Class: 1979Inducted: 2018
Judi Franco, a 1979 Graduate of Asbury Park High School has been a radio broadcaster since 1991, and, for the last 20 years, has co-hosted the popular "Dennis and Judi show" on New Jersey's biggest Radio Station, NJ 101.5.
An actress and singer, she began as a child performer in her hometown of San Francisco, California, appearing at the renowned circle star theatre in San Carlos, Ca. As a young teen, Franco's family moved to Deal, NJ, where her interest in community Theater was cultivated. Appearing at such beloved theaters as the Barn in Rumson, Center Drama Workshop in deal, and the Grant Avenue players (now Axelrod theatre) in Deal. It was her first semester at the then Monmouth College which led her to the studios of WMCX, (then at 88.1 on the FM dial.) She served as both music and promotions director at MCX and that's where her love of radio was born.
A lucky break in 1991 found her first professional job in radio, and she was smitten. She has been happily engaged in "the business" ever since. Her radio experience includes her long running gig as "jersey Judi" on the celebrated seaview 107, (later oldies 107.1 ) in long branch, NJ, WPLJ and 105.1 FM "The Buzz" in New York City, And then on to talk radio with her current position.
Judi is a volunteer for the Sephardic Bikur Holim food Pantry which provides meals for thousands of needy families in the Monmouth County area...she has also participated in various charity functions involving the American Cancer Society, Monmouth Medical Center, Hand in Hand for kids with special needs, Autism Speaks and Mary's place, to name a few. As the wife of a lung cancer survivor, in her spare time she advocates for and advises the caretakers of Cancer patients.
Judi is the mother of four children and a grandmother of several. Her youngest son, Joseph has special needs, and during the years 2009-2010 Judi made the difficult decision to take a leave of absence from her radio job to attend to his needs. Today, her son is a successful college student, and on Feb 21st, 2011, she returned to much fanfare to the NJ airwaves.
Judi, an observant Jew, speaks to women throughout the tri-state area about the challenges involved in combining motherhood, career and religious commitments…especially to parents of special needs children. She received a Jewish Community Service commendation from Senator Jennifer Beck in 2009. Also in In 2009, she was fortunate enough to realize her dream of performing "Judi and the Jollybeans" her original children's musical starring Judi and her two daughters.
The CD of "Judi and the Jollybeans" and accompanying songbook continues to be popular amongst kids 2-8 throughout NJ and NJ. In 2009, Franco responded to the growing unemployment problem in NJ and NY, by coaching public speaking and verbal communication skills--specifically preparing job seekers for interviews. This grew into "Judi Franco Seminars", and the "Interview Crash Course", both of which prepare Students for interviews and the real-life business world. The courses specifically aim to polish verbal skills lost on the texting and emailing generation. Additionally, She is an adjunct teacher of Public Speaking at Ilan High School in Ocean Township.
In November, 2017, Dennis and Judi were inducted into the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. Judi resides in Long Branch with her husband Mark. She believes that an important thought to live by is an adage from the Talmud that states: "Just as the olive yields oil for light only when it is pounded, so are man’s greatest potentials realized only under the pressure of adversity."