Joanne Rajoppi, will be the 2nd talk in the 14th Annual Hale Speaker Series. The free talk is open to the public with pre-registration required either online at www.wmlnj.org or by phone at 908-789-4090 Ext. 0. Hale Series talks will be streamed live and available later on YouTube on the Friends’ channel fwmlnj.
The first female Union County Clerk, who has been re-elected five times since her first win for that office in 1995, will focus her upcoming Hale Speaker Series talk on how women can remain in their respective posts. Joanne Rajoppi, a Westfield resident, will speak on the topic “Women in Office—Getting and Staying There” in her talk slated for Wednesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. at Westfield Memorial Library, 550 East Broad St. She will focus on the challenges and advantages of being a woman in politics, a role she knows well. She served on the Board of Education and Township Committee in her native Springfield before serving as the town’s mayor in 1977. The next year she was elected to the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and became its first woman chairman. She later served as New Jersey’s assistant secretary of state under Gov. Brendan Byrne. Prior to assuming the county clerk’s role, she spent a dozen years as the first woman register of deeds and mortgages in Union County.
Rajoppi is the current president of the Union County Historical Society. She has penned three books, including two historical non-fiction works on the Civil War and its aftermath, and is writing a book on 20th Century women. She received her BA degree from Case Western University and her master’s in public administration from Seton Hall.
The Hale Series was set up on 2007 by Lee Hale in honor of his late wife, Anne M. Hale. When Lee Hale died in 2007, the series was renamed The Anne and Lee Hale Speaker Series. of. Since 2015, it has been termed The Hale Speaker Series. The Hales’ daughter, Barbara, is a member of the Speaker Series committee headed by Linnea Rhodes. Other members are Sherry Cronin, Mary Orlando, Tina Lesher and Ellen Albertson.
The series, hosted by the Friends of Westfield Memorial Library, receives funding from The Glasser Foundation and the Anne and Lee Hale Foundation.