Franklin Templeton Recognizes Employees for Contributions to the Community

Dec 20, 2023 9:00 AM ET

Every year since 2007, Franklin Templeton has recognized employees who make extraordinary contributions to their communities with the Harmon E. Burns Award.

The award is named after long-time employee Harmon Burns, who worked for the company from 1973 to 2006 at its Northern California headquarters, holding a number of positions, including head of legal and compliance, chief operating officer, vice chairman and member of the Board of Directors. He was a generous contributor to his local community, constantly giving to those in need. For example, he anonymously donated bulletproof vests to his local police station, gave away unused tickets to San Francisco Giants’ baseball games to children waiting outside the stadium, and sponsored employees in walk-a-thons and fundraising efforts.

Joining prior winners from across the globe is Prerna Nemali, Senior Analyst, Investment and Trade Client Services from Hyderabad, India. She has been recognized for her work for With You, Spreading Smiles, a nonprofit she founded to serve forgotten, orphaned and unjustly treated people.

Prerna has had an interest in community welfare since childhood, participating in social service activities throughout her schooling. She joined the social workers club and received the award for best social worker at age 15. Part of the club’s activities involved having kids from government schools visit once a year. Volunteers would give them books, stationery, bags and spend time with them. Those experiences led Prerna to start her own nonprofit, With You, Spreading Smiles (With You) in November 2014, which has grown to 80 volunteers.

With You covers a broad spectrum of social service initiatives, reaching out to members of the community facing challenges. Initiatives include food and blood donation drives, providing necessities to the homeless, clearing pending school fees for underprivileged students, conducting activities for people with disabilities, and fulfilling wishes of HIV-affected children. Every year, With You volunteers celebrate the holidays by distributing gifts and food to individuals experiencing homelessness.

“We serve the needy in every possible way, including helping in the education of kids from poor financial backgrounds, and have been doing so for nine years,” Prerna said.

What sets With You apart is not just the diversity of initiatives but the unique approaches they adopt. The organization does not fundraise, firmly believing in the power of kind acts over cash.

Prerna’s recognition with the 2023 Harmon Burns Award is a celebration of her extraordinary dedication to community service. Through With You, she has proven that small acts of kindness, done with love and sincerity, can bring about profound change.

Alongside Prerna, Franklin Templeton has honored two other employees as finalists for the 2023 Harmon E. Burns Award.

Heidi Francabandera, Senior Administrative Assistant, has been recognized for her extensive work for the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) and for her active role in Franklin Templeton’s employee volunteer program, Involved.

John Wolff, Director, Business Relationship Management, has been recognized for his volunteer work with several nonprofit organizations in the Baltimore area focused on mentoring and educating youth.

To recognize the contributions of the winner and finalists, charitable donations have been made to their selected charities.

About Franklin Templeton

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE: BEN] is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in over 150 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better outcomes through investment management expertise, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the company offers specialization on a global scale, bringing extensive capabilities in fixed income, equity, alternatives and multi-asset solutions. With more than 1,300 investment professionals, and offices in major financial markets around the world, the California-based company has over 75 years of investment experience and over $1.4 trillion in assets under management as of November 30, 2023. For more information, please visit and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.