The new year has brought more good news for Friends of Franklin Parks: the non-profit organization has added new Board members, elected a new Board president and received a major gift from the Harlin family to support ongoing restorations of the main barn at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm.
Members of the Harlin family met with Friends leadership to present a check including proceeds from the sale of the last of Harlinsdale Farm’s legendary horses. Upon the passing of Bill Harlin last year, the family wound down operations and offered to donate nine horses and two foals from the legendary Harlinsdale line. Those horses found great homes and will keep the legacy alive for years to come.
“We are jumping into 2018 with a lot of momentum, and it is rewarding to have the support of people who are willing to give their time, talents and resources to the important work we do as a non-profit organization on behalf of Franklin’s incredible park system,” said Friends of Franklin Parks Executive Director Torrey Barnhill.
Friends of Franklin Parks has also added new members to its Board of Directors and named Adam Ballash its new Board president. Ballash, of Boyle Investment Company, helped form Friends of Franklin Parks and has served as vice president of the organization ever since. He oversaw construction of the Tractor Supply Co. Arena at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm and has been heavily involved in connectivity and other Friends efforts in recent months.
New Board members include:
Braton Machleit, owner of Buzz’d Fly Fishing and co-owner of Harpeth River Shuttle, a Centennial High School graduate and United States Navy veteran who returned to his hometown to pursue his passion for introducing people to the Great Outdoors and the incredible Harpeth River. He lives in Franklin with his wife Molly, two children and a Labrador retriever, Brookie, who often joins him on float trips.
Susan Smallwood, a longtime Williamson County resident and community volunteer with organizations as varied as the Tennessee Senior Olympics, TN Achieves and Friends of Franklin Parks’ ad hoc Harlinsdale Committee. A graduate of Barrington College and Trevecca Nazarene University who holds a graduate degree in medicine as a physician’s assistant, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of New Hope Academy, where she chaired the Board in 2012 and 2014.
Katie Spence, who works as an internal audit manager with Jackson National Life, focusing on broker-dealer and investment advisory activities and other key risk areas across North America. Katie has more than 15 years of financial services experience in operations, compliance and internal audit, and holds a variety of specialized industry certifications and licenses. She is also an Investment Advisor Certified Compliance Professional with Series 7, 24, 63, 66 securities licenses, and her expertise will be particularly valuable to Friends of Franklin Parks on the development side. She is an avid cyclist and overall outdoor enthusiast and will contribute to efforts surrounding connectivity of Franklin’s parks and other key initiatives.
Kevin Thompson, a founding partner at Thompson Burton PLLC, is one of the most sought after attorneys in the country in the direct sales industry. He was recently selected as a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine, and is regularly quoted in the national media on legal matters and speaks at conferences throughout the world. He is a former All-American decathlete and a proud husband and father to four children.
Ballash, the new Friends of Franklin Parks Board president, says the new slate of directors confirms the momentum carrying into the new year.
“These new Board members demonstrate the diversity of our organization, and the kinds of people who are attracted to our work – not only at Harlinsdale, but across our entire park system and with our focus on connecting all of our parks through trails, sidewalks, greenways and a new bridge across the Harpeth River. We are proud to have them join our leadership team,” Ballash said. “We are deeply grateful for the leadership of Dr. Monty McInturff as our outgoing president, and are looking forward to his continued contributions as a director.”
Founded in 2011, Friends of Franklin Parks, Inc. exists to cultivate stewardship within our community to preserve our cultural and natural resources, enhance the park experience and expand its legacy for future generations. For more information, visit www.friendsoffranklinparks.org.