Thank you, Amanda!

Published 2:31 pm Saturday, January 26, 2019

To the Editor:

The members of the Board and Staff of Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. (FSEDI) wish to congratulate Mrs. Amanda Jarratt on her promotion to the role of Franklin City Manager. We are very proud of her incredible accomplishments and her dedicated leadership of FSEDI. We also wish to thank her for her passionate and steadfast service to Franklin-Southampton.

Amanda’s tenure as president and CEO produced monumental results both economically and community developmentally. Amanda worked with incredible community partners to bring nine significant corporations to Franklin Southampton, which generated a total investment of $235 million.

The Franklin Business Center underwent a major re-branding investment, but more than a name change, the entire small business development program has grown and expanded. The Business Center currently sits at a successful 73 percent occupancy rate. The graduates are doing what the program intends — permanently locating in the region and growing the local tax and business base. The Small Business Appreciation Cookout started in 2015 and has seen a steady increase in attendance by local business owners.

Amanda oversaw numerous economic programs that directly influenced the betterment of the locality. The STARTUP Downtown Franklin Program is now in the third iteration, with six businesses thriving in Historic Downtown Franklin as a program result. The Micro-Loan program was established with grant funding from the SunTrust Community Foundation.

In 2014, “Partners in Progress” was started as an annual event to highlight the City of Franklin’s and Southampton County’s community achievements. Amanda also served as an incredible representative of Franklin Southampton to the greater Hampton Roads region through her involvement with the Hampton Roads Economic Development Association (HREDA.) As a public sector leader, she fought diligently for the area to be represented well with region-focused initiatives and organizations and was always willing to invest in partnerships for the greater good of the region.

While we are incredibly saddened to see Amanda leave FSEDI, we know that this move will be a significant benefit for our region. Thank you for your service, and we anticipate even greater opportunities of working together for the betterment of Franklin and Southampton County.

Brian Hedgepeth
Harrell Turner
Felicia Blow
Harriet Duck
Warren Beale
Lauren Sloan
Ashley Cotton
Jamie Tharp