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Wayne Businessman Mixes Fun, Civic Service

Graziano on guitar. Photo Credit: PHOTO: Patricia Hulbert
Graziano at work. Photo Credit: DAILY VOICE PHOTO

WAYNE, N.J. – Joseph Graziano of Wayne lives by a credo similar to his job title.

At work, Graziano is vice president of continuous improvement at Proponent Federal Credit Union in Nutley.

Around Wayne, the 59-year-old trainer and public speaker is known as a founder of Wayne Day -- one of the largest community festivals of its kind in the state -- and for his work with the Foundation for the Handicapped.

He's also been a proud Wayne Rotarian for more than a quarter-century and twice served as the organization's president.

In his free time, Graziano plays guitar with Till We Can’t, a rock cover band.

"When I get active, I get very active,” he said.

For 25 years, he didn't touch his wireless black Gretsch six-string while he and his wife, Laura, raised their three children.

Five years ago, he picked it up again. Last year, he joined the band.

“I want to have fun and do for others,” Graziano said. “I’ve risked things. I’ve had rough times, but I’ve always tried to do what spoke to me.”

A former Dale Carnegie Course instructor known for creating a fun environment in his training sessions, Graziano channels his beliefs into erasing people's fear of public speaking.

Children blurt out anything, he said, but adults grow to be afraid to express themselves.

Graziano expresses himself through his own business, Professional Development, Inc., and through social activism in Wayne.

“There are so many people who don’t get involved in their town or with their church because they say they’re too busy,” ye said. “They also say they plan on getting involved at some future time. I didn’t wait for that. I chose what to do.”

Till We Can’t will play 10 p.m. April 16 at The Greenhouse Bar and Grill, 611 Ratzer Road, Wayne. For more dates, visit: https://www.facebook.com/Till-We-Cant .

Wayne Day will take place June 12 behind Wayne Valley High School at 475 Valley Road. For more information, go to: www.wayneday.com .

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