FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - This month TAPinto Franklin Township will be running a series called "Meet The Leaders.” The objective is to provide our readers an opportunity to hear from Franklin Township’s leaders in government, public safety, education, houses of worship and other areas, regarding Franklin Township’s present and future outlook.  

Each participant was asked to share a little information about their background and personal life. Each “leader” was presented the same core questions that will be published unedited. 

TAPinto Franklin Township’s sixth leader interviewed was Councilwoman At-Large Shanel Y. Robinson. Robinson has lived in Franklin Township for 16 years and has 30 years of leadership and management experience and 15 years of civic involvement in Franklin Township. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies and Employee Relations from Rutgers University. 

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Robinson attended Southern University A&M College where she was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society), where she obtained her electronics background and used those skills to serve in the United States Air Force Reserves for 8 years as an avionics specialist.

Robinson started her civic service in 2009 after an unfortunate event marred Franklin High School’s annual Homecoming Dance. That was the day she decided to get involved in local government, to act as a liaison between the police force and the community at large. 

"There needed to be a calm voice, a reasoning voice as part of the conversation for all people," Robinson said. "
This afforded me the opportunity to bring my management, leadership, and customer service skills to government."

Question: What initiative did you start in 2016, that you are most proud of?

Answer: Being my first year there were no initiatives that I lead. 

Question: What will be your main objective for 2017?

Answer: 2017 will continue to be a year of opportunity for growth and taking action. Growing or bringing new businesses to the township and taking action to put strategic and/or master plans in motion, while being open to new initiatives and innovative ways to move Franklin forward. People before politics. 

Question: Are you involved with any youth groups for the community that you would like to share? 

Answer: I volunteer with the Franklin High School Athletic Booster Club

Question: What do you do in your spare time?

Answer: In my spare time I read, listen to jazz, and belong to several ministries in my church (Missionary, Dance Ministry, and Culinary Ministry)

Question: Five words that describe Franklin Township are?

Answer: Progressive, innovative, yet quaint, booming, and charming

Councilwoman Robinson is currently an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-certified Information Technologies Manager at Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in New Brunswick, New Jersey where she has been employed for the past 15 years. In addition to her duties as an IT Manager, she serves as a Project Manager, sings with the choir, a former member of the Leadership Development Team, Diversity Committee, and Space Planning Committee. As a councilwoman, she sits on the following committees and/or serves as council liaison: Financial Oversight, Hamilton Street Advisory Board, Housing Authority, Fire Prevention, Public Safety, IT Steering Committee, Fire Chiefs Committee, and Board Vice Chair, Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB).

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