People Who Make An Impact: Meet Lynne McAlister (Q+A)

Lynne McAlisterAs the newest member of the Heritage Foundation team, Lynne McAlister is a “born and bred” Franklinite who recently moved back from London–and currently lives in Historic Downtown Franklin.

She’ll be heading up the Special Events here at the Foundation–which includes the Heritage Ball, the community’s longest-running black tie event. Below, we’ve put together a short Q&A, so that you can get to know Lynne a bit better!

Q: Tell us a little about what you’re doing for the Heritage Foundation?

A:  I’m planning the Heritage Ball, which means I am meeting generous sponsors and gathering loads of talented, enthusiastic and creative people. Together we’re imagining a beautiful and profitable night to remember.

Q: Why did you want to work with the Foundation?

A: It’s an absolute thrill to see the way that visionaries and the Heritage Foundation have worked to keep the best of the past and simultaneously nurturing a vibrant future. I want to be a part of that!

Q: What is your favorite part about the job, so far? 

A: Meeting so many people that love Franklin and Williamson County as much as I do.

Q: We hear you were an “ex-pat” for a while. Where were you, and why? 

A: My husband, Tony, and I have lived in London twice for a total of about 10 years. We moved back home last year. Why did we live there? The real answer is that we lived there because we adored it. Though it was his career that afforded us that opportunity, most corporate ex-pats make the move because they are looking for a safe adventure. That was true for us too.

Q: Did you enjoy the experience? 

A:  Oh yeah! It was an absolute delight! I loved making dear friends with people that come from varied backgrounds. I treasured the people, the culture, the parks, the diversity of a world city, the museums, the theatre, the architecture, the restaurants, especially the restaurants.

Q: What is one take-away from living abroad for several years? 

A:  Well I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but, living in a city that dates from pre-Roman times and traveling extensively through Europe lighted a passion for “saving the places that matter”.

It dawned on me one day that it’s up to all of us to be preservationist when I was wandering through Hampstead, a fetching little village just north of London, and spoke with a lady who was sweeping the stoop of her 17th century terraced house. I commented on how beautiful her home was. She said, “We are so happy that we get to be a part of this house’s life. Its story began long before us and will continue after we’re gone. I’m grateful I get to take care of it for a little while.” Yeah – what she said!

Q: We know you were involved with non-profits in London. Talk to us about that… 

A:  Indeed.  I was the President of the American Women’s Club of London.  This is a 116-year-old, very active organization (35-40 activities a month) of approximately 400 expat women.  It’s both social and philanthropic.   I also served on the board for the Federation of International Women’s Association of London which attempts to build bridges among various cultures by working together on humanitarian projects.  Lastly, I was involved with Federation of Women’s Clubs Overseas which lobbies Congress on behalf of expats.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Franklin/Williamson County?

A:  I love that we having rolling hills with robust farms and an enviable downtown.  I love all the fresh array of friendly new faces that have sought Franklin out as a place to build their lives.  And I love that there are still folks around that knew my parents since they were kids.

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, what are four things you’d have to take with you? 

A:  Humm….. Okay this may be cheating a bit but …a Bible, a hammock, pens and paper, magically transported cappuccinos from Frothy Monkey.


The best way to get to know Lynne is to meet her in person! Come by the Foundation offices on Second Avenue North, or email her here.