‘Downtown Dan’ heading out

Published 10:02 pm Thursday, November 6, 2008

FRANKLIN—”Downtown Dan” will have to find a new nickname.

Dan Howe, the manager of the Downtown Franklin Association, has resigned his post. His last day working in an official capacity to promote Franklin will be Dec. 9.

“I will continue living in Franklin and commute to my new job, so I plan to continue supporting the DFA and Franklin community,” Howe said in an e-mail.

Howe said he is joining the management team of a local company but wasn’t authorized yet to disclose the name of that company.

“If I can help the company I am going to work with survive and prosper, then it, in turn, can help our community,” he said.

Community members were saddened by the news of Howe’s impending departure.

“It’s going to be a big loss,” said Teresa Beale, executive director of the Franklin-Southampton Chamber of Commerce. “I’m so sad for the community because he has done such a great job. He was good to work with and a great community supporter.”

Howe said he plans to still volunteer his time for downtown efforts when he can.

“Hopefully I can remain a part of it in some capacity,” he said.

Howe said he is proud of the work he has done over the past year, including working on the new farmers’ market, which is set to break ground later this month, and the opening of the visitors’ center at the train depot.

“The good thing is that the organization has really strengthened over the last year,” he said. “We are learning and getting better all of the time.”

Plans haven’t begun yet to find his successor, but Howe thinks whomever gets the job will find it’s very satisfying, both professionally and personally.

“It’s a very exciting and rewarding position,” he said. “There’s a lot of job satisfaction in working in your community and making the quality of life better in Franklin and Southampton County.”

The choice to leave wasn’t easy, he said.

“It was a hard decision because I do enjoy my job and the people have been wonderful,” he said. “I hope I have made a difference to improve not only downtown but our community.”

Howe resides in Franklin with his wife, Betty. They have three sons: Nathan Howe, 33, Michael Duck, 34 and Nicholas Howe, 28.