. Residents — whether born and raised in the community or recent arrivals-care deeply about the place they call home: Franklin, Tennessee.
With few exceptions residents believe that Franklin offers a high quality of life and they rate this aspect as the most important factor affecting their decision to live in the community. In fact, a 2012 household survey conducted for Franklin Tomorrow in conjunction with the Williamson County Association of Realtors indicated 9 of 10 residents surveyed ranked their quality of life as good or excellent.
Franklin has gained national recognition for its revitalization of downtown and for devising impact fee strategies for new development. Franklin is clearly a prosperous community with dedicated and passionate stewards.
It is easy to say that Franklin — with its prosperity, unique history and sense of community — would be the envy of communities across the nation. So what is the problem? What are the issues that drove the need for a vision for Franklin?
There is no simple answer except that there is an evolving recognition on the part of its citizens, local government, business and preservation groups that safeguarding the attributes that make Franklin so special will take deliberate action and special attention in the face of the continuing pressure for growth and development.
It is important to note that for most of its history, Franklin grew moderately, if at all. In fact, from the end of the Civil War to until the 1960s the community experienced no significant growth. That easygoing, minimal-change condition began to change in the mid 1960′s and erupted in the 1980s and continues today. Franklin’s population doubled in the 1990s, reaching nearly 42,000 in 2000. The 2010 Census put the population at more than 60,000 and it is expected to double again over the next 20 years to 78,000.
In addition to residential growth, Franklin has attracted a significant amount of commercial and industrial employers, including many headquarters or regional offices. Numerous factors have fueled Franklin’s growth. The most compelling appears to be the charm and historic small town character offered by Franklin as one of America’s quintessential small towns.
This factor, in light of the recent growth, has fueled much of the passion throughout the vision process. Franklin residents care deeply about their community. At the very first round of public meetings participants were asked to identify what they treasure most about the Franklin community. In overwhelming terms, the most significant community value is Franklin’s historic small town character.
Brandy Blanton is a member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Tomorrow. Brandy also serves as an Alderman At-Large for the City of Franklin.
Brandy is the Owner/Publisher of Southern Exposure Magazine. She has been a resident of Franklin since 1976 and is a graduate of Franklin High School. Married to Mendall Blanton, Brandy is the mother of five: Nick, Samantha, Caitlin, Zac, and Emma.
Brandy’s community involvement includes being a member of the Advisory Board of Mercy Children’s Clinic (2009 – present), a member of the Clean Air Partners of Williamson County (2006 – present), and an Executive Board member of the Williamson County Fair (2005-2008).
Brian Beathard began his affiliation with Franklin Tomorrow in 2009 and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2012. He also served as the Chair of the Youth Initiative Task Force in 2010.
Brian says that he would like to see Franklin Tomorrow, “Preserve, promote and protect this very special place through community advocacy, education and awareness. To connect people with opportunities to serve and provide leadership in strategic initiatives related to our community. To help inspire and motivate our citizenry towards communication that fosters an involvement in our city effectively improving our overall quality of life.”
Brian is also involved in our community as a Member of the Heritage Foundation; Co-Chair (along with Candie Westbrook) of the Candle Light Tour; Member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association; Candidate for Williamson County Commissioner – 11th District.
Brian has received the following awards recently:
Heritage Foundation Preservation Award recipient 2009
Citizens Government Academy Graduate
Cecilia Melo-Romie is a member of Franklin Tomorrow’s Board of Directors.
At Vanderbilt University’s Kennedy Center, Cecilia, as the Statewide Spanish Outreach Coordinator, provides bilingual services to individuals with intellectual disabilities and their legal representatives throughout Tennessee. She furnishes information about Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) resources, and she helps individuals and families access, interpret, and complete applications for services. Melo-Romie works with other Pathfinder staff to identify community-based services, supports, and providers for families. She provides training for family support coordinators and DIDD staff, as well as document translation and interpreter services. Melo-Romie updates and verifies agency information in the statewide Camino Seguro Bilingual Database, and she identifies bilingual providers throughout Tennessee. She is also responsible for increasing public awareness of the Hispanic Outreach program through news media and networking activities.
David Snowden joined Franklin Tomorrow in 2003 and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors.
David says, “Franklin Tomorrow is an organization that helps keep progressive ideas in the forefront in order to help maintain and enhance the quality of life in Franklin and Williamson County.” Originally from Meridian, Mississippi, David lives with his wife Kathy in Forrest Crossings.
He is also a member of the Franklin Noon Rotary, United Way of Williamson County, Boys and Girls Club, Williamson County-Franklin Chamber of Commerce, Steering Committee of Youth Leadership Franklin and graduate of Leadership Franklin.
Diane Thorne is a current member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Tomorrow. She is also the Regional Transportation Director for The TMA Group.
The Transportation Management Association (TMA) Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and was established in 1988 as a public-private partnership of business, governmental, and community leaders, who understand that transportation can either make our communities great or break the backbone of our communities.
The TMA Group supports a regional transportation system that provides a variety of accessible, affordable, reliable, and interconnected transportation choices that are both healthy for the environment and for people. Their goal is for everyone, in every community, in every stage of life to have affordable and convenient travel options available to them.
[/accordion[accordion title="Dolores Greenwald"]Dolores Greenwald is a member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Tomorrow. She is also the Williamson County Library System Director.
Elizabeth Mefferd began her association with Franklin Tomorrow in 2009 and currently serves as a member of the group’s Board of Directors.
Elizabeth is the Regional Vice President at the Better Business Bureau Middle Tennessee, Inc. She is a Nashville area native currently living in Spring Hill and working in Forrest Crossings. Elizabeth is involved in both the Williamson County and Spring Hill Chambers of Commerce, Franklin Noon Rotary, Nashville City Club, PTSA Spring Hill High School, Skyline Raconteurs Toastmasters (Treasurer), Rock Springs Cemetery (Treasurer), NHC Cool Springs Board, FBI Nashville Citizens Academy Alumni, and as a Williamson County Fair Volunteer.
J. Bryan Echols
Bryan Echols is a member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Tomorrow.
Bryan is also a Board Member of the Heritage Foundation, a past President and Board Member of the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, and involved with the Urban Land Institute.
He is a practicing attorney at Dickinson Wright where he is routinely selected for difficult annexation, zoning and other land use applications in Franklin and Williamson County.
J. Edward Campbell
Jim Roberts began his participation with Franklin Tomorrow in 2011 and is a current member of the Board of Directors.
Jim’s love of the city encouraged his involvement with the organization. “I participated in the original visioning process 10 years ago, but was not really active until being asked to co-chair the Community Character strategy group. My reason for serving now is to give back in some way in appreciation for Franklin being such a wonderful place to raise my family over the last 35 years and to play some small part as the community looks ahead.”
Originally from Memphis, Jim is currently located in the Adams Street Historic District and works as Legal Administrator of the law firm of Waddey & Patterson in Nashville.
He is also involved with the Association of Legal Administrators, is a graduate of the 2002 class of Leadership Franklin, is a current member of the Franklin Historic Zoning Commission, active in Waves, the Franklin Battlefield Preservation Commission, the Monroe Harding Finance and Endowment Committee and serves as an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Franklin.
Kathie Moore is the President of the Franklin Tomorrow Board of Directors and has been a member since 2008. She has been a member of the Board of WAVES, Inc. since 2007, is a graduate of Leadership Franklin, and a member of the Leadership Franklin Alumni Association.
Kathie is a full-time REALTOR serving Williamson County and the Greater Nashville area since 1986 and is also a Vice President of Crye-Leike REALTORS.
Kathie’s other accomplishments include:
- REALTOR of the year, Williamson County Association of REALTORS 2003, Williamson County Association of REALTORS Board Member-2004-2009, Realtracs (Regional MLS) Board of Directors 2006-2009, Leadership TAR Class 2005
- Member, Crye-Leike Multi-Million Dollar Club, Tennessee Association of REALTORS, National Association of REALTORS
Dr. Ken Moore, Mayor, City of Franklin
Dr. Ken Moore, is the Mayor of Franklin and currently on the Board of Directors for Franklin Tomorrow.
As Mayor of Franklin, Dr. Ken Moore is the 31st Mayor and second physician to head the City of Franklin. Ken practiced orthopedic surgery for more than twenty-eight years and gained recognition on a state and national level as a leader. In May 2012, he was elected to serve as the Chair of the Middle Tennessee Mayor’s Caucus that covers a 10-county area with a population of 1.67 million people, comprising of 27 percent of Tennessee’s population. In the same month, Mayor Moore was given the Leadership in Regional Thinking and Action Award at the Power of Ten Summit.
Outside activities include assisting to bring a new campus to Williamson County for Columbia State Community College and he currently serves as chairman of the Columbia State Foundation Board.
Mayor Moore maintains a passion for delivering healthcare to the underserved and is medical director for the Shalom Foundation which provides free surgery to poor Guatemalan Children and was highly involved in the opening of a new Out-patient Surgery Center for the Foundation in Guatemala City.
Prior to serving as Vice Mayor and Mayor, Ken was elected to the Board of Mayor and Alderman in 2007 as an alderman at large. His work on the board has included Chair of the Finance Committee and has led the effort to make Franklin a top 25 sustainable City.
He has served as president of the Tennessee Orthopaedic Society, The Tennessee Hand Society, and The Clinical Orthopaedic Society, the second oldest orthopaedic society in America. He represented Tennessee to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Board of Councilors for eight years. Ken is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. After medical school, he served in the United States Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as a general medical officer.He received his orthopaedic training at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 2005, he spent time teaching orthopaedic physician assistants in Bhutan and in 2006 he spent a month in Ethiopia teaching Ethiopian orthopaedic residents. He continues to be involved on a state and national level in organized medicine advocating for physicians.
Ken is married to Linda Crowell who grew up in Franklin and is glad to be back home. They have been married since 1985. Together, they have five children and six grandchildren. Ken’s hobbies include golf, travel, collecting, and photography and Linda is a devoted animal lover and serves on the Heritage Foundation Board as Vice-President for Advancement.
Linda and Ken both have been active members of Franklin First United Methodist Church where Ken is a frequent teacher in the Voyager Sunday School Class.
[accordion title="Matt Taylor"]
Matt Taylor has been involved with Franklin Tomorrow since the original Visioning Process and joined the Board of Directors in 2012.
Matt says, “As an architect, I have a personal and professional interest in helping further develop the vision for Franklin’s future. The natural and built environments of our community are intertwined and require balance to maintain the quality of life we appreciate and have come to expect. Franklin Tomorrow offers a wonderful opportunity to ensure that the citizens of Franklin continue to have a voice in the development and refinement of a vision that will guide, protect, and preserve the characteristics that we love about our city as it continues to grow.”
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Matt graduated from Clemson University with his Master’s degree in Architecture. Matt and his wife Lisa moved to Franklin in 1996 and built their home on Highway 96 West, which was featured as part of the Heritage Foundation’s Tour of Homes in 2001. As Matt became more involved in local civic organizations, he decided that he could make a positive impact on his community by forming his own architecture firm, Studio Eight Design, and pursuing projects that are both culturally responsible and responsive to the needs of his clients. In addition to designing his own home, Matt has worked on several award-winning projects in Franklin including the Dover Centre Office Campus, Southern Ice Arena, Franklin Police Headquarters, Bicentennial Park, and Franklin City Hall Programming & Design Guidelines.
Matt is also involved in Franklin’s Sustainability Task Force, has served on its Historic Zoning Commission and is active as a Clemson University Alumni Council representative for Tennessee.
Mike Alexander is a member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Tomorrow. He is also the owner of SIGNS FIRST FRANKLIN.
Mike is a Tennessee native and long time business man. Mike took over operations of SIGNS FIRST FRANKLIN in 2007 where he has seen tremendous growth.
Monique McCullough has been a member of Franklin Tomorrow since 2012 and is a current member of the Board of Directors. She is also the Public Outreach Specialist for the City of Franklin.
Monique says, “As a native of Franklin, I’m thrilled to be involved with an organization whose goal is to get the community involved and working together towards the future of Franklin.”
Monique is also involved with the Williamson County Cultural Arts Commission, the United Way of Williamson County, the JL Clay Center (former Board member), the African American Heritage Society (former Board member), and Sister Cities of Franklin & Williamson County.
Nancy Conway is a member of the Board of Directors for Franklin Tomorrow. Nancy is also the Senior Vice President of Community Relations for the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce.
At the Chamber, Nancy forms relationships with numerous organizations throughout Williamson County to encourage community development. A graduate of the University of Georgia Institute of Organization Management, Nancy served as President & CEO of the former Williamson County-Franklin Chamber for 25 years, managing a growing Chamber in a fast-growing county. She is also the Past President of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives. Having lived in Franklin all her life, Nancy has a wealth of historical knowledge on the county – and tons of funny stories to tell.
Patty Bearden is a member of the Franklin Tomorrow Board of Directors. She also works at the Williamson Herald and Southern Exposure Magazine as a marketing specialist and sales representative.
For 11 years, Bearden worked as the community marketing director for Franklin Flowers and Gift Gallery on Columbia Avenue. She is a member of the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce where she served as an ambassador for 11 years and currently serves as the co-chairman of the Engagement Committee for new members. She is also a member of the Downtown Franklin Association, and formerly served on the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County’s Planning Committee for the grand opening of the Franklin Theatre. Bearden is a board member of Franklin Noon Rotary Club and J.L. Clay Senior Citizen’s Center.
She and John Bearden, her husband, have lived in Franklin for 15 years. John is a leasing and sales representative with Andrews Cadillac and Nashville Land Rover, where he has worked for 30 years. They are members of the Brentwood Baptist Church.
Paula Harris began her affiliation with Franklin Tomorrow in 2012 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors.
Paula says, “I am involved in Franklin Tomorrow because I see the organization as a catalyst for preserving the things that are special about our community. Many communities have wonderful plans that merely sit on the shelf. Franklin Tomorrow works with the various government entities, organizations, and the citizens of Franklin to implement things that are important to our community.”
Paula is the Chief Marketing Officer at Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon and currently resides on her family farm in Triune. She is also involved with Leadership Franklin, the Rotary Club of Nashville and the Lipscomb University Alumni Board.
Preston Elliott is a member of the Franklin Tomorrow Board of Directors. He is also a Senior Principal Planner with RPM Transportation Consultants. He is a certified planner with twenty years of professional transportation and comprehensive planning experience. In addition to private consulting he has worked for two state departments of transportation (DOTs) and three metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) throughout his profession. He is well-versed in the statewide and metropolitan planning regulations having been an MPO Coordinator responsible for all aspects of the MPO planning process and a Transportation Manager at TDOT where he managed the state planning and research program. Preston has assisted seven of the eleven MPOs in Tennessee in the development of their long range transportation plans (LRTPs) and initiated TDOT’s first statewide LRTP in 2005, as project manager. He has extensive experience in corridor and sub-area plans, the program development process, and public outreach and involvement. In addition to these efforts, he has assisted numerous communities in the development of bicycle and pedestrian plans both at the regional level as well as at the city level. He has a Masters in Public Administration and a Bachelors Degree in Social Science.
Preston has authored papers on transportation planning and is often asked to speak at technical conferences. Throughout his career he has been active in professional and civic organizations and his activities include serving as Chairman of the City of Franklin Transit Authority. Preston has received the following awards for his service.
– Tennessee Section ITE, Outstanding Individual Activity Award, 2003
– American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Quality Trail Blazer Award, Planning Assessment Project Team, 2003
– Nashville Business Journal, Nashville Emerging Leader Award Finalist, 2009
Rogers Anderson, Mayor, Williamson County
Rogers Anderson was elected County Mayor for Williamson County in 2002 and is currently serving his fourth term in office. He is an Ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Tomorrow.
Among Mayor Anderson’s many memberships, he is on the Board of Trustees of Williamson Medical Center, a Board Emeritus member of Williamson County United Way, a member of the Williamson Chamber of Commerce, member of Franklin Noon Rotary, and an alumnus of Leadership Franklin.
Scott Black is a member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Tomorrow. He is the Senior Vice President of Community Development at Bristol Development Group in Franklin. With over 18 years of experience in design, construction, and development, Mr. Black has managed over $150 Million (and 1000 units) of development for Bristol. He now leads the team responsible for all of Bristol’s for sale initiatives.
Prior to joining Bristol, Scott worked as an architect in the Southeast region of the United States. During those 8 years of practice, he worked on a variety of projects ranging from retail centers to free standing hospital facilities. Included in those various projects were several multifamily projects.
Within the Franklin community, Scott is active with the Franklin Housing Authority, the Urban Land Institute, is the current Board Chairman of the Franklin Housing Authority, and has been active member of the Franklin task force for affordable housing in the past.
Shanna Jackson began her affiliation with Franklin Tomorrow in 2011 and is currently on the Board of Directors.
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Shanna works at the Williamson County Campus of Columbia State Community College and is involved with Franklin’s Charge, the TN Scholars Advisory Board, Women in Higher Education in Tennessee Advisory Council, COMBASE, TACHE, TMA and Societas Docta, Inc.
Susan Minor has been a member of Franklin Tomorrow since 2001 and currently serves on the Board of Directors.
Susan is the Director of Community Development for the Franklin Housing Authority and lives with her husband, Gary, and son, Matthew, a junior at BGA, in Franklin. She is a member of the Women in Business Steering Committee, a Youth Small Group Leader for Christ United Methodist Church, and a Leadership Franklin alumnus. She is the current President of the Franklin Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association Board and on the Board of the J.L. Clay Senior Citizens Center.
Travis Anderson is a member of Franklin Tomorrow’s Board of Directors.
As a partner at TBH Global Asset Management, Travis focuses on all fiduciary aspects of managing multi-million dollar portfolios for trusts, high net worth individuals, corporations and non-profits. Prior to joining TBH in 2008, Travis worked at Fifth Third Bancorp and served on the Trust Investment Committee, Discretionary Action Quorum, and Portfolio Management Committee. Travis also managed the Private Bank department in Tennessee. While at Fifth Third, Travis managed over 85 million dollars of investable assets with a focus on risk-adjusted wealth preservation strategies.
Travis is a Tennessee native and holds a BS in Finance with a minor in Economics from the University of Tennessee. Travis graduated Summa Cum Laude at Middle Tennessee State where he obtained his MBA with a concentration in Finance. Travis also completed a three-year program at Southern Trust School, a specialty school for trusts and obtained his Certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation. Travis currently lives in Thompson’s Station with his wife Wren and daughters, Olivia and Molly. Travis is a member of Franklin United Methodist Church and is active in the Volunteer Athletic Scholarship Foundation and volunteers his time to serve as a Board Member and Loaned Executive for the United Way.
He is currently working with the Williamson County Library Foundation, the JL Clay Senior Citizens Center, and the Williamson County UT Alumni Association.
Vernon Gerth began his association with Franklin Tomorrow in 2009 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors. He was also a member of the Class of 2010 Visioning Committee.
Married 25 years to Shari, they have two grown children, Jordan and Kaylyn.
Vernon is the Assistant City Administrator for the City of Franklin where Vernon provides guidance to the city departments that provide community and economic development related services. i.e. parks, streets, building & neighborhood services, planning & sustainability, and engineering. As the Assistant City Administrator over Economic Development, Vernon has also made retaining and growing businesses and jobs locally a priority. Together with the State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the Chamber of Commerce Office of Economic Development, existing and prospective business representatives can be assured they will receive prompt and personal attention.
Vernon serves as staff liaison to a variety of City Boards and Commissions. Two examples include the Affordable/Workforce Housing Advisory Committee and Sustainability Commission.
Will Powell is a member of Franklin Tomorrow’s Board of Directors, serving as Vice President in 2016. He is an Assistant Vice President at Franklin Synergy Bank. Will joined Franklin Synergy Bank in December 2011 from Cadence Bank in Franklin. Prior to his banking career, Will served as Project Manager at William Powell Company in Franklin, supervising various phases of custom real estate development.
Will is a Franklin native, a graduate of Battle Ground Academy and The University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. He is active in the community through the Next Generation Heritage Foundation, where he serves on the Board of Directors. He’s also active with Habitat for Humanity and a member of Leadership Franklin Alumnus.
Executive Director: Mindy Tate
Mindy Tate began her affiliation with Franklin Tomorrow in 2001. She is the former President of the Class of 2010 and now serves as the organization’s Executive Director.
In April 2011, Mindy became Executive Director of Franklin Tomorrow, after spending five years as founding editor of the Williamson Herald. As editor of Williamson County’s local newspaper, she covered news, politics, sports, business and the people of Williamson County in the weekly newspaper, the Williamson Herald.
Mindy is also involved in the Rotary Club of Cool Springs, past president and board member of Sister Cities of Franklin & Williamson County, a graduate of Leadership Franklin, Leadership Middle Tennessee and Leadership Brentwood.