|Businessman says he wants to ‘give back’|
Friday, February 14, 2014
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer
Rocky Mount businessman Jon Snead has announced his candidacy for a seat on Rocky Mount Town Council.
Snead, 40, a Franklin County native and graduate of Franklin County High School and Emory & Henry College, is making his first bid for public office.
"I am running to give back to the community that has given so much to me and my family," he said.
His late father, Leonard Snead, operated Franklin Finance for 41 years, a job his son took over after he retired in 2002. Before that, Jon Snead worked for Prudential Financial Services and American General Finance.
In 2001, Snead ran American General's largest office in Woodbridge and was voted the best operator of all of AG's 65 offices around the state.
Since his return to the county, Snead has a history of community involvement. He has served on the Retail Merchants Association Board of Directors since 2002, including terms as president of the board.
He has also served on the Rocky Mount Economic Development Board and is a member and past chairman of the Virginia Financial Services Association.
Snead said he has always been interested in public office, even in high school at FCHS, where he was president of both his junior and senior classes. He was also voted "Most Dependable."
Economic development is "first and foremost" for him, he said, and the town must work to fill empty storefronts and create a town that becomes a destination for visitors.
That's one reason Snead has been active in community events, including the Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas annual celebration.
"We have to find a way to bring people into town and put them in front of the merchants," he said. "That is one of the great things that Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas does."
"Giving people a reason to come into town to have a good time will attract businesses," he added.
Snead said Rocky Mount needs to work closely with the county and its marketing director "so we can promote each other and to help bring in businesses that will complement the ones we already have here and keep the town vibrant."
"I believe we have to keep and attract people to the area," he said. "I want Rocky Mount to be a place where my children can choose to stay and work and be prosperous."
Snead said his roots here run deep, dating back to the late 1700s. His grandparents started the Rocky Mount Church of the Brethren in their basement in 1955, he added.
Young people should have the opportunity to stay here if they choose, he said, and that means jobs. That's why economic development is so important.
Snead said the town cannot keep doing the same thing it did in the past to try to grow because times have changed, and many businesses that once operated in town, like large discount stores, are not coming back to the downtown area.
Voters can find more information about his candidacy on Facebook online, search "Vote Jon W. Snead."
Snead lives on Mountain View Drive in Franklin Heights. He and his wife, Heather, who is the nutritionist for Franklin County schools, have three sons, including twins.
Council has three seats up for grabs in the May town election.
The terms of Jerry Greer, Bobby Moyer and Bobby Cundiff are up at the end of June. Cundiff has said he will seek re-election. Moyer and Greer have not yet made any announcements.