National Cultural Heritage Tourism Center
Eugene Franklin: President/CEO, Florida Black Chamber of Commerce; Director for Florida, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Washington, D.C. Dedicated to continued development of an e-commerce infrastructure to support micro-businesses, disadvantaged communities, and its people.
- Founding President/CEO Florida Black Chamber of Commerce. Serves as Director for Florida, National Black Chamber of Commerce -Washington, D.C. Supports 25 local chambers and network affiliates.
- Director for National Cultural Heritage Tourism Initiative, promoting cultural and historical destinations to the global cultural tourist and business traveler.
- Served 27 years on active duty in U.S. Navy. Seventeen years in Executive Level Positions. Responsible for the leadership and management of an average of 250 personnel. Well-versed in all aspects of management, to include specialty of Naval Aviation Maintenance and Engineering. Served in most demanding executive assignments and diverse commands. Ranked and graded as the number one Officer in each command he served on every officer fitness report from 1981 until retirement 1996. Served final tour as Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Training Management Support Activity Detachment in Pensacola, Florida. Retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
- Past owner of Founded Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company 1996. Merged company with a national mortgage company in 2004. Routinely recognized professionally for abilities in all areas of mortgage lending. Noted for assistance to first time home-buyers.
PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS & AWARDS:
- 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.
- Listed in Florida Trend Magazine as one of Florida's most influential people for 2004
- Recognized for State Leadership by Urban Black Chambers in 2007.
- Recognized for Community Service by Southwest Florida, NAACP Chapter for 2008.
- Enlisted as an E-1 in the United States Navy in 1969; served a total of 27 years active duty.
- Selected as Attack Squadron One Two Eight, Commander, Medium Attack/Electronic Warfare Wing and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island “Sailor of the Year”, Runner-up for Navy’s “Sailor of the Year” in 1976. Also selected as Commander, Medium Attack/Electronic Warfare Aviation Administrator of the Year-1976
- Promoted to the rank of Chief Petty Officer in 1980, eight years ahead of the norm for his rate at that time.
- Earned a commission as Naval Officer 1981, with the specialty of Naval Aviation Maintenance and Engineering.
- Selected as the Medium Attack/Electronic Warfare Aircraft Maintenance Office of the Year in 1986.
- Served in most demanding executive assignments and diverse commands. Ranked and graded as the number one Officer in each command he served on every fitness report from 1981 until retirement 1996.
- While on active duty, completed his academic studies via the military education extension programs, to include: Bachelor’s Degrees in Education from Southern Illinois, Bachelor’s in Theology from Chapman College, and Master’s in Business Administration from Central Michigan.
- 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.
- Served final tour as Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Training Management Support Activity Detachment in Pensacola, Florida. Retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in Pensacola, Florida.
- Serves as member, Board of Directors, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
- Serves as Chair for Access Florida Finance Corporation/Florida Black Business Support Corporation.
- Appointed member U.S. Small Business Administration Advisory Board, North Florida.
- Board Member and Past Chairman for the Escambia County Health Facility Authority.
- Governor‘s Appointee as founding Board Member for the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.
- Past Board Member for Big Brothers/Big Sister Program, United Way, and Junior Achievement.
- Past Board Member for Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce, served for almost 10 years in various key positions.
- Board Member, Every Child A Reader in Escambia County (ECARE) and Pathways for Change Prisoner Re-integration Program.
- Former Board Member for Florida’s Great Northwest Governance Council’s Wired Initiative, an economic development program of the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Founder, Chair, and Past Board Member of Gulf Coast African-American Chamber of Commerce.
- Board Member, Florida Asset Building Coalition.
- Board Member, Pensacola Multi--Cultural Center.
Eugene Franklin was born August 19, 1948, in Ethel, Louisiana and moved to New Orleans in 1953. He attended grade school and high school in Metairie, Louisiana. Franklin graduated from East Jefferson High School in 1967. Following graduation he worked as a furniture warehouse supervisor, while attending college at night.
Franklin enlisted in the United States Navy in 1969 and served a total of 27 years on active duty, eleven years as an enlisted member and sixteen as an officer. Gene retired in Pensacola, Florida after serving command tour as Officer-in-Charge of Naval Air Training Management Support Activity Pensacola, Florida.
Concerned about economic development and work force issues in disadvantaged communities, Franklin led the effort to create the Gulf Coast African American Chamber, and later, the Florida Black Chamber. His efforts on the behalf of small businesses and micro-enterprises led to Eugene named to boards on the national, state, and local level; including the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C. An ordained minister, the Reverend Eugene Franklin serves as an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Warrington, Pensacola, Florida; a 2200 member congregation. Franklin is married to Rosemary (Ray) Franklin of New Orleans, Louisiana. They have four adult children, thirteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.