City Employee Spotlight for February - Antonia (Toni) Rispoli Fanning
Fanning was born in New Jersey and at seven her family moved to Leesburg, a town in central Florida. She graduated from Tavares High School in 1998, and then earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tampa in 2002, focusing on piano performance. She taught piano for a while, also taking care of the billing at the studio before working for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and then ultimately joining the Army. She attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned in the Adjutant General Corps where she was responsible for Human Resources issues, awards, evaluations, and administrative support. She was in the Army for four years. “I loved being in the Army, but my mom and dad both passed away during that time and it just felt like the right thing to do,” says Fanning. With the recommendation of a few peers from the military, she moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where she worked helping former military from all over the country find jobs. She came to this area in 2012, where she managed a Temp Force office in Pell City. Fanning then began working for the City of Jacksonville in 2015 as City Clerk.
According to Mayor Johnny Smith, “In her position as Jacksonville City Clerk, Toni is a public servant. Since being in this position, she has become very knowledgeable about municipal government. Part of her responsibilities as City Clerk is to manage city elections. She has now been through a couple of elections and handled them without any issues. The City’s Financial Control Officer/City Administrator resigned in November, and Toni has taken on many of those duties doing an excellent job. She is pleasant to work with and is a true asset to the city.”
Fanning loves the hands-on experience of helping the citizens and fellow employees of Jacksonville whether it be a record requests, research, or just some issue that they are having. “I love solving problems, “says Fanning. “It gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing I can fix something that somebody is struggling with. I also love the social media part of my job. Working here is a great place to be. Anybody can like their job, but it makes a big difference who you do your job with. The people here are great. I enjoy coming to work every day.”
Fanning is currently working on her City Municipal Clerk certification and then she wants to pursue her Master Municipal Clerk certification. “I want to further my education in municipal government, so I can better serve my city,” says Fanning.
She and her husband Gerald reside in Jacksonville with five cats and a dog. “Gerald is actually allergic to cats,” says Fanning. “When we started dating, I told him I wasn’t sure it would work, but the funny thing is he is NOT allergic to our cats.” Gerald is a government subcontractor for Leidos. He travels to different military bases teaching chem-bio defense. In her spare time, Toni enjoys reading, playing the piano, traveling with her husband, camping, listening to music, and attending performances to include concerts, plays, and musicals. She also loves spending time with her family and pets.
Congratulations, Toni, for being selected as the City’s February Spotlight. Thank you for your service to your community.
Story and Photo by Anita Kilgore