Heritage Foundation Adds to Education and Preservation Team

Heritage Foundation
photo from Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN continues to enhance its preservation and education efforts by adding two new full-time roles to the preservation team as well as establishing a volunteer advisory committee, announced Bari Beasley, Heritage Foundation CEO. The new volunteer advisory committee was formed to help provide insight, guidance, information, and recommendations directly related to historic preservation needs in Williamson County.

Foundation Preservation Staff

Rachael Harrell Finch, former executive director for the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation, joins the Heritage Foundation in the newly formed role of senior director of preservation and education, and Jill Burgin, current Main Street director for the Downtown Franklin Association, is moving into the role of director of government relations and advocacy. 

In Jill Burgin’s new role with the Heritage Foundation, she will transition her focus from Franklin’s Main Street and Downtown Franklin Association to be the newly created role of director of government relations and advocacy. She will work with the foundation’s preservation team to monitor land use and development in Williamson County and advocate for the interests of historic preservation and conservation of rural landscapes.

The Heritage Foundation will be naming a new Downtown Franklin Association director in the coming weeks. 

Finch and Burgin join existing Director of Preservation and Education Blake Wintory, Ph.D., an Arkansas native who has more than 18 years of experience in historical research and preservation. 

Heritage Foundation CEO Bari Beasley said she couldn’t be more excited to announce these new additions to the Preservation and Education team. 

“Preservation and education are at the very heart of what we do,” she said. “As we continue to grow and embark on the largest preservation project in our organization’s history with Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens, we want to make sure we stay true to our core mission.  This expansion ensures we have an expert team of scholars and thought-leaders in this area.”

Preservation Committee

In addition to bolstering the preservation and education staff, the Heritage Foundation has also formed a volunteer preservation committee that will allow the organization to expand its base of people who are bringing resources and support to the mission.

Named on the new Heritage Foundation Preservation Committee are:

Vincent Fuqua – (Spring Hill representative) Spring Hill alderman, passionate about heritage tourism for Spring Hill, local business owner

Inetta Gaines – (Brentwood representative) Brentwood Historical Commission member and member of the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County

Ricky Jones – (Fairview representative) Williamson County Commissioner, History and US Government educator, athletic director, and coach of the golf and softball teams at Fairview High School.

Beth Lothers – (Nolensville representative) Williamson County Commissioner, member of the Nolensville Historical Society, former mayor of Nolensville

Ginger Shirling – (Rural/Unincorporated representative) Served on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for Williamson County’s Special Area Plan for Triune and the planning forum for 2007 Williamson County Comprehensive Land Use Plan

Ellen Smith (chair) – (Franklin representative) Heritage Foundation board member, board member for Traveller’s Rest, Franklin, TN resident

Jim Van Vleet – (Thompson’s Station representative) Thompson Station’s Park Commission member

As part of the Heritage Foundation’s mission to serve the entire county, the purpose of this committee is to serve in an advisory capacity to promote the preservation and sustainability of Williamson County’s diverse historic and cultural resources. The committee will also provide insight, guidance, information and recommendations directly related to historic preservation needs in Williamson County.

For more information about the Heritage Foundation, visit www.williamsonheritage.org.