Got a question about #FranklinTN? Maddie’s got answers!
Every year, the Visitor Center (located on the corner of 4th and Main in Downtown Franklin, Tennessee) celebrates its best and brightest staff members with the annual Visitor Center awards. This year, Visitor Information Specialist Maddie Hansen, was awarded the coveted 2016 MVP Award.
We wanted to find out more about Franklin and Williamson County from the star herself and learn what it takes to become the MVP of the Williamson County Visitor Center.
8 Questions with Maddie Hansen, 2016 Visitor Center MVP
1) Q: You’ve worked at the Visitor Center a little over two years, so I’m sure you have a collection of some great memories. What has been your favorite memory so far?
A: I don’t think I can narrow down just one memory. A collection of them come from routine visits of friendly locals. It’s always exciting to see a familiar face pop in to say hello peppered among the constant flow of wide-eyed visitors. I am constantly reminded of how fortunate I am to be a part of such an amazing community.
2) Q: As a Franklin native, was there anything you were surprised to learn about the area that you didn’t know before you began working at the Visitor Center?
A: Growing up less than three miles from downtown, I have always been aware of Franklin’s rich history. However, working at the Visitor Center has helped me kindle an even deeper appreciation for many of our historic properties. I have been inspired to learn more about a handful of places such as the Old Old Jail, the storefronts lining Main Street, and the collection of beautiful Antebellum homes housing generations of native families throughout Hincheyville. It has been fascinating to learn about how our past has shaped our town.
3) Q: What are a few of your best insider tips about Williamson County you enjoy sharing with visitors?
A: There are so many hidden gems throughout Franklin and Williamson County A couple of my favorite suggestions when it comes to sweet treats would be the peanut butter &amp; jelly smoothie at the Juice Bar, and the banana pudding at the Country Boy Restaurant. I also enjoy recommending beautiful nature spots such as Winstead Hill, which is infused with historical sites, hiking trails and breath-taking views of Franklin. And if you happen to be in the historic district on the first Friday of the month, I suggest partaking in the Franklin Art Scene. It’s a great opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in our culture while enjoying local artwork and music.
4) Q: Tell us something fun and unique about yourself that someone would be surprised to find out.
A: I am currently an interior design student at O’More College of Design. Growing up minutes away from O’More’s campus, I found myself participating in their summer studio program throughout middle and high school; eventually earning a best-in-show scholarship, which has allowed me to remain close to home and family. In addition to working towards my degree, I have founded O’More’s first philanthropic organization, the Magnolia Social. Having worked closely with the Heritage Foundation, O’More’s Magnolia Social is dedicated to historic preservation and community involvement.
As an information specialist at the Visitor Center, a student at O’More, and the founder of the Magnolia Social, I have been given a unique opportunity to define myself.
5) Q: What is your favorite annual event in downtown Franklin?
A: Located at the beautiful Harlinsdale Farm, The Pilgrimage Festival is definitely my favorite annual event. With a diverse range of musical talent and a huge selection of local crafts and foods, there is always something fun to see and do during the now three-day festival. It has become an affordable tradition for my friends and me, and I recommend it to people of all ages. The event is clean, safe, convenient to downtown Franklin, completely family friendly, and there are even unique volunteer opportunities!
6) Q: If you only had one day to spend in Franklin, tell us what you would be sure to do.
A: If I had one day to spend in Franklin, I would be sure to start my morning with a cup of coffee from Merridee’s. From there, I would window shop Main Street and chat with some of the friendly merchants before heading towards the Factory at Franklin. There, I would snag a cronut from Five Daughters Bakery (vanilla creme, always!) and head next door to paint some pottery at Third Coast Clay. My afternoon and evening would be spent along the Natchez Trace Parkway where I would hike and watch the sunset from the double arched bridge. I’d end my day at any one of the restaurants downtown offering live music, my favorite being Puckett’s.
7) Q: One of the main reasons you won the Visitor Center MVP award last year was your high level of customer service. How do you define outstanding customer service?
A: In my opinion, customer service is defined by applying my unique perspective and twenty years of personal experience in Franklin, while tailoring my knowledge to suit each visitors’ specific interests and expectations. I think it all comes down to putting myself in their shoes and treating our visitors the way I’d like to be treated.
8) Q: What is your favorite thing about working at the Visitor Center?
A: My favorite thing has to be the friendships I’ve formed with this amazing team. I am inspired by every single one of my coworkers’ dedication to this company and one another. I am so thankful I get to work in such a positive environment.
We love answersing your questions and helping you plan the perfect experience in #FranklinTN, so feel free to stop by the Vistor Center in person, reach out to us on social media or leave a comment below!