HBO To Netflix: Bring It On

How HBO’s quest to win the streaming wars became a binge-worthy drama as juicy as Game of Thrones.

This article from Fast Company features Shelley as well as her boss, Richard Plepler, and gives an inside look into Shelley's role at HBO, her accomplishments there, and the innovation she helped foster as a result of HBOGo and HBONow. This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of Fast Company magazine and the original piece can be found here.

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Meet Shelley Brindle, Candidate for Mayor

Dear Friends, Neighbors and Fellow Westfield Residents:

As you may have heard, I am running for Mayor of Westfield. I look forward to getting to know many of you personally over the next six months, but until then, allow me to introduce myself beyond the formal bio.

I was raised the youngest of three girls and the daughter of an Air Force pilot and stay-at-home mom. When I was six, my life changed forever with a knock on the door at our Las Vegas home. An Air Force chaplain informed us that my dad's plane had been shot down over North Vietnam. He was killed in action one week before he was coming home. Though grief-stricken, my mom picked herself up, created a new life for us in Grafton, Virginia and eventually established a career for herself as a nutrition director for Meals-On-Wheels. The experience of losing my dad, and witnessing my mom’s resilient spirit, instilled in me a fierce independence, a strong moral compass and a fearlessness to challenge other people’s expectations of what is possible.

It was this same mentality that enabled me to win a full-tuition scholarship to University of Virginia, where I earned a varsity letter as manager for the football team. Yep, that’s right. I lettered in football at UVA. And more importantly, the football field is where I met my future husband, Kip, an offensive lineman on the Peach Bowl championship team. Kip works tirelessly as a volunteer to support Westfield kids. Offensive lineman that he is, he does it for the community, not the credit.

Kip and I eventually settled in Westfield and had three kids. Grace is a senior and Nora a sophomore at WHS; our son Nick is a sixth grader at Roosevelt. This is the only home they’ve ever known.

When I was 24, I landed a job at HBO, a place that provides boundless opportunities for someone like me who thrives in a culture that is fun, collaborative and constantly evolving.

Twenty years later, I became the first woman on the executive floor overseeing its $4.5 billion domestic subscription business. I had the chance to launch some of HBO’s most innovative products, but what I learned in the process was far more valuable: The best ideas come from the people you lead, not from the leaders themselves. This lesson is at the root of my leadership philosophy: (1) Be open about what’s going on; (2) Empower people to speak up and make decisions; and (3) Hold everyone accountable. Over time, I realized that this lesson is sorely needed beyond the world of media.

After 27 years at HBO, I left to pay forward the opportunities I have experienced. I am acutely aware that my good fortune was largely due to those who mentored me, took a chance on me or even just put up with me. I started a leadership consulting firm, got more involved in many non-profit organizations and became an active participant in our town.

Just as many of you have mentioned to me, I’ve noticed with concern the vacancies in town. It hit home when Thinka Dinka – the toy store where my daughter worked — closed in January. I started asking questions about the vision for a new downtown. In my quest, I realized that our town is at an inflection point where we need to pivot from our past success toward an innovative future; a moment that requires a new type of collaborative leadership, one that is transparent with citizens, empowers them to be heard and establishes mutual accountability. Sound familiar? It dawned on me that in pursuit of more meaningful work, the greatest opportunity to make a difference was in my own backyard.

The decision to run for mayor was not an easy one. I cherish my life in Westfield, where I can be a mom on the sidelines wearing yoga pants and a baseball cap without fear of judgment.  Why give up the safety of that anonymity? Then my 18-year-old daughter reminded me of what I always say: Take the challenge; Defy other people’s expectation; Do what you can to help. Of course, she is right — kids often are. That’s why I am proud to participate in the resurgence of the town I love, ensuring that future residents can experience the same special community I did. 

I am honored to be running with four equally committed Westfield residents — Linda Habgood, Michael Dardia, David Contract and Dawn Mackey. We intend to run the type of campaign that models for our kids what our community does best: Treating each other with kindness and respect. We are incredibly grateful for the dedication and service of all our elected officials, who are driven by the same desire to make a difference. As we get to know you in the coming months, we will work to earn your support for the opportunity to serve this community over the next four years.

I would love to meet you in person at my kick-off reception at Ferraro’s (14 Elm Street) on Thursday, May 4, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Also, please join me on this journey by following me on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. I look forward to seeing you around town or on your doorstep.

With Gratitude,


Members of Westfield Community Gather for ‘Stand with Charlottesville’ Vigil

August 13, 2017 at 10:01 PM

The Democratic Slate of Candidates Ask: ‘Are You Voting?’


Westfield Together, the Democratic slate of candidates running for council and mayor in Westfield want to know — are you voting?


  • November 7 - Election Day! Polls open 6 a.m.
  • October 17 - Deadline to Register to Vote
  • October 31 - Deadline to apply by mail for Mail-in Ballot Deadline
  • November 6 - Deadline to apply in-person for Mail-in Ballot



  • County Clerk
    Joanne Rajoppi
    Address: 2 Broad Street, Room 113, Elizabeth, NJ 07201-2299
    Office Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm, 908-527-4996/4997 (FAX) 908-558-2589
  • Commissioner of Registration
    Clara T. Harelik
    Address: 271 North Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07208
    Office Hours: 8:00am-4:00pm, 908-527-4123 (FAX) 908-527-4127 Website:
  • Board of Elections
    Address: 271 North Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07208
    Office Hours: 8:00am-4:00pm, 908-527-4123 (FAX) 908-527-4127

Special thank you to the 77 Campaign Volunteers, the 19 #brindlebrigade Campaign Interns, and all our friends, neighbors and supporters who showed up to cheer and participate in the video!

Downtown Business District Top Concern for 738 Westfield Residents Polled in Public Survey by Westfield Together

by: Westfield Together

Westfield’s downtown business district was the top concern among the 738 Westfield residents who participated in a public online survey conducted by Westfield Together, the Democratic slate of candidates running for council and mayor.

The survey, which was posted online May 3, asked residents to identify the top five issues most important to them from a list of 24 choices. Those who completed the survey, reported the following:

  • 71% cited the condition of downtown as one of their top five most important issues, and 133 or 22% found downtown the most important issue of all.
  • Property taxes and schools were tied as the second most cited in respondents’ top five issues at 59% each.
  • 32% cited property values in their top five issues.
  • 28% cited parking as their top issue.   
  • 21% cited schools as their top issue.
  • 17% cited property taxes as their top issue.
  • 6% cited property values as their top issue.
  • 4% cited public transportation as their top issue.
  • 3% cited parking, housing teardowns, and government transparency as their top issue. 

36% of those who took the survey reported living in Westfield for 20+ years, and 32% reported living in Westfield between 11-19 years. Of those residents who participated in the survey, 96% are registered voters. Residents in all 4 wards participated in the survey with the most, 30% from Ward 1, and the fewest, 19% from Ward 3.

Residents had the opportunity to respond to an open-ended question asking respondents to include additional feedback. 87 residents submitted written responses, with the majority expressing concern about the downtown vacancies and parking. 

Residents accessed the survey via the candidates’ Facebook pages, the Westfield Together website, and in this TAPinto Westfield article. This survey was created and controlled through Survey Monkey, and results were tracked by the responder’s unique IP address. Party affiliation was deliberately not included as a question on the survey. The data cited above was collected from May 3 to May 24, 2017.

To maximize communication and transparency we have appended the complete unedited survey results PDF.  We hope this survey contributes to the productive conversation on local priorities. Polling residents on the local issues that impact them will be routine practice if the Democratic slate of candidates is elected November 7th.


Mayoral Candidate Shelley Brindle and Campaign Interns Handed Out 1,000 Granola Bars to Commuters to Help With the #trainpain and #busfuss


July 18, 2017 at 11:31 AM

Mayoral Candidate (D) Shelley Brindle and the campaign interns gave out a breakfast snack and words of encouragement to Westfield commuters from 6 a.m  to 8 a.m. every day last week, rain or shine, marking the beginning of NJ Transit’s summer schedule.

The schedule, which went into effect July 10, was implemented to accommodate Amtrak track repairs and came with an official disclaimer that "delays on all rail lines, except the Atlantic City line, are inevitable."

The interns wrote notes that accompanied the granola bars that said, “If you can get through this commute, you can do anything today!” and “We know this commute is the worst, but we think you’re the best!”

Shelley Brindle, the Democrat candidate for mayor of Westfield, previously pledged in a May 16 Facebook post to “be publicly and enthusiastically committed to making a one-seat ride during peak hours a priority” if elected Nov. 7.

“I commuted to NYC from Westfield for 20 years — a recurring uncertain commute is stressful, something I don't miss, and an experience you shouldn't have to go through,” said Shelley Brindle in a post on her Facebook referring to residents standing in line at the bus stop an hour earlier to get to work on time.

NJ Transit’s Summer Schedule will continue to Sept. 1.

Candidate Linda Habgood (ward 1) with Westfield resident and commuter. 
Candidates Shelley Brindle (mayor) and Dawn Mackey (ward 4) with Campaign Interns: Zoe, Grace, Phil, Marisa, Madison, Alana, Charlotte. 

Packed House for Private Screening of Wonder Woman hosted by Shelley Brindle, Dawn Mackey, Linda Habgood



Brindle Campaign Hosts Intern Brunch


On Sunday, June 11, (D) Candidate for Mayor of Westfield Shelley Brindle and candidates for town council hosted a thank-you brunch for their spring class of 30 Interns. The Interns are all Westfield High School juniors and seniors enrolled in the schools AP (Advanced Placement) Government class and are invested in making a difference at the local level.

Tricia Pizzi, who teaches a section of the class (the second section is taught by Enrico Basso), attended the brunch in support of her students, and said, “This has been an incredible experience for the students. They have been trusted and treated like adults and the fact that they are all still working on the campaigns, even though it’s no longer a class requirement, is a real testament to the candidates.”

Zoe Rader, a WHS senior who will be attending The University of Maryland as a journalism major in the fall, said that working as a Writing Intern for Shelley Brindle’s mayoral campaign has given her a better understanding of local politics.

“The campaign work has definitely connected to the concepts we learned in class,” said Rader. “I have an appreciation for what seemed complicated from the outside. Getting first-hand experience through this internship has been so interesting.”

Rader plans to stay on as an intern with the campaign through the summer, focusing on writing projects that include an intern’s perspective for Brindle’s blog. In fact, all of the ## interns who worked on the mayoral campaign this spring will make volunteering for the campaign a part of their summer plans. The students have created the hashtag #BrindleBrigade to identify themselves and keep local residents engaged on social media.

Shelley Brindle has found herself motivated by this group of young adults.

“We get together with the interns every Monday night for a meeting and pizza, and sometimes I look around and think – this is why I’m doing this. Watching them get inspired by the democratic process and seeing them engaging in their community is truly amazing.”

Parents of campaign interns were invited to the brunch, as well. Zoe Rader’s mother Meryl Rader says that it’s been nice to see in-class learning connected to internship work.

“The students have been lucky to work with these candidates. I know that politics isn’t always like this, and it couldn’t be a better fit.”

Why I'm Running for Mayor


You can support Shelley's Campaign for Mayor by: DONATING, VOLUNTEERING, HOSTING AN EVENT

Follow Shelley on: FACEBOOK


Shelley Brindle,

Ben Nanna, Campaign Manager,

Brindle Kicks Off Mayoral Campaign to Enthusiastic Westfield Crowd

May 4, 2017 –Shelley Brindle hosted nearly 200 supporters tonight at Ferraro’s Westfield to kick off her campaign for Mayor of Westfield. 

“I want to create an inclusive and open town government where everybody has a voice and everybody matters,” the former executive at HBO told a crowd so large that a line formed outside of Ferarro’s reception room. “When I look at Westfield, I see unrealized opportunity: In the untapped talent of our residents, the landlords and small businesses that are so vital to our downtown and our town’s employees. Our people are our community’s strength.”


Brindle was joined by the Westfield Together slate of candidates for town council, who include Linda Habgood (Ward 1), Michael Dardia (Ward 2), David Contract (Ward 3), and Dawn Mackey (Ward 4).

She was introduced by Tom Jardim, who served as Mayor of Westfield from 1997 to 2000, and praised Brindle’s proactive style of leadership. “Shelley believes that this town has a better future,” he said. “What she has done in her own life proves that she can move this town to a better future.”



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