Eugene Franklin born August 19, 1948, in Ethel, Louisiana and moved to New Orleans in 1953. Attended grade school and high school in Metairie, Louisiana. Graduated from East Jefferson High School in 1967. Following graduation worked as a furniture warehouse supervisor and attended college at night.
Enlisted in the United States Navy in 1969, served a total of 27 years active duty. Retired in Pensacola, Florida after serving command tour as Officer-in-Charge of Naval Air Training Management Support Activity Pensacola, Florida with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1996. Founded Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company. Serves as the Founding President and CEO of Florida Black Chamber of Commerce, a National Black Chamber affiliate, headquartered in Pensacola, Florida. Known statewide as a Christian and Community Activist; a driving force behind the state's cultural economic development movement and the creation of financial institutional infrastructure that benefit disadvantaged and underserved communities. Gene Franklin is also an ordained minister and serves as an associate pastor for a local church and as the lead evangelist of a local ministry.
PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS & AWARDS:
· While on active duty, earned Bachelors' Degree in Theology in 1976 from Chapman College, a Bachelors' in Education from Southern Illinois University and Master's in Business Administration from Central Michigan in 1981.
· Awarded the Navy's prestigious Meritorious Service Medal.
· Awarded the Navy Commendation Medal (twice), the Navy Achievement Medal (twice), and a host of other military and civic awards throughout military career.
· Minority Business of the Year Award 1998 - 1999, presented by the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce.
· Civic Leader of the Year Award, presented by local Omega Psi Phi Chapter 1999.
· Mortgage Brokerage Business of the Month and Year 1998 for the company's success in working with residents of a Super Fund Site and for Excellence in Performance.
· The Pastor Dave Thomas Community Service Award for the Year 2000.
· The Agape Temple Unsung Hero Award for the Year 2000.
· Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman's Award for Community Service for the Year 2001.
· Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Service Award for Service as Small Business Representative for the Year 2002.
· The Chappie James Businessman of the Year 2003.
· Named one of Florida's Most Influential by Florida Trend Business Magazine 2005.
· Serves on the Board of Directors for National Black Chamber of Commerce.
· Serves on the Board of Governors, Florida Chamber of Commerce.
· Serves on Board of Florida Black Business Investment Board
· Past Board Member for Big Brothers/Big Sister Program Northwest Florida.
· Past Board Member for Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce.
· Past Board Member for United Way for Escambia County Florida.
· Past Board Member for Junior Achievement.
· Executive Board Member for proposed Florida Maritime Museum and the Pensacola Cultural Museum.
· Active Board Member of National Christian Multi-cultural Economic Development Alliance (CMEDA).
· A Founder, Immediate Past Chairman, and Board Member of Gulf Coast African-American Chamber of Commerce.
· Chairman for the Escambia County Health Facility Authority.
· Board Member for Florida First District Small Business Administration Advisory Board.
· Board Member for the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.
· Chairman Light Evangelism Ministry for the establishment of hospitals and schools in Africa.
· Founder Florida State Black Tourism Center, Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network, Christian Multi-Cultural Economic Development Alliance, George Washington Carver Institute Tallahassee, Florida, and The 100 Youth Chamber of Commerce.
· Serves on Board for Florida Great Northwest Wired Grant Program.