Rev. Eugene Franklin
National Cultural Heritage Society
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, with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
While on active duty, Franklin served in the most demanding executive assignments and diverse commands. He was ranked and graded as the number one Officer in each command he served on every fitness report from 1981 until retirement 1996. His awards included the Navy’s prestigious Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (twice), the Navy Achievement Medal (twice), and a host of other military awards and citations.
He was selected as the Medium Attack/Electronic Warfare Aircraft Maintenance Office of the Year in 1986, as Attack Squadron One Two Eight, Commander, Medium Attack/Electronic Warfare Wing and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island “Sailor of the Year”, was Runner-up for Navy’s “Sailor of the Year” in 1976.
He also was selected as Commander, Medium Attack/Electronic Warfare Aviation Administrator of the Year-1976. Lieutenant Commander Franklin, USN (Retired) is a Viet Nam and 1990 Gulf War Veteran. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology, with a minor in Psychology from Chapman College, (now Chapman University) in Orange, California, a Bachelor’s in Education for Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan. All were acquired while he was on active duty in the military, via the Military Education Program.
After retiring from the military, Gene founded the award winning, Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company 1996. His company was dedicated to assisting disenfranchised members of members of the minority community and women. His company merged with a national mortgage company in 2004. Franklin’s concerns about economic development and work force issues in disadvantaged communities, led him to assist in the establishment of the Gulf Coast African American Chamber of Commerce, and later; the Florida Black Chamber of Commerce, Incorporated and National Cultural Heritage Tourism Center, Inc. His efforts on the behalf of small businesses and microenterprises led to Eugene being named to boards on the national, state, and local level; including the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C. His civic accolades include: Licensed (1999) and Ordained (2003) as a Baptist Minister, Listed in Florida Trend Magazine as one of Florida's most influential people in 2004, Minority Business of the Year Award 1998 - 1999, presented by the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, 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.
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