Making It Their Business To Give Back

How One Local Couple Helps Promote And Preserve Local People And Places

Making It Their Business To Give Back How one local couple helps promote and preserve the people and places of Franklin By Sue Baldani Supporting Franklin and the nonprofits that make it a great place to live is an important part of Ken and Jennifer Royer’s lives. They fulfill this mission in a number of ways, and one of them is working with the Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit historical society built to preserve the communities and cultural heritage of Williamson County. “The Foundation is about preserving Williamson County’s character, integrity, and its history, and they are a core of what makes Franklin great,” says Ken. “This is where our businesses and our home are, so I really embrace that message, and if we can help, and we have the resources to do that, then let's do it.” His and Jennifer’s business, JLB, has been supporting the Foundation for over 10 years. JLB is a Nashville web and design company headquartered in Franklin that offers every component of web design, branding and marketing, including hardware and software, in order to give its clients a central support system for every single element. The company has been voted the #1 best web design company in Williamson County four times, is on the Inc. 5000 list, has won several web design awards and is a Google Premier Partner. Other than the Heritage Foundation, some of its notable clients include Fisk University, Mercy Community Healthcare, Fourth Capital Bank, Merridees, Brightstone, Marquee Dental Partners and Eric Ross Interiors. “With our company being the largest web services and branding company in the Nashville market, we’re growing and bringing 30 jobs to Franklin, and we also just bought a building in Franklin on Seaboard Lane, so we're very committed to investing in the Franklin area,” he says. JLB was founded in Franklin in 2003 and acquired by Ken in 2013, and the Heritage Foundation was one of JLB’s original customers that helped the company grow. “When you're small, as we were 10 years ago, just by having the Franklin Theater as a client, saying we trust you to do our website, was meaningful.” Ken and Jennifer really wanted to pay that back. “When the new Foundation team contacted us, one of the biggest things they needed was to refresh the organization with impactful online marketing services and web design,” says Ken. JLB redesigned all their websites and brought the Heritage Foundation the latest and greatest technology and resources. FranklinIs is another resource leveraged to further promote organizations and help get their message out to the community. “FranklinIs, which Jennifer runs, is a website that is all about Williamson County and Franklin and all the things to do there. “The platform gives the community and businesses free access to each other, so they can promote each other and share community events, shopping, things to do and much more,” he says. “FranklinIs is not for profit and has about 50,000 users for our newsletter and 80,000 online users.” Ken highly encourages other businesses to contribute and participate in the Heritage Foundation. “The Foundation recently launched programs to help businesses around the area by giving them access to leadership and resources in Franklin and messaging that helps them connect to customers and consumers around the marketplace.” The Foundation nurtures a strong start-up business community through its Franklin Innovation Center at Franklin Grove and supports small businesses via its Downtown Franklin Association. The Heritage Foundation touches so many aspects of Franklin, whether it's by producing festivals such as Dickens of a Christmas, creating a vibrant arts scene not only with the Franklin Theater, but the upcoming Museum of Art at Franklin Grove, or offering discounted and/or free access to the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County, the Carnton house, the Lotz House and others. Last year, the couple acquired Nice Branding. “We're really great at web design and digital marketing services and all the support, but what we really needed was stronger branding services, where you really either help a business from the beginning and help them establish their brand or help them rebrand all or some elements down the road,” he says. “When Nice Branding came up for sale (and it was 10 minutes down the road) we felt that it complemented our business model perfectly.” With the addition of Nice Branding, the company is now poised to offer businesses and non-profits a full suite of services from concept to ongoing support. When not working, he and Jennifer, who have three children, love to spend time outside. “We like to work out, go for walks, and go to ball games like the Tennessee Titans,” says Ken. “We love to take in local restaurants and go out on date nights. But, our absolute favorite weekend thing to do is to sit out on our back deck with cheese and wine and relax.” He and Jennifer also like attending the various charitable balls around town. “We have attended the Button Ball and Heritage Ball, events that give back to the community where it's a good time, but also a really great cause.” He says they really make sure their hearts are in the right place. “If there's anything that I want to come through about our business, it's how everything we're doing is a pay-it-forward thought process. So, even though our business is generally for profit, we designed it in a way that we strive to help businesses be online, do it right, do it for less money, with great support and remove the headaches and problems that the industry can create.” Ken and Jennifer have also given a lot of support to other Franklin charities such as the Davis House Child Advocacy Center and FrankTown. “Along with the Heritage Foundation, these are the three main charities that we invest heavily into,” says Ken. “They're personal to me and my wife. We are really passionate about these charities and do whatever we can do to help them.” Ken has also given back to his country. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force. “I spent seven years in the military,” he says. “My father is a retired Navy veteran, and all of my brothers are veterans. We're proud of that. I grew up in the military, and it's a part of my life.” To find out more about JLB, Nice Branding and the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, go to, and

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