• ssheppardedc

Sam's Spotlight: "Make a Difference!"

I bet that many of you would agree with me when I say that we have people in Franklin Parish who really want to make a difference. One reason that I applied for this position as economic development coordinator was so that I could do just that, make a difference in the community that I was raised in. To be able to give back to something that gave me so much. So, in this week’s spotlight, I want to encourage you to think about making a difference in your community.

You may wonder how this relates to economic development? Well, as I have mentioned before, no single definition incorporates all the different strands of economic development. Economic development can be described as a process that influences growth and restructuring of an economy to enhance the economic wellbeing of a community. (Source: IEDC Reference Guide)

To be able to accomplish goals in our community, we need people to commit to making a difference as their personal goal. What do I mean by this? A first step would be to know what is going on in your community and participate. You could attend a meeting to observe how business is conducted. Some examples of meetings to attend would be a town council meeting (Town of Winnsboro, Town of Wisner, Village of Gilbert, and Village of Baskin). You could also attend a Franklin Parish Police Jury meeting or a Franklin Parish School Board meeting. You can find the times and locations of these on our economic development website,, under the ‘About’ section. You could also volunteer with one of the local civic organizations, volunteer committees, or at the local library. You will learn so much just by attending, listening, and observing. We have great leaders in our communities who serve and give back, but how great would we be if every person in the general public made a choice to serve in some small way? “Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader...they set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role, but always about the goal.” - Lisa Haisha

I do want to brag for a second on our community. I recently posted a survey regarding updates to Davis Park. I posted it on our social media sites and sent it out via email. In four days, we received 135 responses to that survey! I was overwhelmed by the positive constructive criticism of people voicing their opinion and sharing thoughts on how to improve one of our parks. That was so encouraging, and I was immensely proud of the response. We as an economic committee are using those responses to make sure our efforts are meeting our community’s desires and needs. Stay tuned for an update on this project very soon and thank you for your participation in the market research for that.

I love this quote by Jane Goodall that says, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” I hope this spotlight encourages you to take a step if you are not already involved in some way with the community. If you are already, keep it up and maybe look at a new way that you can make a difference. I challenge you all to think about what kind of difference you want to make because I believe if we all choose the right kind, there is no limit to how awesome our community can be!

See you next week for Sam’s Spotlight!

Sam Sheppard

Franklin Parish Economic Development Coordinator


Follow us on Instagram and Facebook! @franklinparish.econdev

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