HomeNewsMcMeen named Jackson’s Man of the Year

McMeen named Jackson’s Man of the Year

“I love our city.”

Those were the first words out of Frank McMeen’s mouth when he stepped to the podium at the Jackson Exchange Club’s meeting Tuesday night after being named Jackson’s Man of the Year for 2023.

And when it came time for him to talk to local media about the honor, he continued to talk more about Jackson than he did himself.

“I’ve loved Jackson ever since I moved here,” said McMeen, who moved to Jackson in 1991 when he went to work at Freed-Hardeman University before moving from there to his current position as the President of the Community Foundation of West Tennessee.

He talked about his love for the arts and the non-profits in the Hub City and the way the people take care of each other here.

He mentioned how Jackson is becoming a progressive city with an increasing number of offerings for younger generations to want to make this place their home.

“It’s so good living here and there are so many attractions to living here that Ford Motor Company brought Blue Oval City right to our backyard,” McMeen said.

All of that is why he is involved in everything he’s involved in, McMeen said.

And it’s his involvement in so many different initiatives – especially to help those less fortunate and to make Jackson the best place it can possibly be – that he was named Man of the Year.

As he sat at a table with friends before the announcement, he thought he was in the room to honor influential Jacksonian Ron Kirkland.

“I was inviting his cousin to be here for his big award,” McMeen said, making the room of about 150 people laugh. “I have so many friends here, and I can’t thank each of you enough for what you’ve meant to me in my life.”

McMeen is from Middle Tennessee, having grown up in Maury County around Lewisburg and Columbia.

His father and brother still live in the area, and he regularly goes home to see his father, who’s in his 90s, about every other weekend.

McMeen became emotional when asked how he thought the older McMeen would react to his son’s honor.

“You grow up wanting your parents to be proud of you – almost wanting to prove yourself to your parents,” McMeen said. “And I’ve gotten to know my dad a lot better now in his 80s and 90s than I did when I was younger because unfortunately I was trying to be cool in college and busy after that.

“When I finally got my doctorate a few years ago, dad wasn’t sure what a doctorate was but was proud of me for that. His reaction to this might be similar.”

McMeen was elected to the Jackson City Council last year.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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