Jay Sheridan: Man of Words
Jay Sheridan is the founder and owner of his own public relations firm, Sheridan Public Relations, LLC.
“I started with a large PR firm in downtown Nashville in 2001 (SPR was launched in 2009). After earning a news/editorial journalism degree with an emphasis in magazine service, I had a choice: go to New York and be a magazine writer, or find a job back home in Nashville. It was a different place back then and there were no magazine jobs at the time, so I ended up at an agency built by former journalists. It was a perfect fit, and that experience set me on my career path. After a brief detour through healthcare corporate communications, I started my own practice. Since then, I’ve been able to author a bunch of magazine stories and a few books to scratch my creative itch as a writer,” Jay says.
Jay’s family moved to Franklin when he was a few months old and he spent most of his youth in Nashville for school and in downtown Franklin in the shop his mother owned on Main Street. He bought his first house in Franklin after college and has lived in the area ever since.
Jay has served on boards and city commissions, as well as participating in volunteer opportunities and programs such as Leadership Franklin and Citizens Government Academy. “It’s incredible to think how much the community has grown over the last decade, and through SPR, we’ve been involved in quite a bit of it – development, politics, retail, hospitality and tourism, healthcare and more, including a lot of nonprofit work. Much of our focus has been on recognizing the contributions of individuals and shining a light on the places that matter. Those are the elements that build a community’s identity,” he says.
Among many things, historical preservation makes Williamson County special to Jay. “We’ve done a good job in preserving our historical assets, which hasn’t always been easy… fortunately we seem to collectively ‘get it’ now in a way we didn’t in years past. Because it’s such a unique place, Franklin has attracted some really talented people, and it now comprises a wonderful tapestry. I also think our agricultural legacy, climate and landscape contribute to the charm and desirability,” he says. “I love the blend of small town vibe, plenty of things to do and the rural aspects just beyond the city’s borders. I spend a lot of time hunting and fishing the far corners of Williamson County, taking pictures, searching for antique treasures and discovering roads and country stores and other places that I’ve never seen before.”
If he could change anything about Williamson County it would be to slow down its quickly growing pace. “Rapid growth brings challenges, and we have to manage those effectively to mitigate the risk of reaching a tipping point on infrastructure and other fundamentals that could begin to eat away at what makes Franklin great,” Jay says.
His inspiration stems from wanting to make a difference in the world. “We spend the majority of our adult lives working, so I want to make my mark on the world, and for my contributions to be meaningful,” Jay says. He believes being a “distinctively southern gentleman” more than anything else, means living out the golden rule – treating everyone with equality and respect.