SOMERSET, NJ -  More than 100 people came out to celebrate the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce’s (FTCC) 60th year anniversary at the Marigold Wednesday night. 

“The future is bright with 2020 vision” was a fitting theme as the celebration also served as an event to honor and shine a spotlight on some of the town’s most influential residents and businesses.  

The FTCC's new board members were installed, 2020 by-laws presented, and past chamber presidents were recognized during the evening. 

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“I look forward to seeing the results of the hard work and dedication our board of directors has put in to ensure the continued growth our organization is putting forward,” FTCC President Juanita Painson said. “I know that hard work will translate into a better and more vibrant business community within our great small town of Franklin. I hope that you will join us on our journey as we move forward with our vision for 2020 to encourage business growth, promote workforce development and attract visitors to our beautiful town." 

Freeholder Director, Shanel Robinson presented the FTCC with a commendation for its 60 years in service on behalf of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders. 

“Thank you for your service and commitment and congratulations to the Franklin Chamber of Commerce on your 60 years in this community and we are looking forward to 60 more,” Robinson said. 

Franklin Township Mayor, Phil Kramer also presented the FTCC with a commendation.

Kramer also encouraged local businesses to buy reusable bags and donate them to the Franklin Food Bank.

Bill Grippo, retired Macafee Road School principal, and fundraiser performed master of ceremonies duties, and Assemblyman, Joe Danielsen was the keynote speaker. 

Grippo introduces Danielsen and reflected on their relationship throughout the years. 

Danielsen discusses how the local government and the FTCC can help businesses flourish in Franklin Township. 

Newly elected Somerset County Sheriff Darren Russo and Franklin Township PTO President, Nicolas DiMeglio were both honored by the FTCC for their contributions to the community. 

"Nick DiMeglio is a volunteer's, volunteer," Grippo said. "He is a model of what makes America great. Service to others and delivers on his word. I don't think there is a non-profit in Franklin Township that this guy doesn't have his fingerprints on."

Russo spoke about how important it is for law enforcement to have a positive relationship with the business community. 

Venus Jewelers, Trap Rock, and L’ Oreal were the FTCC’s business honorees, and Visions and Pathways was its non-profit honoree. 

"Be consistent, be responsible, love what you do, have a passion for what you do," Dr. Peter Stavrianidis, owner of Venus Jewelers told TAPinto... "If you don't have that love for what you do, you might as well switch to something else, because people get it. These are very important elements to be successful."

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