“My hope is for Dogwood to be a resource that builds the capacity of nonprofits, supports economic development and leverages funds to develop a healthier, stronger region.”
For four generations a member of Fred Jones’ family has lived in Franklin, NC and practiced law at the firm that was started by his great-grandfather. In fact, their roots in Macon County run so deep that his great-grandmother was a member of the Siler family, the original settlers of Macon County, and his grandmother’s house is built around a log cabin that Cherokee Indians traded to Jesse Siler when Macon County was settled.
After attending UNC as a Morehead Scholar and receiving degrees in Economics and Philosophy as well as a law degree, Fred came home to live, work and raise children in the nurturing environment of Franklin. He credits the impact the Morehead Foundation had on his development and recognizes how unusual it is for those kinds of resources to be dedicated to development of young people. Coming back to Franklin was a way to “pay dividends” on that investment. He also wanted to continue the legacy of the family business and still works alongside his father in the law firm.
As a child, Fred saw how hard his dad worked as an attorney, how much time he spent in the community, and how much he sacrificed. Following that example, he and his wife, Jennifer, helped establish Macon County Habitat for Humanity, which is a source of great pride. Fred is also active in his church and has served on the boards of Entegra Bank, Angel Medical Center, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, the Rotary Club of Franklin Daybreak and others.
“While health resources to combat the COVID crisis are needed in this current moment, more broadly, we would benefit the most by valuing education and creating job opportunities that would allow young people who grew up here to go out into the world and then bring those experiences back home,” he says.
For that, he believes Western North Carolina needs jobs that pay more than a living wage so individuals and families can thrive.
“Growing up in rural Western North Carolina, you see how it’s a mixed blessing that so many people are able to be content with whatever their situation is, but that can leave you unaware of opportunities for learning and growth. My hope is for Dogwood to be a resource that builds the capacity of nonprofits, supports economic development and leverages funds to develop a healthier, stronger region.”