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Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. Staff


KarlKarl T. Heck 

President and CEO

Karl oversees the organization and its activities, and also focuses on administration of economic and industrial development activities throughout the City and County that retain and attract businesses, expand the local tax base and market the community to businesses and workers. He also represents Franklin Southampton regionally and beyond to foster business development and growth.

Karl received his M.S. from the University of Toronto in Urban Planning with a concentration in Community and Economic Development, and his B.A. from Le Moyne College in Economics and Political Science. 




 Ashley C. Covington

Marketing and Existing Business Manager 

Ashley is tasked with small business development which includes but is not limited to managing the Franklin Business Center, Startup Franklin Southampton, and real estate/resource assistance. She also handles all the marketing within the office and content creation for the Visit Franklin Southampton VA brand.

Ashley has been with the office since June of 2013 and received her B.S. from Longwood University in Business Administration. 





 Kimberly A. Tucker

Business Development Manager

Kim's focus is lead generation, administrative support for economic expansion, redevelopment and retention projects in Franklin Southampton.  She serves as our Local Zone Administrator for the Virginia Enterprise Zone program and is also tasked as lead administrator for the Franklin Business Center entrepreneur program. Kim has a strong background in relationship management, sales, small business growth, and executive administration. She received a certification in Basic Economic Development (BEDC) at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2022, and awarded the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) Professional Scholarship Award in 2022. 




 Gloria Worrell 

Administrative Assistant

Gloria assists the Franklin Southampton Economic Development staff as well as all the clients at the Franklin Business Center. She also assists with updating our websites, marketing projects and other office assignments.
She has a background in Healthcare where she received her certificate as a CHESP, Certified Environmental Health Care Professional, from the The American Hospital Association and a certification in Project Management from ODU. She is Vice President of GFWC Sedley Woman's Club.