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Businesswoman, world traveler grows with community
Kittie Franklin sits in her office at the Richmond Hill – Bryan County Chamber of Commerce. - photo by Photo by Katie McGurl
For the last four years, Kittie Franklin has served as Executive Director of the Richmond Hill - Bryan County (RHBC) Chamber of Commerce. In that time, she’s helped to support and grow local businesses, making sure they find their niche in our community.

She’s a familiar, friendly face that many of us have undoubtedly seen before-- at ribbon cuttings, Business After Hours events, Chamber events, and around Richmond Hill. What Franklin loves most about her job, she said, is “meeting people and being active in the community.”

But what really makes this New Bern, N.C., native tick is a colorful passion that takes her all over the globe. Together, she and her husband, B.J. Franklin, a retired Marine, have traveled to Ireland, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Mexico, and to many places in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Franklin’s abiding interest lies in the areas of art and art history. “Art is a big part of my life,” she said. “I love art, and that’s why we travel so much. I have dragged my husband to every art gallery around.”

Once an aspiring art history major, Franklin ultimately chose a more practical path in business, but still revels in exploring the intricacies of her longtime love. She is “fasci nated with art and history from the Renaissance period,” and her favorite artists include Albrecht Durer, Johannes Vermeer, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. She has seen many of their original works in Europe.

Her favorite museums in the world? “Oh, the Louvre, without a doubt, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam,” she replied. Of the Louvre Museum in Paris, she laughed, “You’d need a week to go through there.”

The world traveler said that, of all the places she has been, Paris is her favorite place to visit. “I love Paris,” Franklin sighed. “I love everything about Paris.”

Franklin also enjoys reading. Art history books and works of historical fiction are her favorites. She regularly reads novels authored by Jane Austen, Danielle Steele, and Stephen King.

When she’s not traveling, Franklin loves cooking, entertaining friends in her home, listening to classic rock, golfing, being outdoors, and spending time with her eight year old nephew, whom she and her husband are raising.
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