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 seventh leader interviewed was President of Franklin Township's Chamber of Commerce Micheal Harris. Harris was born in Newark and raised in East Orange, and has lived in Franklin Township for four years with his wife and 19-month old son. Harris is a vice president and retail market manager of Investors Bank and oversees 10 branches in the central New Jersey market. 

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"My goal was to make the chamber relevant and respected again, and looked to as an essential partner and resource for Franklin Township businesses, residents, and local government," Harris said. "I want it to once again be a viable part of our community by being a support system, trusted advisor, and partner."

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

Answer: Not sure I would call it an initiative, but I am most proud of bringing integrity back to the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce and making it relevant again.

Question: What will be your main objective for 2017?

Answer: To grow the chamber and continue to be a support system and advocate for our local businesses and community. I would like every business in Franklin to partner with the chamber so that it becomes a resource that they all benefit from. 

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

Answer: I am an active board member and supporter of the Franklin Youth Initiative (FYI). From my seat at Investors Bank, I provide grants through the Franklin Community Foundation to support FYI.

Question: What do you feel will be Franklin Township’s biggest challenge in 2017? 

Answer: Unifying the community.

Question: What do you do in your spare time? 

Answer: I love to fish Franklin has some great fishing spots. I am also an avid martial artist. So I train regularly in Krav Maga.

Question: Five words that describe Franklin Township are?'

Answer: Diverse, Traditional, Peaceful, Prosperous, Evolving

Harris currently serves on the board of the Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity and the Family Support Committee and is the Vice President of the Somerset Community Action Program. In this role Harris is committed to partnering with over 2000 businesses, the community, local government and Somerset County to ensure their economic growth and development.

Harris founded the House of Love Soup Kitchen in Newark, NJ in 2007 which currently provides hot meals and clothing to over 100 families on a weekly basis. Harris is currently the executive director of the House of Love Soup Kitchen and in this role, helps administrate the business and operation of the soup kitchen and provides funding through grant writing. Michael is also an ordained minister and pastor. 

A favorite quote of Harris is from Mahatma Ghandi which says, “The greatest way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.” 

Be sure to come back to TAPintoFranklinTownship.net for updates on Mr. Michael Harris and other Chamber of Commerce news

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