Pleased to meet you

Published 11:38 am Friday, October 27, 2017

by Lauren Villarreal

Allow me to introduce myself by way of copy: my name is Lauren Villarreal, and I have the privilege of taking over the role of Business Development Manager with Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc.  My family is originally from San Antonio, but moved to Charlotte, North Carolina when I was five. Upon finishing high school, I moved down to sunny Florida to play college volleyball at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Graduating in May 2012 moved me back up to my hometown, where I found myself working in a finance firm. Crunching numbers and filling out spreadsheets were never my cup of tea, so I transitioned over to Young Life staff. Young Life is a Christian non-profit that works with local high school and college students in a relationship-mentor capacity. Here I found the ability to spend most of my time interacting with people, and developed a great desire to continue this job ‘requirement.’

After my ‘what’s next’ itch started to scratch, I found myself working for a mortgage company as a Talent Project Manager. I was skeptical over how wise working in this industry was, but this company was different. The mission statement began with these words: We exist to love and value people. Wow. Seemed counter-industry to me, so I was extremely interested to learn more. My greatest takeaway from my time at the mortgage company is the following: treat your customers with respect, deliver an incredible product with excellence, and approach each business endeavor with a servant-leader mindset.

During my time at said mortgage company, a Virginian gentleman began winning over my affections, and we were engaged over Labor Day weekend. My fiancé is a Methodist minister, and moved to Sedley in July to become the pastor at Grace Memorial United Methodist Church. An introduction to a community member during a Ruritan club meeting led to a conversation about an open position at FSEDI. My fiancé promptly told him he knew a gal that would be very interested in interviewing for the job. Spoiler alert: it was me! My first day on the job was Oct. 2, and this big-city girl could not feel more welcomed and accepted by this kind and extremely intentional community.

My role at FSEDI is to recruit new entrepreneurs and small businesses to the Franklin Business Center as tenants in our program. We are committed to helping your business reach success, offering program amenities such as on-site business mentors, low overhead costs, and unparalleled community support. Our unbelievably charming office building is home to 50 individual offices, with floor plans ranging from 125-1000 square feet. I’d be in remiss to not invite you to stop by our office, introduce yourself, and tell me your story. What are you passionate about? What dream have you put on the back burner? Let’s talk about the feasibility of making your idea a growing and thriving business.

Lauren VillarreaL, is the Business Development Manager for Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc.