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Family business history of Don Franklin Ford

The 2022 Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, Don Franklin Ford, was introduced by grandson of the founder, Eddie Franklin, Jr., who said, "We consider our dealerships a team and we all work together to provide our customers with the best service around."

By Eddie Franklin, Jr.

My grandparents, Don and Barbara Franklin, started this business in 1968 as Don's Auto Sales. He went on to buy the Ford dealership from the Flowers family in 1981.

The Don Franklin Auto group now has expanded to 24 rooftop dealerships along with body shops, parts and service centers and reconditioning centers. First and foremost, we have God to thank for these blessings that we've enjoyed. We also have the city of Columbia and Adair County to thank for supporting us for 54 years now.

Don Franklin Ford truly is a family run operation. Don, or as we called him PaPa, had a common sense, easy going way about him and he radiated humility. He taught us the value of putting God first, to always work hard, and the importance of always doing the right thing. By his example he showed us that we should do everything with our whole hearts. Our family carries on that example and legacy.

Monday-Saturday we can be found before 7 AM discussing what needs to be done for the day. We as a family are dedicated to making sure that everything is handled smoothly and to ensure excellent customer satisfaction. We value customer feedback and send out surveys daily to see how we can improve and make sure our customers are satisfied. We may have entered an era where there is more paperwork involved in buying a vehicle, but our family still has the mentality of a handshake and gentleman's agreement with our customers. We are always trying to innovate and implement ways to improve the business and keep it highly productive. The community of Columbia and Adair County make it a pleasure to work with and we're happy to have them as part of our family.

The Don Franklin Family also has over 900 hard-working employees, and this award is also due to their commitment and loyalty. We have many employees that have been with us for 20-30+ years and greet customers with a smiling face and professionalism. Columbia is a great place to call home and this community has some of the best and friendliest people to work for you and with you. We consider our dealerships a team and we all work together to provide our customers with the best service around.

My earliest memories revolve around the Ford dealership on Hudson Street. Being just a short walk from each of our houses, it by extension became our house. Our family has spent a lot of time inside those walls. The five of us grandsons had playpens set up there and we grew up doing chores and tasks around the dealership. As we got older, we'd post pictures of the vehicles on the website, and follow our dads and grandpa around to learn more about the business. I'm so glad that my 2 sons have already gotten to experience being around the dealership, our employees, and customers. I know that the next generation of Franklin children will love the car business and serving this community as we have.

It is with great appreciation that I present this award to Eddie and Dan Franklin and on behalf of my entire family, thank you for choosing Don Franklin Ford as your Columbia/Adair County 2022 Business of the Year.

This story was posted on 2022-06-17 07:48:04
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