Franklin Reporter Among Groups, Residents, Honored By Chamber Of Commerce

CHAMBER GALA The Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce held its 63rd annual gala April 19 at The Marigold.

The Franklin Reporter & Advocate received one of seven awards given to organizations and people honored by the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce at its April 19 annual gala.

The Reporter co-publishers, Bill Bowman and PJ Parker, were honored in the Small Business category.

The annual gala was held at the Marigold. This was the gala’s 63rd year.

Other categories and honorees were:

  • Educational Leader: Lauren Francis, Coach of the Franklin High School Cheer Squad
  • Volunteerism: Marisa Gallagher,President of the Franklin High School Booster Club
  • Student Leadership: Central Jresey College Prep Charter School students Chakshu Mittal, Daniel Spencer, Elif Cebe, Rayan Dumasia, Adwita Jagannathan, and Sohum Sheth.
  • Large Corporation: Jimmy Lee of Joy Systems
  • Community Leadership: Shanel Robinson, Director of the Somerset County Board of Commissioners; Megeen Laska, Benjamin Green, Alesha Clayton of the Greater Somerset County YMCA’s Camp SOAR
  • Public Service: Capt. Sean Hebbon, Franklin Township Police Department
  • Past Officers: Juanita Painson, past FTCC president, and Robert Jordan, past FTCC vice president.

Newly elected members of the Chamber Board’s Executive Committee were installed during the Gala. The officers are:

  • President: Nicolas DiMeglio
  • 1st Vice President: Bill Grippo
  • 2nd Vice President: Peter Stavrianidis
  • Treasurer: Evrim Cicek
  • Secretary: Montese Anderson
  • Director of Policy: Namik Sercan
  • Director of Communications: PJ Parker
  • Director of Social Media: John Park

According to the event’s program, following is the criteria used in judging each of the categories:

  • Large Corporation: An award that is presented to a large company in Franklin Township for its voluntary contributions to the community and its members
  • Small Business: Recognizes an outstanding owner/manager of a small business in town who has started or developed a small, successful for-profit business that is at least three years old
  • Volunteerism: This award recognizes an individual who makes a commitment to give exemplary volunteerism service to the Franklin Township community
  • Public Service: This award is given to a community civic leader who has proven him/herself to be an asset to the community and who supports the growth of the community. He/she volunteers time and services to support others.
  • Educational Leadership: The award for Educational Leadership is given to a person(s) who has made a distinctive impact on student growth in the area of discipline, determination and the ability to apply knowledge and skills to good citizenship.
  • Student Leadership: The recipient of this award demonstrates excellence in student leadership and making a contribution in the school system
  • Community Leadership: The Community Leadership award is given to a person(s) who have made a distinctive impact on the lives of adults and youth in the community.

Members of the Chamber’s Gala Committee were Alice Osipowitz, Helene Osman, Kim Gordon, Deb Parillo, Liz Nunez, Jeanette Nunez, Montese Anderson, Nichelle Esser, Imani Robinson and Wendy Riga.

Grippo served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

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