32nd Annual Pumpkinfest Features Old Favorites, Traditions

face paint

Franklin’s favorite fall celebration is returning to Main Street Saturday, Oct. 24, with an all-day celebration that brings free and festive fun for a variety of ages and groups.

The 32nd Annual Pumpkinfest, held in the community’s historic core, attracts tens of thousands of visitors to downtown Franklin each year. Presented by Hyundai of Cool Springs and coordinated by the Heritage Foundation, the festivities will stretch along Main Street and its connecting avenues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

“Thanks to Hyundai of Cool Springs and our other generous sponsors, we’re able to bring back old favorites and offer some new, exciting attractions too,” said Rene Evans, Pumpkinfest manager. “Our festival partnership with Hyundai aligned perfectly–both Pumpkinfest and the dealership have a mission to be family friendly, and serve the community’s best interests.”

In addition to the dozens of artisan vendors and two stages of live entertainment, attendees can expect to enjoy some of the festival’s favorite traditions for the 2015 event – including a costume contest sponsored by HomeTown Pet, the Church of the City’s Kids’ Zone and the Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook Off. Plus, The Great Pumpkin will again be making an appearance after a long journey from Carleton Place, Canada (Franklin’s Sister City).

Other activities and details in this year’s Pumpkinfest schedule include:

· Third Avenue South will be transformed with bouncy houses, pony rides, face painting, games, a dedicated preschool area and much more for the Church of the City Kids’ Zone from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

· Two stages will feature full lineups of music and dance performances. In addition to the stage on the Public Square, a second stage will be located on Main Street at First Avenue, near Landmark Booksellers. The highlight of the afternoon is anticipated to be The ConSoulers, who will take the First Avenue stage at 4 p.m. for a two-hour street dance.

· Costume contests, sponsored by HomeTown Pet, will be held on the stage at the Public Square for both humans and pets.

· Nashville-based circus group Beyond Wings will perform Halloween-themed aerial arts on the corner of Second Avenue and Main.

· More than 80 independent artisan booths with handmade wares will line Main Street from Second to Fifth Avenue.

· Festival fare like corn dogs, funnel cakes, fried catfish and chicken tenders will join fresh offerings in two dedicated food zones: around the Public Square and on Fourth Avenue South.

· A beer tent will be located near the stage on First Avenue.

· The Franklin Tomorrow Chili Cook Off will take place on Third Avenue North. For more information, go to www.franklintomorrow.org.

· After dark, Franklin’s historic cemeteries will come to life with first-person stories of some of the folks buried there. For more information, go to www.franklinonfoot.com.

In addition to parking in and around the downtown area, a parking and shuttle service for Pumpkinfest attendees will be available from Church of the City and Harlinsdale Farm for $1 per person each way.

In addition to Pumpkinfest, the Heritage Foundation–in conjunction with the Downtown Franklin Association–produces seven event series and festivals each year to attract visitors to downtown Franklin, and to promote the benefits of historic preservation.

Since 1967 the non-profit group has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s historic, architectural and geographic resources; in short, saving the places that matter. For more information, call (615) 591-8500.


42nd Annual Heritage Ball Offers Nonstop Action, Farm-to-Fork Bites

Harvest at Homestead

Williamson County’s longest-running black tie event is rapidly approaching, and organizers from the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County are making final preparations for the nearly sold-out 42nd Annual Heritage Ball on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park in Franklin.

The estimated 700 attending guests will be treated to an impressive silent auction, cocktail hour, non-stop entertainment and a farm-to-fork dinner at the themed “Rhapsody in Blue” Ball.

“There are so many incredible components to this year’s event, and we’ve got some surprises in store, too,” said Lynne McAlister, Heritage Ball coordinator. “More than 650 people have bought tickets, so we’re nearly sold out. We encourage anyone planning to attend to purchase tickets now, before it’s too late – you won’t be able to wait after reading over the menu.”

The seated supper, provided by Harvest at Homestead Manor – also the presenting sponsor of the 2015 benefit – will focus on fresh delights, with many of the ingredients sourced from the restaurant’s on-site, organic farm. The dinner will be preceded by passed appetizers, which include fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto panini with fresh pear, cambozola cheese, arugula and prosciutto; and herb-whipped cream cheese with smoked salmon, caviar and chives on red endive.

The multi-course menu will include an assorted artisan bread basket with herb-whipped butter; a superfood salad with freshly picked vegetables and fruits from Homestead Manor’s farm; and locally sourced osso bucco atop corn brulee with swiss chard, a red wine reduction and micro greens.

Prior to dinner, during the cocktail hour, guests will be treated to the piano musings of Claire Cope. Following, Williamson County’s
​5​ Points Swing Band will serenade guests with the big band sounds of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra.

Attendees will also enjoy a themed “Blue Note” cocktail during the hour created especially for the Ball by GRAY’S on Main.

After dinner, Al Paris & The Heartbreakers will get the crowd moving with on-stage charisma that shines in front of a live audience. After a decade touring globally as a member of Kool & The Gang, Al’s “renaissance man” career has lead him to work with high-profile artists and talented performers and studio musicians – many of which he has recruited into The Heartbreakers.

“The band and I can’t wait to get back to Franklin again, and we need a big crowd so the Heritage Foundation can preserve the Old, Old Jail,” said Paris. “We promise to leave it all on stage for you – you’ll have the night of your life – just be there for Heritage Ball and make sure you’ve got your dancin’ shoes on!”

For late-night bites, Puckett’s Trolley will be on hand to provide treats such as chicken and waffles and pulled pork cobblers.

To purchase tickets, contact McAlister at (615) 591-8500 or by email at lmcalister@historicfranklin.com.

This 2015 Heritage Ball will cast special spotlight on the ca. 1941 Old, Old Jail, the Foundation’s first permanent headquarters and the community’s future Big House for Historic Preservation. All proceeds from the gala will be donated to the initiative.

Since 1967, the not-for-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission has been to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County, and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.


Heritage Ball Casts Old Hollywood, Vintage Vision for 42nd Annual Gala

Now in its 42nd year, the Heritage Ball–the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williams County’s premiere annual fundraiser–is Williamson County’s longest-running black tie benefit and the social event of the season.

This year’s Ball will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 and will cast special spotlight on the ca. 1941 Old, Old Jail, the Foundation’s first permanent headquarters and the community’s future Big House for Historic Preservation.

Ball attendees can anticipate an unexpected look to the Heritage Ball, held each year at the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park in Franklin.

Inspiration for the gala, Design Chair Matt Logan says, originated from the classic 1951 film American in Paris and the classic 1924 George Gershwin song “Rhapsody in Blue,” – cultural bookends to the era of the Old, Old Jail, the beneficiary of 2015 Ball proceeds.

“What I love about historic preservation is that truly everything that is old, is new again,” Logan said. “We wanted to celebrate things past with a contemporary, creative approach.”

Logan, who is the artistic director of the celebrated theatre and production company Studio Tenn, says cool tones will accentuate the setting, with elements of gold throughout to warm the environment. Dark blue tablecloths will be highlighted by art deco-inspired china and set off by brass cutlery.

Blue light cast on the top of the tent, complemented by hung Edison and cafe bulbs, will play off the evening sky to add a whimsical element to the ambiance.

“We took ideas from Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ painting, and the magic of that. You’ll see that the design has a bit of period to it, but with overlying modern touches,” Logan said. “It will be very current.”

Predominantly white flower arrangements–overseen by Steve McLellan of Garden Delights–that include orchids, calla lilies, and roses will form sculptural designs, offering dramatic pockets throughout the Ball.

“Matt, Steve and Cathi [Aycock, Ball Chair] have dreamed up this rich design scheme that feels very Old Hollywood,” said Lynne McAlister, Heritage Ball coordinator. “I can promise that the 42nd Annual Heritage Ball will truly be unlike any other year.”

All proceeds from the Heritage Ball support the non-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.

To learn more about the 42nd Annual Heritage Ball, go here. To purchase a ticket, please contact Lynne McAlister at 615-591-8500.

Heritage Ball

Foundation Offers Public An Early Chance To Win 2015 Ball Auction Items, Impressive Spread

Generations of Williamson County residents have made a tradition of supporting the Heritage Ball, the black-tie event to be held September 19th that benefits the Heritage Foundation. This year the nonprofit’s patrons will have several once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, thanks to its 2015 silent auction offerings.

For the first time ever, the Foundation is opening online bids two weeks in advance: on Friday, Sept. 4, the public can take part in an impressive selection of items that range from estate jewels and custom clothing to extravagant getaways.

“We are both thrilled and thankful for our sponsors and volunteers who helped create one of the best silent auction spreads I have ever seen,” said Lynne McAlister, Heritage Ball coordinator. “These items range in value: you can visit a favorite restaurant or merchant, enjoy a weekend excursion, purchase a beautiful piece of art for yourself or as a gift…. there’s something for everyone this year.

“Plus each donation will play a helpful role in helping our organization not only preserve historical landmarks that may otherwise be destroyed, but also creating the Big House for Historic Preservation.”

Highlighted items include two commissioned paintings by world-renowned figurative artist Maestro Igor Babailov, who is currently completing the official portrait of Pope Francis; a luxurious Audi experience with a two-night stay in Sonoma, Calif.; two-day passes to the upcoming Pilgrimage Festival; a selection of breathtaking jewels from local jewelers; a six-night vacation in Mexico; gift cards from local merchants and restaurants; and more more.

Individuals can register to bid through the Foundation’s website here.

Last year, the silent auction proceeds raked in nearly $60,000 for the Foundation’s mission to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Williamson County.

This year’s monies will specifically benefit the renovation of the ca. 1941 Old, Old Jail–also known as the future Big House for Historic Preservation, a public resource for historic preservation and the first permanent home for the Heritage Foundation.

The 42nd Annual Heritage Ball will be held September 19th at the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park. Tickets are $375 per person, and tables are available. To learn more or reserve a ticket, go here or email Lynne McAlister at lmcalister@historicfranklin.com.

Igor Babailov, Deemed ‘Living Master,’ Offers Two Oil Portraits For Ball Auction

The Heritage Ball auction opened this particular item online for bids. To learn more about the portrait auction items, bidding process, and how it benefits the Foundation, go to the auction site at www.hfportraitauction.com.

Generations of Williamson County residents have made a tradition of supporting the Heritage Ball, the community’s longest-running black-tie event that benefits the Heritage Foundation. This year the nonprofit’s patrons will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, thanks to its 2015 silent auction offerings.

World-renowned figurative artist Maestro Igor Babailov, Hon. RAA, is providing two commissioned paintings for the Ball’s auction, one adult portrait (valued at $55,000) and another for a child (valued at $44,000). Babailov is currently completing the official portrait of Pope Francis–the artist’s third papal portrait–from his Brentwood-based studio.

40 - Babailov, Portrait of A  Lemire by Igor BabailovThanks to Babailov’s generosity, a Heritage Foundation supporter could be his next subject!

“Igor is a legend in the global artistic community, and those who benefit from his genius are part of an esteemed legacy that will live forever,” said Mary Pearce, executive director of the Heritage Foundation. “This is a priceless opportunity, and perhaps the most exciting silent auction we’ve ever had.  

“His donation will play a major role in helping the Foundation to preserve historical landmarks that may otherwise be destroyed. We are both thrilled and thankful.”

Deemed Living Master by his contemporaries, the Honorary Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts (est. 1757) is one of the most sought-after portrait artists in the world. He has been selected to paint three living presidents in three countries, two living Prime Ministers, members of the noble families and British Royalty, in addition to a slate of other prominent public figures. To learn more about his work, go to www.babailov.com.

Those who win the Babailov bids can expect a traditional portraiture process: the subject will sit for the artist for a few hours of preliminary graphite studies of likeness, character and personality. The following turnaround time for an oil portrait is three to six months. The individual 40 x 30” figure portraits come with  a personally endorsed copy of Babailov’s new book, “Greatest Portrait Moments.”

To reach a wider audience outside of Middle Tennessee, the Heritage Ball auction opened online this week for bids. To learn more about the portrait auction items, bidding process, and how it benefits the Heritage Foundation, go to the auction site at www.hfportraitauction.com.

Each year, the silent auction provides an impressive selection of items that range from estate jewels and custom clothing to extravagant getaways. Over the past two years silent auction proceeds have raked in more than $100,000 for the Foundation’s mission to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Williamson County.

This year’s monies will specifically benefit the renovation of the ca. 1941 Old, Old Jail–also known as the future Big House for Historic Preservation, a public resource for historic preservation and the first permanent home for the Heritage Foundation.

The 42nd Annual Heritage Ball will be held September 19th at the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park. Tickets are $375 per person, and tables are available. To learn more or reserve a ticket, go to www.historicfranklin.com/events or email Lynne McAlister at lmcalister@historicfranklin.com.

35 - Babailov, Portrait of Leah by Igor Babailov

42ND Annual Heritage Ball Theme Revealed Among Vintage Revelry


More than 250 guests gathered around an impressive vintage car collection at Alexander Automotive on Friday, July 31 for a glamorous evening celebrating the 42nd Annual Heritage Ball–and the reveal of this year’s “Rhapsody in Blue​” theme, inspired by the classic Georgia Gershwin song.

​”​One of the most widely performed versions of the song was the first classical arrangement, often dubbed the 1941 Rhapsody​,” said Lynne McAlister, Heritage Ball coordinator.​ “Since the monies raised at the ​benefit this year will go toward renovating the ca. 1941 Old, Old, Jail​, we felt the theme had a lovely synergy with the mission of the Ball.​”​

Supporters of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County enjoyed a mini silent auction, craft cocktails by GRAY’S on Main, and Premier DJs of Nashville spinning tunes in a magnificent setting complements of Barry and Jackie Alexander’s antique cars. Plus, guests enjoyed farm-to-fork bites created by Homestead Manor that included herbed ​g​oat ​cheese in ​p​hyllo ​c​igars​,​ rye squares with ​s​moked ​b​eets, ​m​icro ​g​reens and ​ca​nnellini ​b​ean​s, sweet potato biscuits with blackberry jam, caramelized onions and beef tenderloin, and more.​

In addition ​​models acted as docents for the evening. Elizabeth Greer, Taylor McGrath and Erica Wagstaff–wearing​ themed designs​ ​provided ​exclusively ​by​ Belk at Cool Springs Galleria–shar​ed ​history about several different cars, ​the 42nd Heritage Ball ​and the Heritage Foundation’s vision for the “Big House for Historic Preservation” (or the Old, Old Jail).

In the past, the reveal party has been a more quiet affair, but thanks to the vision cast by Ball Chair Cathi Aycock, this season’s reveal night became a “party about a party.”

“I wanted to keep all of the wonderful things that make the Heritage Ball so beloved, ​and ​combine that with some ​more modern elements to really thank our volunteers and make this night shine​,” Aycock says. “​I hope to use the same formula​–keep the best and add something fresh–to the Ball itself too. I think if someone hasn’t been to the ​event in a while, they will be amazed at what we have planned. And ​I know the loyal Ball attendees will love the mix of classic and ​fresh ​ideas​​.​”​

The 42nd Annual Heritage Ball will be held September 19 at the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park. To purchase tickets or learn more, go here or ​email Lynne McAlister at lmcalister@historicfranklin.com.

Heritage Ball

Baked Green Tomatoes Recipe

Photo by Food Network
Photo by Food Network

We’re huge fans of the Franklin Farmer’s Market here at the Heritage Foundation — and we bet you are, too! To show our appreciation, we asked Stephanie Allen of Allenbrooke Farms (and one of our favorite former ‘Save the Franklin Theatre’ advocates!) to send us a recipe so that we could take even more enjoyment out of our Saturday morning trips! Check out her rendition of the classic fried green tomatoes recipe below… and start making your grocery list now!

Fried (Actually, Baked) Green Tomatoes
Stephanie Allen, Allenbrooke Farms

Tomato Ingredients:
— 3 or 4 medium-sized green tomatoes (note: it’s ok if slightly turning)
— 4 eggs
–4 cups buttermilk cornmeal
–feta cheese

–olive oil

Wisk eggs. Separately, slice tomatoes about1/3 to 1/2″ slices. Dip tomatoes into cornmeal, then into egg, and into cornmeal again. Place on a cookie sheet with a good amount of olive oil on it. Bake in preheated oven at 425′ for 5-10 minutes. Then turn over and cook until lightly brown on each side — probably another 5-10 minutes, just keep an eye on them. Top tomatoes with sauce and feta cheese, and serve! (Stephanie’s note: This is easier, probably healthier and definitely less messy than frying! I’ve started cooking my squash this way as well, but using panko and Italian bread crumb mixed in place of the cornmeal.)

Sauce Ingreidents:
–1 cup roasted red pepper (bake a couple in toaster oven)
–1/3 c. mayonnaise
–1-2 t Sriracha sauce
–2 t minced garlic
–1 t lemon juice

Pulse all ingredients until mixed. Don’t over blend. Can premake, and chill if you like. It keeps well if left over in fridge!


Winchester Antique Mall Owner Anticipates Move



Ms. Kim, owner of Winchester Antique Mall on Bridge Street, eagerly awaits a big change coming to downtown Franklin. Though the pending opening of a boutique hotel in our historic core means that she’ll have to relocate her business, Kim says that she fully supports the addition and the advantages it will bring.

“I’ve been here for 26 years, so it is a bit bittersweet — but I’m also excited,” Kim says. “This has encouraged us to expand and we’ll be closer to the heart of downtown, within easy walking distance.”

Winchester Antique Mall will soon be moving right around the corner to the old Tennessean building on Second Avenue, which is owned by the hotel’s developers Rod Heller and Jay Franks. The current building on Bridge Street will be torn down to make room for the hotel, but Kim says she knows it will ultimately be worth it. As a business owner and member of the Downtown Franklin Association, she views the hotel as a valuable partner and addition for local businesses.

“We get people in here all the time asking for places to stay downtown. I think that it will be a great addition to Franklin. I’ve seen the drawings, and they’re beautiful,” she says. “I also think it’s wonderful that they are only hiring local people and local retailers. The hotel compliments us.  The new hotel will face our location, so we’ll be able to help each other out.”

Kim, who is also a member of the Heritage Foundation, credits the organization for working hard to make the hotel a reality and an asset to the Franklin community.

“The Heritage Foundation has a huge, positive impact on the Franklin community. I can’t tell you how much I sing Mary Pearce’s praises, because she does so much for this town. She and Rudy Jordan both,” she says. “They’re an easy target when there is change, and what they do can be a thankless job. But they handle the challenge really well.”

Kim is excited about everything that her new space has to offer, including 7,700 square feet to fill and having everything conveniently located on one floor. She also says that she is looking forward to having additional parking, which will be invaluable for her customers.

The expansion, she says, will also allow both new and old vendors to have an eclectic mix of quality antique merchandise, while still staying cozy and intimate.
“Although we are relocating to a larger space, one thing will always remain, and that is our loyalty and love for our customers. They are the best and have always been our family! We are looking forward to building on that,” Kim says.



People Who Make An Impact: Pam Lewis [Q&A]

Pam Lewis - Publicity PhotoWe are proud to lay claim to Pam Lewis–preservationist, philanthropist and music industry veteran–as a new board member of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County. The President & CEO of PLA Media has led a long & fascinating career in both New York City and Nashville… and we know that her varied expertise in fields ranging from politics to non-profits will serve our organization well.

The Historic Register property owner has even written a book about her experiences with preservation–how neat is that? Aptly titled A Tennessee Yankee, Pam shares her life and the restoration journey when she rescued the Harrison House from development. You can purchase the book here.

So that you can get to know Pam better, we put together a quick Q&A that shows off her passion for the community and why she chose to spend time on our mission (to learn more about her very interesting life–and how she came to Franklin–read her fuller bio below her answers). Enjoy!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the rural mid Hudson valley north of NYC and south of Albany. It is called McIntosh country and is loaded with rolling hills and orchards. If you have never visited, put the area on your bucket list — it is spectacularly beautiful with the Catskill Mountains, Hudson River, estates, The Hudson River school of painters Frederick Church and Thomas Cole house museums, and in general  loaded with beautiful vistas, history, culture and charm. It’s also only two hours by train to the city which I love.

How long have you lived in Williamson County? What is your favorite part of this community?

I moved to Franklin in 1993. Franklin feels like home to me even more so than my home town. The people are so engaged in our town and care about the way it grows, its history and destiny. We have strong opinions- not allot of apathy, about the important things anyway. I feel a sense of community for the first time in my life.

How did you first become familiar with the Heritage Foundation?

It is impossible to own a historic home in Franklin and not become acquainted with the Heritage Foundation. As soon as I bought the Harrison House, the phone began to ring, notes were dropped at my back door and before I knew it I had met so many people and found myself on the Candlelight Tour!  The dance had begun, and oh what I an interesting and joyful dance it has been.

I said in my book “Tennessee Yankee”, my life changed forever and for the better when I decided to rescue that house from development and I mean it. I would never have met so many interesting people from all walks of life, never have run for office, become involved in so many historical causes–and really I feel most blessed and lucky.

Why did you choose to invest your resources with the Heritage Foundation?

I feel that there are so many facets of the Heritage Foundation that are important to our community. Our community would be a very different place (and I would argue less unique) without the consistent, tenacious dedication of the HF staff.  There have been so many projects, so many victories and a few disappointments to be sure.  What impresses me is how multifaceted HF  is as an organization: a valued clearing house for information, research and a historic resource, the many beloved family festivals, the spring Heritage Tour, Franklin Theater restoration and continuing events, land reclamation and various restoration projects, as an activist organization for preservation issues and so much more.

Do you have a favorite event that the Heritage Foundation produces?

I guess my favorite event from the Heritage Foundation is Dickens.  Though, I must admit I like any opportunity to slip into a hoop skirt and who doesn’t like to wax a bit English especially around the holidays.

What is your favorite historic landmark or project in Williamson County?

It would have to be the collaborative work on land reclamation- I think the first thing I was involved with was Roper’s Knob.

It’s your perfect Saturday. What would you do?

A cup of coffee, a  work out and zumba class and I can be happy just walking around my farm  gardening , swimming, riding, and  enjoying my critter family but, also  any Saturday when I am exploring some place new and traveling.  I am a homebody who also loves to travel and have a long list of places to visit and re-visit.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t complain, be grateful in all things, have a short memory and thick skin, seize the day.

To riff off our friends at StyleBlueprint, what are a few things you can’t live without (aside from faith, family and friends)?

Books; coffee and music in the morning; animals in my life; freedom; good health and piece of mind.


Pamela Lewis, a native of upstate New York, is a graduate of Wells College with a B.A. in Economics/Marketing and a minor in French and Communications. Lewis spent a year in Paris studying at COUP (Center of Overseas Undergraduate Program) affiliated with The Sorbonne University. In New York City, she did additional graduate course work at Fordham University, The New York School for Social Research and The Publicity Club of New York. From 1980 to 1984, Lewis was part of the original publicity/marketing team that launched MTV to the world and also worked with MTV’s sister cable channels Nickelodeon, The Movie Channel, and the Arts & Entertainment Network. In 1984 she left WASEC (Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company), a joint venture of Warner Communications and American Express, with the position as National Media Director.

RCA records relocated Lewis from New York City to Nashville to help shape the careers of top country stars such as Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, The Judds, and Alabama. In 1987, she formed award-winning Doyle/Lewis Management with partner Bob Doyle, while continuing to operate PLA Media. The first client Lewis agreed to represent was an unknown Oklahoma crooner named Garth Brooks, who she worked with until 1994. Lewis also managed Trisha Yearwood’s early career, landing her a record deal at MCA Records. Under Lewis’ guidance, Yearwood released her debut self-titled album in 1991, becoming the first female country musician to sell one million records off her first single “She’s In Love With The Boy.” The album went on to be certified double platinum, and Yearwood went on to win the Academy of Country Music award for Top Female Vocalist later that year.

In 2003, Lewis made her first foray into the world of politics running for office of alderman-at-large in Franklin, Tennessee. She won a four-year term and was the only female on the board for two years and vice mayor for a year. Lewis is a graduate of University of Tennessee’s Institute of Public Service Local Government Leadership Program (third level). She has also served on or chaired multiple committees as well as being elected to the Planning and Historic Zoning Commission. She is a graduate of Belmont University’s College of Business Administration’s Scarlett Leadership Institute Mini Executive MBA program.

Lewis’ charitable board work has included: The Tennessee State Museum, Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte’s You Have The Power, BRIDGES Domestic Violence Center, Sister Cities of Franklin, Battlefield Preservation Commission, GAP, mayor appointed Moderately Priced Housing Task Force, Franklin’s Historic Battlefield Commission, ARC Board and the Tennessee Preservation Trust.

Her other community outreach efforts include historic preservation and green space causes, women and children’s advocacy, educational scholarships, fair housing and environmental and animal rights protection. Her foundation has given away thousands of dollars to numerous charities over the last ten years.