Franklin Chamber recaps year, presents awards at annual meeting

Multiple organizations were recognized Thursday for their contributions to the Franklin community at the Greater Franklin Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

The meeting was held in conjunction with Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett’s State of the City Address.

Todd Shuck, vice president of the Franklin Chamber board, kicked off the ceremony, leading “Genuine Franklin,” chants from the crowd in support of their marketing campaign.

“Today, we gather to celebrate what we have done and dream of what is to come,” Shuck said.

Rosie Chambers, Franklin Chamber executive director, reflected on a few highlights from the year and called 2023 an “explosive year at the Chamber.”

In Jan. 2023, the Franklin Chamber Foundation officially received its 501(c)(3) designation. Discover Downtown Franklin moved its office into the chamber shortly after.

In March, renovations to their second floor were completed.

During the summer, $30,000 in capacity-building grants were awarded to 13 small businesses.

Their “Genuine Franklin” marketing campaign was launched in Aug. 2023.

The Franklin Chamber of Commerce ended the year with a record 436 members and a member retention rate of 94.7%, Chambers said.

“Things you may not see unless you read between the lines is the collaboration we have had with other like-minded organizations, the connections forged with our businesses and most importantly the people,” she said.

Board President Amy Richardson introduced the chamber award recipients, who were selected by a review committee. Nominations were made throughout 2023, she said.

Community Service Award

The Franklin Chamber Community Service Award, an accolade highlighting exceptional dedication to the local community, was awarded to Carol Phipps, a retired executive from Lilly.

Phipps is known for her selfless commitment and contributions to the Franklin community. The award, presented annually by the Chamber, recognizes individuals or organizations that have made significant impacts, serving without expectation of personal or financial gain.

An advocate for community welfare, Phipps has dedicated time to numerous organizations including the Rotary Club of Franklin, the Interchurch Food Pantry, the Bridges Alliance of Johnson County as well as the United Way of Johnson County. She was also a founding member of 100 Women Who Care.

“I feel blessed by seeing the giving side of our community; the caring people who want to make a difference, whether it be through monetary support, in-kind support or volunteering,” Phipps said.

Community Impact Award

Recognizing outstanding business success and dedication to community enrichment, the Franklin Chamber Community Impact Award was given to Tri Kappa’s Franklin Zeta Chapter.

Tri Kappa, a service organization with chapters throughout Indiana, has been recognized for its commitment to charity, culture and education. The Franklin chapter is comprised of 77 women.

Over the past five years, Tri Kappa’s Franklin Zeta Chapter has demonstrated generosity, by contributing over $94,000 to various organizations dedicated to community impact.

These contributions included $6,844 allocated for classroom grants to benefit Franklin teachers, $10,500 designated for scholarships that support local high school students and $76,656 allocated to various non-profits throughout the community.

Jennifer Wilson, the chapter’s president, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

Business Hall of Fame Award

This year’s Franklin Chamber Business Hall of Fame Award went to Generation Art and Frame. The accolade is for businesses that have demonstrated resilience, longevity and commitment to community enrichment.

Founded in 1994 by mural artists Doug and Jeannie Hendrickson, along with their son David, Generation Art and Frame embarked on a mission to meet Franklin’s demand for art supplies and custom framing services. The family’s original establishment was located in Northwood Plaza and served the community for over two decades.

In 2018, Generation Art and Frame made the strategic decision to relocate to downtown Franklin. The business is now led by David Hendrickson, his son Joshua and daughter-in-law Tasha.

As Generation Art and Frame approaches its 30th anniversary in March, and Business Hall of Fame award serves as a testament to the Hendrickson legacy and their impact on the Franklin community, Chamber officials said.