I Am New Memphis: Frankie Dakin
Full Name: Franklin Dale Stewart Dakin
Describe your philosophy in six words: Fake it till you make it.
Where are you from? Born in Philadelphia, PA but moved to Millington, TN when I was three years old. So safe to say I’m from here.
How did you get to Memphis? By car seat. My dad was in the Army and got stationed at Naval Support Activity Mid-South.
What’s your job title? Manager of Strategic Partnerships.
OK, but what do you actually do? The bulk of my work is developing and growing collaborative relationships with other organizations and individuals working to attract, develop, activate and retain talent in Memphis. When I’m not making friends outside of the office, I’m a member of a team at New Memphis that focuses on the strategy and delivery of engagement with college-aged young adults and city newcomers.
What neighborhood do you live in? Old Town area of Millington.
Tell us a bit about yourself! I’m a 24 year old dude who lives with my mom in a house that I own with a dog who hates men. I’m one of the most well-traveled of my childhood friends, but unlike 99% of them, I live in the same city where I grew up. I can be arrogant, but maintain a core belief that I’m no better or no worse than anyone else.
OK, now give us the bio. I’ve served as an elected Alderman in Millington since my sophomore year at Rhodes College. I graduated from Rhodes in 2014 with a degree in Political Economy and Public Policy, at which time I received the 2013 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a federal fellowship granted for demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service. I’m passionate about the intersection of education, civic engagement, and economic development. While serving as an intern coordinator for BRIDGES, I helped develop the curriculum for a youth-led, civic internship program known as Bridgebuilder’s Change. I’ve also worked as a field organizer for The Can Kicks Back and Research Associate Agenda for Generational Equity—both bipartisan, DC-based, millennial-led advocacy groups. I currently serve as Board Chair of LITE (Let’s Innovate through Education) a nonprofit that empowers Memphis-area high school students from low-income households to launch business ideas through entrepreneurial curriculum, seed investment, and mentor matching.
Who is/was your celebrity crush? I’ll have to go with my girlfriend Katelyn Dagen. The mass media may not recognize her celebrity status yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
Do you have any tattoos? No. Not because I don’t want one; I just haven’t had a great idea yet.
Are you a “hat person?” Absolutely. Ball caps are my go to. Especially in the morning, to get my flow going backwards, and if my bi-weekly haircut at Natilee’s gets pushed back.
What’s on your bedside table? iPad, Amazon Echo, and an Iron Man helmet—to remind me that we’re only as effective as the tools we use.
Whom or what are you thankful for? My mom and my (ongoing) education.
Describe your ideal day. Wake up at 7AM. Make breakfast, read the news, and chill with Otis (my dog) for a few. Start the work day with a meeting. I love collaborating and getting energy from others. Grind out a few hours of work. Have a long lunch with a new friend. Take the afternoon to catch up on emails. Get outside while it’s still light out. Grab happy hour with friends.
When playing Monopoly, which piece do you pick? The thimble flies under the radar. While everyone else is obsessed with which piece they’re gonna pick, I’m already thinking about how I’m going to bankrupt them.
What is your spirit animal? Dog. Loyal, playful, and enjoys frequent naps.
What advice would you give to your younger self? Whenever you’re taking advice from elders, strongly consider the source.
What New Memphis alum inspires you and why? Kirstin Cheers. We aren’t especially close, but I’ve followed her career over the past few years, and she’s a risk taker who is forging her own unique path. Plus, she’s not afraid to speak out and always displays wisdom and humility when she does.
What is your favorite Memphis “hidden treasure?” A little city to the north by the name of Millington.