The Downtown Franklin Association (DFA), an organization of more than 170 local business owners committed to historic preservation and community vibrancy, has added new Board members. As the organization for Franklin’s historic business district–and a subsidiary of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County–the DFA follows the four-point program of the National Main Street Center of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The organization revealed its fresh slate of executive committee members at April’s member meeting, with Tin Cottage Owner,Marianne DeMeyers, elected to serve a as the Board president.

Joining DeMeyers for 2015-16 are Vice President Natasha Hendrix of McCreary’s Irish Pub; Treasurer Ed Cagle
of FirstBank; Secretary Jan Marshall, of A. Marshall Family Foods Inc.; Promotions Chair Julie Walton of Walton’s Antique & Estate Jewelry; Design Chair Ernie Reynolds of Outdoor Classic Structures; and Organization Chair
Deborah Warnick of the Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

New to the DFA Board are Walton and Reynolds, who were enlisted for their professional expertise and passion for community. “I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity. Under the leadership of Bob [Roethemeyer], we
we’ve grown to have the largest DFA membership in our 31-year history, including a diversity of business types,” DeMeyers said. “I have much to build upon and look forward to it.

“We are proud that Julie and Ernie have joined the team. Together, I believe they will help make a substantial impact for the organization.”

DeMeyers is taking the reins from Bob Roethemeyer, the owner of local gift shop Avec Moi, who was honored at the meeting for his three years of service as president.

A longtime Franklinite, DeMeyers reopened Tin Cottage on South Margin Street last fall.

Located in the area’s Second South District, Tin Cottage first came onto the scene nearly two decades ago–the same year she joined the DFA as a Board member. DeMeyers owned the shop until 2006, providing locals with a destination for home, table and gift items. Later, she helped launch Philanthropy on Main Street and owned Honey’s Vintage Sweets, also in downtown Franklin.

Both DeMeyers and Cagle have been involved in some capacity with the DFA board for more than 15 years.

DeMeyers says she believes this to be one of the most exciting times in Historic Downtown Franklin’s history.

“I believe downtown Franklin is at a pivotal transition–especially in light of the prospective boutique hotel and high-profile public developments, such as Bicentennial Park and Harlinsdale Farm,” she said. “We have the most dynamic group of local merchants, restaurants and businesses in history, and it’s all built within the backdrop of a beautiful city dedicated to historic preservation.

“As evidenced by recent accolades, I believe that ‘America’s Favorite Main Street’ is one of the Southeast’s leading small-town destinations.”

Just 14 miles south of Nashville, downtown Franklin captures the beauty of the past while providing an oasis of Southern hospitality housed in a 16-block National Register district of award-winning antique shops, brick-and-mortar gift and book stores, fashion-forward boutiques, privately owned art galleries, lovingly restored homes and more.

In May of 1995, Franklin was honored as one of the best downtown areas in the nation when it received one of five “Great American Main Street” awards in the first year of an annual competition held by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Since then, accolades have included the “Best Small Town in Tennessee,” “America’s Most Romantic Main Street” and “One of America’s Greatest Antique Destinations,” among others.

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