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Sean Frantom - Augusta Mayor Pro Tem

MAYOR PRO TEM SEAN FRANTOM

MEET Sean Frantom our gracious Mayor Pro Tem.  Meeting Sean was a pleasure; I could feel his enthusiasm as he greeted me at the Ronald McDonald House. We chatted and laughed and it was like. . . revisiting an old friend.  Hear what he has to say about his career, family and his Augusta and you will gain a sense of there still being some good people in our city who genuinely care and Sean is one of them. . . he genuinely cares about Augusta.

 

QUESTIONS: 

 

Q. What inspired you or led you to your current career?

A.  I was involved in other nonprofits before I started here at the Ronald McDonald House.  The Cancer Society, I was part of the bachelor auction that they used to have and then, part of Dancing Stars of Augusta with the Alzheimer’s Association the first year and I just had in my heart to serve and I wanted to give back.  There was an opportunity to become the Development Director at the Ronald McDonald House. We were looking to build a new house and I looked at the challenge you know, I’ve never asked to raise money, but I’ve been a part of other nonprofits where I did raise money but never a career of raising money and the challenge of raising $6 million to build the new Ronald McDonald House was something I couldn’t pass up.  I knew that I wanted to stay in the community and engage and have a career that allowed me not to just sit at the desk,  be out creating events and things that I love to do and most importantly, be engaged with the community. The community-at-large is what I love.

 

Q. What is your favorite restaurant in Augusta, and what do you love there?

A.  My favorite restaurant in Augusta would probably be Tako Sushi; my favorite is the crazy Susan roll.  I think I enjoy the atmosphere. I wish it was a little bit bigger sometimes. But, I think that my wife and I, if we had to pick a restaurant where we’re going to go it would be Tako Sushi and then we’re going to go to the French Market for the pie, the peanut butter pie.   It’s something that people definitely need to check out.

 

 

Q. How long have you lived or worked in Augusta?

A. Thirty-five years.

I’ve worked in Augusta, for the past, I guess, 17 years.  I grew up in the Jones Creek Golf Club community that no longer is open now, which is a tragedy in that community. I started working in the staffing industry in 2003.  I got involved with Chambers of Commerce, really engaged in the community; worked there for four years learning the different industries that we placed in them, people in jobs and being out in the community.  That kind of led me to my current role; as well as getting involved with the Young Professionals of Augusta organization that started in 2008 and I became president in 2009 and was president on and off for about six years.  If it wasn’t for that organization, I wouldn’t have been elected a commissioner here in Augusta. I think that’s when people saw we were making a difference with a professional development & a networking focus–we were giving back into the community.  The organization revitalized one of the houses surrounding the Kroc Center when it was first being developed. The Young Professionals of Augusta was more than young people creating a drinking club; yet, more about making a difference and giving back and an outlet to engage in the community.

 

Q. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Augusta? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Augusta? 

A.  You know, I think, Coco Rubio would come to mind; because of his different aspects of what he’s been engaged in and obviously being a friend of Deanna Brown.  Learning the history of James Brown and helping bring the premiere here to Augusta with Deanna; I led the Facebook community to try to get them to bring it here. Okay, and another person comes to mind; Dick Copenhagen obviously being the mayor of Augusta, he’s the one that kind of took me under his wing a little bit when I was the Young Professionals of Augusta President.   He said, you know, you ought to run; he just engaged me in things to kind of help me learn what’s going on in Augusta from the leadership aspect of being engaged in here.

 

Augusta Realtor | Micki Esposito

 

Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?

A.  Australia. Just because it just seems like a country that would be fun to explore.  One of the things about me is that I’ve always been so focused on this community that I haven’t traveled a lot.

I got married at a later age because I was so enthralled with trying to make a difference.  When I was involved with the Young Professionals of Augusta it was like 25-30 hours a week involvement; because I wanted it to succeed and I wanted to help people, you know, connect people. So, I’d probably say Australia.

 

Q. What advice would you give a crowd of people?

A.  I would tell them to follow their passion. Get engaged in something that you love–make sure that you try.  How do I say this….find something that makes you happy.  We also need to have hobbies; things that we enjoy.  For me, you know, I can’t stand politics, but I’m a politician. Why am I in politics? Because I care about this community. I want to make a difference. That’s, the reason I’m a politician. Not for the glory of it.  I don’t follow national politics. I don’t know anything about national politics. It’s just about my community.  For me. It makes a lot of sense.

 

Q. What is something on your bucket list?

A.  To play the Pebble Beach Golf Course; I have played The Augusta National.  There was a time I played a lot of golf; but, not so much lately. That’s definitely one item on my bucket list.

 

Q. What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?

A.  Top 40.

 

Micki Esposito | Evans, Georgia

 

Q. What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Augusta?

A.  Fat Man’s and the reason is because of the history of it when they had the gift shop and everything.  I think that I remember going there as a child and it just felt so “Augusta” and they closed it down and now they’ve got the restaurant and events center, soup and salad or whatever it’s called. You know, when talking about the southern salad and now they own the place across the river, the Snow-Cap Drive-In. So I mean when you look at them, that would probably make what’s nostalgic about Augusta.

 

Q. Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Augusta would you have lunch?

A.  I’d probably say Michael Jordan. Why? Because of the success that he’s had, the different companies and different things that he’s accomplished.  I mean he’s heavily involved in sports right now in the Charlotte Hornets. Like I’ve love sports. So I would want to, you know, pick his brain about what and how; he’s just got a huge legacy.  Honestly, I wasn’t a Michael Jordan fan growing up. I was a Dominique Wilkins Fan. Wow.  Because I love my Hawks, Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs. So, yeah, that’s probably who I’d want to have lunch with just because of what he’s been able to accomplish.

 

Q. What is your favorite thing or something unique about Augusta?

A.  Obviously you have the masters. That would be the first thing that comes to mind. We are recognized by the world for 10-days; as we showcase this prestigious event. Now, having the women’s amateur event; we have now become the mecca of golf with these different new elements.  The Augusta National has created an amazing experience and has grown golf not only here but, across the world.  I think it’s cool that they’ve’ put the resources behind it to make it happen.  Again, obviously….we are known for The Godfather of Soul: James Brown.  We only have one statue for him. I think that one of the things that people look at and say: why are there not multiple statues of him here in Augusta?

I think, one of the things is the music scene in Augusta.  When you look at how much musical talent has come out of this city and the surrounding areas; I mean, it is pretty impressive.  I do not think, as I have said before, we do a good job of telling the story of Augusta and I think the musical aspect, from Lady Antebellum to the amphitheater. That’s huge. It’s just a lot of local talent here. You can find good music in this town every night of the week with local artists; whether on Washington Rd to Downtown.  It’s impressive and great music. So, I would say, music is something unique about Augusta; local music in a lot of different places every night. We’re growing and attracting a diverse environment.

 

 

Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

A.  Continuing to grow in this community;  seeing whether politics is in the future. I’m not sure if  I want to run for mayor.  But I think, continual engagement within the community to make it better and I’m not sure what that aspect is. Obviously I love my job here at the Ronald McDonald House. We’ll see, with a hospital expansion for us possibly in the future….but just continuing to grow in this community that I love.

 

Q. (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?

A.  Hip Hop Music.  I used to manage a rapper for about a year some time ago and we only had one cd….we did a few gigs.  I mean, really, I have been heavily into music. We’ve put on several events in Columbia County; like Lady Antebellum.  We are working towards developing a music festival here in the city; I love music. If the resources were right; I would really consider getting back into it somewhere in the future.

 

 

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Q. What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?

A.  Safe.  Fun & Family.

 

Q. If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?

A.  Harrison Ford.

 

Q. If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?  {Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny} WHY?

A.  A housekeeper because of my wife. She loves to clean the house.

 

Q. If you could hold on to one memory from your life forever, what would that be?

A.  The birth of my kids. There’s nothing like family.  When you see your kids grow up and you realize, that they are going to have these memories; I mean, they’re gonna just grow into the people that they are that are kind of like you. I would imagine.  I mean, that’s why I do what I do;  I want their future to be better than mine and if I can leave a path for them to follow. So, it makes so much sense to me.

 

Q. Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

A.  It’s interesting because it’s probably my father, but I didn’t appreciate the lessons at the time. I didn’t appreciate it till he passed away and then it made a lot of sense to me.  Because he passed away last August from cancer and when I look back at my life of how he let me be my own person at Jones Creek and then he owned a business at a young age and then he was involved with the Jaycees back in Monroe, Louisiana.   Seeing some of the community stuff that he did kind of led me to where my community stuff comes from and I didn’t appreciate what he did or who he was until after he died.  It’s amazing to witness my steps mirroring those of my father.

 

 

OUR FINAL QUESTION

 

Q. IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

A.  Always be honest.  Take care of the ones that take care of you. I mean, I think the golden rule really applies here: always treat people the way you want to be treated. But I challenge people to get engaged and not just be…how do I say this, kind of like internet trolls where they just sit behind keyboards talking bad about our community. Become involved and contribute to the change that is occurring in our great city of Augusta.

 

 

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Thank you Sean. You made my experience easy and comfortable.  To new beginnings.  Friends for Life.

~micki

 

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