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FrankTalks: Changing Lives in Williamson County

April 9, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am


Franklin Tomorrow’s 2018 FrankTalks Lecture Series will continue Monday, April 9th at City Hall in the Training Room. The topic will focus on organizations in Williamson County that work every day to change lives and make a difference. Panelists include the Executive Directors of ABLE Youth, BrightStone, High Hopes, Inc., and Waves, Inc.

Amy Saffell is the Executive Director of ABLE Youth, where she helps kids who use wheelchairs learn to be happy, healthy, and independent, just like she herself learned to do in her own life. She is a member of Get Fit Franklin, has completed 9 half marathons, and also leads Nashville’s adaptive rock climbing group.

With a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and after teaching Special Education in Texas and Tennessee, in 1999 Brenda Hauk opened a job training and learning center in Franklin for adults with intellectual and developmental challenges. This center, called BrightStone, is the result of a God-calling to answer the growing needs of an underserved and many times overlooked group of citizens. As Executive Director, she leads this unique day program where students learn productive work habits, participate in physical wellness and community activities, and gain independence and self-advocacy – all in a caring and safe environment as she also guides toward the future where residential services and increased job training will be provided on a farm-like campus just south of Franklin.

For almost eleven years, Gail Powell has been the Executive Director for High Hopes Development Center, a 33 year-old nonprofit organization that primarily serves children with special needs.  Children have been her life as she has been a teacher and then an elementary school principal, both in public school and nine years at Battle Ground Academy Lower School.  Originally from Texas, Powell has called Franklin home for the past 20 years. She has served the community as a board member for both Youth Leadership Franklin and Williamson, Inc. as well as being a graduate of Leadership Franklin and Franklin Citizens’ Police Academy.

A native to Franklin and Williamson County and a graduate of UT Knoxville, Lance has over 26 years of professional experience supporting of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, with 13 of those years through Waves, Inc.. He has worked with nonprofit agencies in both Tennessee and Ohio in positions of Associate Director, Regional Administrator, Behavior Specialist, and Quality Assurance Manager, before accepting his current position as Waves Executive Director.

FrankTalks is free and the public is invited. Franklin Tomorrow partnered with Vanderbilt University’s Office of Community, Neighborhood, and Government Relations to expand the frequency of FrankTalks in 2016 to a monthly program. It is held at various locations across the city, but always on the second Monday of the month. Thanks to the added support of Renasant Bank, FrankTalks continues to thrive in 2018.

Special thanks to City Hall for hosting this Franklin Tomorrow event in April.



April 9, 2018
9:00 am - 10:30 am


Franklin Tomorrow


City of Franklin
109 3rd Avenue S
Franklin, TN 37064
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