Looking back: City stipulates a man for the chamber

Published 11:14 am Friday, October 3, 2014

OCTOBER 3, 1964

Believing a man would do a better job in managing, in a much broader way, the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, the City of Franklin, a dues-paying Chamber member, has proposed that when Lois Milner, executive secretary, retires at the end of the year, a man be hired to replace her. In fact, the City has offered to increase its annual dues from $115.00 per year to $1,100.00 if the Chamber complies with the City’s request.

In this regard, a Chamber committee recently conducted a survey of its members. According to Chamber President Woodrow Livesay, the consensus of the survey indicates that a significant number of Chamber members, as well as members of the Chamber committee, believe that a man would be more effective in interfacing with the business world. And, they believe that a man would be more able to interact with Chamber members, up and down the street — and out and about. A man could go to places away from Franklin. He could travel with other local officials to out-of-town meetings that sometimes require over-night stays. A man would be more able to persuade new industry to come here.

Livesay commented further on the matter. “Obviously, some people disagree with the position taken by the City and the Chamber Committee,” he said.

“Miss Milner was hired in 1954 following her retirement from Camp Manufacturing Co. At the Mill, she was Secretary to James L. Camp, Jr. In her defined role as Chamber Executive Secretary, Miss Milner has done an outstanding job.”

The idea is to redefine the paid position at the Chamber. The proposed title is “Executive Director” with duties that would include not only membership retention and growth but also industrial development.


Many Franklin Chamber of Commerce leaders are tossing around the idea of a FRANKLIN-SOUTHAMPTON Chamber of Commerce. There needs to be cooperative efforts between the City and the County. Economically, the TWO jurisdictions are really ONE. Each compliments the other in many ways. What’s good for one is usually good for the other. Except for governments, schools and “football”, the border between the two is essentially blurred. In many matters and pursuits, the Chamber should be and can be a logical “GO-BETWEEN” for both jurisdictions. In some situations, that is already happening.


James M. Piette of Union Bag-Camp Paper Corporation has been named resident manager of the Franklin Mill. He replaces John E. Ray III who is now a vice president of the corporation with offices in New York. Ray is in charge of all of the corporation’s bleached manufacturing plants and its’ allied converting facilities.

Piette will assume his duties on October 5. He will be responsible for all administrative and production functions at the Franklin Mill. Commenting on the organizational move, Ray said, “Jim Piette has performed in an outstanding manner in each and every position he has held since joining Union Bag at the Savannah mill in 1951. Initially, he was classified as a construction engineer.

In October of 1959, Piette was transferred to the Franklin Mill and was named assistant pulp and paper division manager. Two years ago, he became Manager of Operations.

Piette, 40, was born in Appleton, Wisconsin. He attended Purdue University and served a three-year term with the U. S. Marine Corps during World War II. He is married to the former Betty Jones of Sylacauga, Alabama. They have four children and reside at 1013 Clay Street. The family is members of St. Judes Catholic Church.

Piette is very active in civic affairs. He is vice president of the Civic Division of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Franklin Rotary Club, is an active member of the executive committee of the Old Dominion Area Boy Scouts of America, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Cypress Cove Country Club. Piette was recently appointed to the City of Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Clyde Parker is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is cpjeep99@yahoo.com