Ben T. Franklin, Jr.

Mr. Franklin is a founding Partner of SUAT, and is responsible for administrative and financial operations for the company,

He is also Managing Partner of Southbank Consulting Group, Inc., an investment banking, valuation and management consulting company, he co-founded in 2002.  Services include strategic business planning; business and project valuation services; private and institutional financing; development and management consulting in the real estate, building, banking and commercial services industry sectors.

He is a Board Member and Chairman of Turner Pest Control, LLC, a nationally ranked pest control services company; and a Registered Civil Mediator and Arbitrator.

In 2002, Amelia Island Yacht Basin, Ltd. And Alligator Point Yacht Basin, LLC, both marina properties ownership and operations companies were co-founded by Mr. Franklin. He served as the General and Managing Partner for these companies until 2010, when they were successfully sold.

Mr. Franklin served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Southern Petroleum Systems, Inc., a southeastern US petroleum equipment distributor, maintenance and construction services company from 1992 to 2000.  During this period, Southern Petroleum’s revenues grew from $3 million to $27 million through internal growth and strategic acquisitions.

Preceding his tenure at Southern Petroleum systems, Mr. Franklin served as President of The Arcon Company, an architectural design, engineering and construction management company.  Arcon provided these services to nationally known resort communities that included the Amelia Island Plantation Company,  Johns Island Company, Windsor Polo Community,  Orchid Island Company, Palm Beach Polo Club, and others.  The company’s projects were completed in 1991.

Mr. Franklin was a founding Director of Ponte Vedra National Bank, NA (PVNB) and Vice-President of The Ponte Vedra Banking Company (a bank holding company), which was founded in 1988. He also served as on the Executive Committee and Director Loan Committee prior to the acquisition of PVNB by SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) in 1996.

In 1983, Mr. Franklin co-founded Atlantic Capital Properties, Ltd., which acquired, developed and managed numerous commercial properties thru private equity, and institutional financed limited partnerships. Clients included Arvida, LLC, Independent Life Insurance Co (American General Life Companies) and Pizza Hut, Inc. , and others.  He served as the Managing General Partner for the various partnerships.

Mr. Franklin established Atlantic Constructors in 1971, a national commercial construction, remodeling and maintenance company, with offices in Jacksonville, Florida, Houston, Texas, Miami, Florida, Tampa, Florida and Denver, Colorado.  Atlantic’s projects included national restaurant chains (Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, Wendy’s, Cracker Barrel, and others); national grocery chains (Albertsons, Publix, Winn Dixie, Kroger, and others); banking institutions (Barnett Banks (now Bank of America), SunTrust banks, and others); institutional clients (City of Jacksonville, United States Veterans Administration hospitals, and others); resort clients (Palm Beach Polo, Johns Island, Amelia Island, 

Ben T. Franklin, Jr.
Orchid Island, Windsor Polo Community, Comanche Harbor, and others); and custom residential clients. The Company’s revenue had grown to $40+million when he sold it in 1988.

From 1969 thru 1970, Mr. Franklin was employed by Leon Products, Inc., Jacksonville, Florida, as a construction project manager for the development of commercial office buildings and industrial warehouses.  From 1967 thru 1969, employed by Russell Mills, Inc., Alexander City, Alabama,  as a sales management trainee, and promoted to a project manager in the Russell Construction Division.

Prior to beginning his business career, Mr. Franklin served in the US Army Intelligence Corps after receiving his B.S. Textile Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech); and graduated from The Bolles School in 1961.

OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Florida Bar, Fourth Judicial Circuit, Grievance Committee, Non-Legal Member, 1996 thru 1999

State of Florida, Department of Professional Regulation Licensing Committee, Professional Consultant, 1997 thru 1998

Consultant Volunteer, Clinton Foundation, Alternative Energy Initiative, 2007 thru 2008

Past President and Director of the Petroleum Industry Association of Florida, 1994 thru 2000

Principal, Heritage Capital Group, 2000 thru 2003

Director, U.S. General Construction, Inc., 2000 thru present

Executive Board Member and Vice President of Endowment, North Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, 2000 thru 2008.

Trustee, Trust Fund, North Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, 2004 thru 2011

Recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, Boy Scouts of America, 2009

NYSE/NASD Registered General Securities Representative (Inactive)

State of Florida, Certified Pollutant Storage Contractor (Inactive)

State of Florida, Certified Building Contractor, 1972 thru present

State of Florida, Registered Mortgage Broker (Inactive)

State of Florida, Real Estate Broker, 1998 thru present


SOCIAL AFFILIATIONS

Past Commodore (1994 thru 1996), Epping Forest Yacht Club

Member Emeritus, Board of Governors, Epping Forrest Yacht Club

Member, Rotary International, 2002 thru 2008

Member, The Ponte Vedra Club, 1967 thru present

Member, Navy League, Savannah, Georgia, 2010 thru present

Member, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), 2006 thru present.

Member, The Propeller Club, Savannah, Georgia, 2011 thru present

OTHER INTEREST


Flying (Private Pilot) Ratings: single engine, Instrument, seaplane   UAS: 63 hours as First Person View (FPV)

Off Shore Sailing
International Travel  (previous travels to Europe, Africa, South America, Caribbean, Bahamas, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Middle East)

REFERENCES        Provided upon request