Greater Trenton to Honor Trenton Native John Harmon at 5th Annual Caren Franzini Event

Greater Trenton to Honor Trenton Native John Harmon at 5th Annual Caren Franzini Event

Greater Trenton’s 5th Annual Caren Franzini Capital City Award Celebration will welcome business, community and political leaders across various spectrums to gather on December 5, 2022 at 5 p.m. at Cooper’s Riverview (50 Riverview Plaza, Trenton, NJ) for an evening of cocktails and conversations as attendees reflect on Trenton’s progress, reimagine its future, and make connections with some of the most influential leaders impacting New Jersey’s Capital City. This year, Greater Trenton will present the Caren Franzini Capital City Award to John E. Harmon, Sr., Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey while honoring the legacy of Caren Franzini, former NJEDA CEO and co-founder of Greater Trenton.

John E. Harmon, Sr. IOM, a native Trentonian, has served as the Founder, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) since 2007, advocating on behalf of the 1.1 million African American residents and the over 70,000 black owned businesses statewide to ensure that policy at the municipal, county, and federal level provides fairness, equity and access to a level playing field in the market place.

As the former President and CEO of the Metropolitan Trenton African American Chamber of Commerce (MTAACC), Harmon helped MTAACC grow its membership substantially, forged alliances with business associations/organizations and government, and forged strategic partnerships in the public and private sectors to benefit African American businesses throughout New Jersey.
Harmon recently delivered a commencement address at his alma mater Fairleigh Dickinson (FDU) University on May 18, 2022, where he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University. A first-generation college student, Harmon paid homage to his family and education, infusing his speech with enthusiasm for the importance of a good education.

Past honorees of Greater Trenton’s Caren Franizini Capital City Award have included Drs. George and Pamela Pruitt, experienced, passionate, and highly motivated educational leaders who proudly call the Trenton area their home; Anthony “Skip” Cimino, an instrumental leader in the conception and formation of Greater Trenton and serves as Senior Managing Director at Stevens & Lee Public Affairs; Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, a long-time public servant and advocate for New Jersey families who was elected in 2018 to her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives; and Anthony R. Coscia, Esq., a close friend and mentor of the late Caren Franzini and partner at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP.

This year’s celebration is made possible again by Presenting Sponsors Bristol Myers Squibb and NJM Insurance Group. A diverse event committee includes Letícia Ferri, Bristol Myers Squibb, Event Co-Chair; Mike Van Wagner, NJM Insurance Group, Event Co-Chair;
Elijah Dixon, Equity By Design; John Goedecke, Citizens; Bryan Evans, Greater Trenton
Nancy Faherty, Cashel Faherty Public Relations; Reggie Hallett, 1911 SmokeHouse; Duncan Harrison, Princeton University; Pat Hartpence, NJM Insurance Group; Karen Klim, Rider University; Jeannine Frisby LaRue, Kaufman Zita Group; Shirley Michael, Greater Trenton
Aquatia Owens, PNC Wealth Advisors; George Sowa, Greater Trenton; and Andy Zalescik, Columbia Bank.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will be allocated to scholarships and internships for Trenton’s youth. For registration and sponsorship information, please visit

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