MEET ROBERT K. GRAHAM aka Mr. Plainfield
Leadership Through Listening - Inspiring Cultural Harmony
Robert Kyron Graham was born in Newark, NJ in March of 1974. For the first six years, he was raised by his incredibly hard-working single mother Jeannette Graham. At six years old, Robert was introduced to his father Ronnie Perry and the two became inseparable. Robert recalls many afternoons watching his father practice singing with the group he was in at the time called “The Creators” and credits this as inspiring his love of singing and performing. For approximately the next ten years, Robert and his mother moved around the Newark area at least eight times, each move requiring him to change schools and adapt to a new environment. Robert graduated high school in 1992 and started his own car detailing business called Superior Wax before moving on to odd jobs in customer service, finally landing in real estate in 2002 when Robin, his fiancé and mother of two of his children Kyron and Kenya, passed away from a rare form of lung cancer. Left to raise their two children alone, Robert believed real estate would allow him to provide the type of life he wanted for his children.
Robert moved his family from Newark to Plainfield in 2004. His mission of localism and all it should stand for began shortly after with a chance encounter at his favorite ice cream parlor, the Dairy Queen on South Avenue. He was introduced to the owner Donna Albanese-DeMair who at the time also happened to be the President of the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce. Her passionate depiction of the Chamber of Commerce and all it could offer inspired Robert, who later became Vice President of Events responsible for coordinating events aiming to empower the business community. And that is exactly what he did, drawing in a record-breaking number of attendees.
Robert continued serving his community by becoming PTO President at Maxson Middle School. Under the leadership of Principle Anthony Jenkins, he partnered with school staff to host PTO meetings that provided dinner for families attending through corporate sponsorship, turning them into some of the most attended meetings in their PTO history. He spent so much time at Maxson that people began to mistake him for school staff. In 2007, Robert chartered a bus to transport the Heritage kids Show Choir into New York City to compete in the McDonald’s Gospel Fest where they won first place that year and for the next three years in a row. In 2008 he organized and hosted the 2008 “Taste of Plainfield” Casino night fundraiser for the Plainfield Public Library children’s room. Over the years Robert was recognized through various community awards including the Superintendent’s Circle of Excellence award.
Recently Robert served as Chairman, Master of Ceremonies, and Auctioneer for the Boy Scouts of America “Good Scout” awards, where they recognized outstanding local community leaders for their tireless work. The evening’s auction raised over $11,000.00 for the organization. Award recipients included: Assemblywoman Linda Carter, Dr. Tristian Cox Plainfield High School teacher, Councilwoman Keiona Miller, Officer Bernel Harrison, Plainfield area Scoutmaster Carl Foerster, and Humanitarian Michael Townley.
Today Robert sits on the executive board for the Plainfield Democratic City Committee and serves as district and ward leader for Plainfield’s 1st ward. Robert held the inaugural “First Ward Meet & Greet” where citizens had an opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the affairs of our great city directly to the Mayor and his entire cabinet. The meeting was very successful, with many viable solutions discussed. He also sits on the City of Plainfield Zoning Board of Adjustment, is a member of the Master Plan Committee, and is also the producer and sponsor of the “Plainfield Idol” singing competition.
When the 2020 global pandemic arrived in Plainfield, Robert immediately sprang into action helping any way that he could. The city’s first responders sent out the call for PPE and Robert answered, procuring and donating 1500 pairs of disposable nitrile gloves and 150 disposable Tyvek coveralls. He divided them up evenly and hand delivered them to the Police dept, Fire dept and Rescue Squad. Robert then heeded the call to feed our city’s children by teaming up with the Plainfield Board of Education Covid-19 Food Account to raise money through a Go Fund Me page where he raised $1000.
When asked for a statement regarding his objectives should he win, Robert simply said, “I am deeply committed to keeping my focus on the people and advocating for the needs of everyone.”
Robert K. Graham is a Thought Leader, Critical Thinker, Visionary, and Mentor.