Learn About Engage Franklin

Engage Franklin

Igniting Economic Prosperity for a Brighter Tomorrow

Just beyond
the bustle...

“To serve as a destination marketing organization, engaging in tourism promotion and tourism development that positions Franklin as a premiere destination for sports, meetings/conventions, leisure and corporate travel, resulting in economic prosperity for businesses and organizations and improved quality of life for those who live and work in the community.”

Franklin strikes the perfect balance - a friendly, small-town atmosphere, top-rated schools, abundant parks and recreation & activities for all ages.

The Path Forward

The Roadmap to Engage Franklin

  • December 2019: Idea and initial proposal for Engage Franklin (DMO) 
  • January 2020: Preliminary discussions and contract negotiations begin
  • July 2020: A formal agreement is signed to establish Engage Franklin
  • July 2020 - February 2021: Preparations begin to recruit staff; brand identity (name, logo, website) is created 
  • February 2021: The first employee is brought on board to support the organization's development
  • August 2022: Laura Nelson joins the team as Engage Franklin’s Executive Director
  • October 2022: The Board of Directors forms to provide oversight and guidance
  • May 2023: Engage Franklin's official launch
  • January 2024: Current Board of Directors adopted
Franklin Events and Activities

Board Of Directors

  • Darrel Malek
    President, Point After Pub & Grille
  • Mark Wylie
    Vice President, Franklin Tourism Commission
  • Joseph Alivo
    Treasurer, Rock Sports Group
  • Jeff Calimlim
    Secretary, Hampton Inn & Suites Franklin
  • Brian Francis
    Mulligan’s Irish Pub & Maria’s Pizzeria
  • Joe Lupoli
    Sleep Inn/MainStay Franklin
  • Tammy Bresette
    Root River Center
  • James Pekar
    Local Investor 
  • Joe Zimmerman
    ROC Ventures
  • Laura Nelson
    Executive Director, Visit Milwaukee

Why Engage Franklin in Tourism Matters

Thriving Economy

Tourism isn't a spectator sport; it's a driving force behind Franklin's economic engine. It supports local jobs, provides revenue for local businesses and contributes to the tax base of our community. Every dollar invested in local tourism has an exponential return in visitor spending, contributing to the health and vitality of Franklin as a whole.

Cultural Gems

From historic landmarks and serene escapes to vibrant celebrations and performances, Franklin is a treasure trove of cultural experiences waiting to be explored. By actively engaging with tourism, we celebrate our heritage and showcase the unique charm that makes our city shine.

Local Empowerment

Behind every storefront is a story waiting to be told. Tourism provides a platform for local entrepreneurs and artisans to shine, offering a diverse array of products and experiences unique to Franklin. By supporting small businesses, we're fostering innovation and preserving the essence of our community.

Quality Living

Tourism isn't just about attracting visitors; it's about enhancing the quality of life for Franklin residents. From top-notch schools to advanced healthcare facilities, tourism revenue strengthens our community and improves the lives of everyone who calls Franklin home.

Engage Franklin Grows Our Community

The Award-Winning City of Franklin


Franklin, named after Benjamin Franklin, was originally part of the Town of Kinnickinnic before becoming its own town in 1839. It remained a rural, heavily forested town for over 100 years until 1956 when fears of annexation by Milwaukee prompted residents to incorporate as a fourth-class city. Town officials creatively added prison inmates to meet the population requirement and hid to avoid being served to block the incorporation attempt. After a petition, census and referendum, Franklin officially incorporated on August 15, 1956 - becoming just the second city to do so under a new law allowing rural areas to incorporate to avoid being annexed.

Visit Franklin Historical Society For a more detailed history of the City of Franklin.


Franklin is a community where modern conveniences, friendly people and a small-town atmosphere combine with low crime, a clean environment and quality educational opportunities to make Franklin the primary destination to live and learn, work and play and do business.

Talk the Talk… Walk the Walk

  • Franklin named a "Top 10 Overall Micro American City of the Future" by Foreign Direct Investment Magazine - April/May 2015
  • Franklin Ranked Among “Best Places to Live”! - September 2011
  • Franklinwi.gov is Recognized as one of the Top City Government Websites by Juggle.com - August 2010
  • Franklin Honored for S. 27th Street Corridor Efforts - June 19, 2008
  • Franklin Receives Good Government Award - October 5, 2007
  • Franklin Designated as a "City of the Future"! - April/May 2007
  • 2nd for Micro Cities: Best Human Resources
  • 4th for Micro Cities: Best Infrastructure
  • 5th for Average Earnings Growth 2004-2005
  • 3rd for Percentage of Population with a Degree
  • 10th for Fall in Unemployment 2004-2005

See the updated list on Franklin.gov