“I’m running for the Board of Trustees because I love South Orange and its people. As the former Executive Director of the South Orange Village Center Alliance, I want to build on my success revitalizing our downtown and expand on that progress by working with the residents of our diverse neighborhoods to make the Village an even better place to live.”
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“I’m running for the Board of Trustees because I love South Orange and its people. As the former Executive Director of the South Orange Village Center Alliance, I want to build on my success revitalizing our downtown and expand on that progress by working with the residents of our diverse neighborhoods to make the Village an even better place to live.”

Bob Zuckerman served as the Executive Director of the South Orange Village Center Alliance (“SOVCA”), the special improvement district for downtown South Orange, for the past five-and-one-half years. During his tenure, Bob presided over the opening of over two dozen new businesses, and recruited many of those businesses, including MIti Miti, The Fox & Falcon, BGR, and Pet Wants SOMA, which he co-owns. Additionally, Bob helped establish popular new events, including PlayDay, the South Orange Food Stroll and Hometown Holiday. Bob was a member of the Village’s Development Committee, Design Review Board, and he continues to serve on the SOPAC Board of Governors as Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee. Bob also continues to serve as Vice-Chair of Downtown New Jersey, an organization of individuals, businesses, government agencies, and local and regional organizations that are passionate about downtowns.

Prior to leading SOVCA he served as Executive Director of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District in New York City, where he led that organization’s efforts to attract more shoppers, diners, businesses, and investment in one of the city’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods. Bob is a five-year resident of the West Montrose neighborhood in South Orange, where he lives with his husband Grant Neumann and their cats. Bob is the first openly LGBT candidate for the South Orange Board of Trustees, and if elected, will serve as the first openly LGBT Trustee.

Bob’s accomplishments:

    Served as Executive Director of the South Orange Village Center Alliance for five and a half years.
    Spearheaded 28 new business openings over my tenure at SOVCA including favorites like Jackie & Son, Pet Wants, Miti Miti, BGR and The Fox & Falcon
    Co-created PlayDay, the largest and most successful annual event in downtown South Orange history.
    Beautified the Village Center through the use of new murals and lighting.
    Helped create the South Orange Design Review Board, an advisory committee that has improved the aesthetics of new buildings and storefronts throughout the Village.
    Launched the Village Vibe, a popular weekly e-newsletter detailing upcoming special events and promotions.
    Organized the Business Code Review Task Force, which resulted in a new ordinance that now allows previously prohibited businesses, such as real estate offices and game arcades, to locate downtown.
    Implemented successful Holiday pop-up stores that earned $80,000 for local artisans and craftspeople.
    Helped launch popular new events such as the South Orange Food Stroll and Hometown Holiday.

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“I have 30+ years’ experience that I can put to good use in squeezing the budget, analyzing development deals and negotiating new contracts/bond offerings. We need to understand the return on investment for every planned capital improvement. Keeping a sharp eye out for excess, and new revenue opportunities, is a must in stabilizing our taxes over the long term.”
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“We are gathering our community strategy insights into a new Master Plan that will impact our lives for years to come. I’m running for Trustee because I have tremendous experience translating strategy into practical results, on time and on budget. I hope voters will trust me to do the same for South Orange as we finalize and execute against the Master Plan.”

Donna moved to South Orange on Valentine’s Day weekend in 2003, and has been in love with our Village ever since. On any given morning, you will see her zip out of her home to log that week’s running miles. Donna serves on the SOPAC Board of Governors on the Executive and Audit Committees, and co-leads SOPAC’s signature culinary performance event, Savor the Arts.

In 2017, Donna retired as a PwC partner to found her own organic food company; she now works from home right here in South Orange. As a PwC Partner she earned her chops in accounting and auditing, and ultimately made her way into multi-faceted finance and strategy advisory projects for her Fortune 100 clients. Donna was the Chief Diversity Officer for her business unit and a sought-after mentor to many of her colleagues.

Donna also brings public policy expertise to her candidacy. She was one of three accountants selected from a national field to win a two-year fellowship with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission. She is a former Chair to the Academic Advisory Council of the Michigan State University Accounting and Information Systems Department, and served on the Standard Setting Committee of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

Donna is an amateur fitness and nutrition zealot. If given a chance, she will tell you all about her health journey and aspirations, and may just inspire you to further your own. She is an avid reader, runner, sea kayaker and all-around hobby dabbler, and enjoys spending vacation time with her extended family in and around Lake Michigan.

Notwithstanding the demands of her corporate career, and now as an entrepreneur, Donna remains committed to children’s charities. Through her role on the board of Hour Children, she worked with children of incarcerated women and their Moms to help them break the prison and poverty cycle. She volunteers weekly to teach Girls Who Code at Mount Vernon Elementary School in Newark, and she’s developing a network of STEM professionals willing to spark Orange and Newark children into exciting and lucrative STEM careers.

Donna’s accomplishments:

    Organic Food Company Founder
    Food-X mentor and advisor to qualifying startups
    SOPAC Board of Governors overseeing SOPAC’s rise to profitability and first time surplus
    Co-Lead Savor the Arts I - A Culinary Adventure; and Savor the Arts II - El Segundo Plato
    PwC Partner advising clients large and small on accounting, finance and strategy matters
    PwC BU Lead Diversity Officer
    Incubated and launched several PwC businesses and product lines
    Standards Committee of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
    Chair - Michigan State University Accounting and Information Systems Advisory Board
    United States Security & Exchange Commission Fellowship
    2016 Dream Extreme Honoree for Commitment to Philanthropy and Empowering Others
    Hour Children Board of Directors 2009 -2014

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“Technology is integrated into our everyday lives. Using my technology skill set, I plan to streamline government processes, improve stakeholder engagement, and support our local business owners in their pursuits. I’ll also work to further foster our diversity dialogue and related community activities and to revitalize the Seton Village development trajectory.”
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“Technology is integrated into our everyday lives. Using my technology skill set, I plan to streamline government processes, improve stakeholder engagement, and support our local business owners in their pursuits. I’ll also work to further foster our diversity dialogue and related community activities and to revitalize the Seton Village development trajectory.”

While studying at South Orange’s Seton Hall University, Summer Jones hopped on the technology revolution platform and never turned back. She envisioned all the ways tech could impact and improve everyday lives and decided to pursue it as a career. Today, Summer leads a team that nurtures a thriving technology environment supporting the 22,000 students, faculty, and administration at Montclair State University. Summer and her team are bringing tech to life for the University's Strategic Plan, "Connecting Tomorrow" - expanding remote services and migrating the campus classroom experience to 21st century standards, all the while keeping the ecosystem secure against today’s onslaught of bad actors.

Summer stays close to the student population, serving as a role model for MSU’s diverse community, and offering counseling and support as they pursue their studies. As a natural leader with a collection of personal successes, she is a highly sought after mentor in the University’s EOF Women’s Leadership Academy. Inspired by the energy and creativity of the student population, Summer expanded her team with an internship program. Her interns gain hands-on work experience that plays well as they enter the workforce; she and her team gain arms and legs for ongoing projects and reverse mentorship in return!

In 2015, Summer moved back to South Orange. Ready to get into the housing market, she wanted to invest in a diverse community with an artsy and cohesive community feel. Her role as a Governor for the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) perfectly fits those sensibilities - SOPAC is an anchor arts institution in South Orange. There, SOPAC can’t get enough “Summer” - they’ve tapped her for several committees: Diversity in Programming, Development, and the Executive Board and to Chair the Marketing committee. Village officials witnessed Summer’s impact there - and recruited her to join the Management Committee for the South Orange Master Plan. During her downtime, you’ll catch her in and around town with the SOMA Book Club, SOMA Sports and Social and the SOMA Tech Collective.

Summer’s accomplishments:

    Manage a multi-million dollar technology budget.
    Awarded $6 million dollar capital project to refresh mediated spaces.
    Member of Board of Governors for SOPAC participating in several committees: Development, Diversity in Programming, Membership
    Chair - SOPAC Marketing Committee
    Member of South Orange Master Plan Management Committee
    Panelist for several technology panels dedicated to empowering young ladies and women of color
    Participated in the creation of Strategic Plans for Bergen Community College and Montclair State University
    Joint Publication Submissions for Sound and Communication Magazine; NJEdge.Net
    Mentor for EOF Women’s Leadership Academy
    Member and Active Participant with Sony Electronics Collaborative Forum on creating synergies within Advancing Teaching and Learning Technology in Higher Education

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(Click on a topic to learn more about our ideas)

(Click on a topic to learn more about our ideas)

Guiding Smart Development

    Encourage mixed-use (retail, commercial, and residential) properties to stabilize our already high taxes by adding revenue to our treasury
    Recruit strategic, modern retail space development to attract exciting new small businesses and bring new customers into town that further support existing retailers and restaurants
    Drive transit-oriented development (such as The Gateway and The Avenue) which fosters our Village’s sustainability by enhancing our walkability—and provides us with a greater range of housing choices, especially for young families to older adults—without overburdening the school system
    Link smart development with needed infrastructure upgrades such as improved traffic patterns and parking options

Fostering Further Diversity and Civic Participation

    Build Village boards and commissions that better reflect our diverse community
    Deploy more diversity and bias training for our government officials, businesses, schools and other members of our community
    Establish a new Community Advisory Board comprised of representatives from every South Orange neighborhood to liaise with the Trustees and Village President on critical issues
    Encourage higher voter participation in local elections; establish a one-time task force to identify actionable recommendations
    Enhance Village communications to better support and promote community building activities and engagement
    Design and deploy a strategic communication strategy with periodic reporting on multiple channels
    Integrate existing communication channels (mail, email, and website) with a social media and smart-phone strategy

Driving a Robust Local Economy

    Support our local businesses and freelancers with a Village entrepreneurial boot camp and support network
    Create and promote a Village Professional Advisory Corp - talented area professionals and retirees who donate time in support of local government and charitable organizations, businesses, freelancers, and our educators
    Enhance library to provide work and meeting space for local entrepreneurs and freelancers

Spurring Smart Government

    Review Village operations to identify cost savings and technology opportunities - build a culture of continuous improvement
    Continue to explore shared services with Maplewood and other communities
    Deploy financial and data analytics to make sure the Village is getting the best possible deals on bonding and development negotiations
    Develop user-friendly technology to drive official communications, deliver services, and process Village cash flows; increase automation and payment process options for tax and fee collections
    Tailor technology supported upgrades to be user-friendly and flexible, accommodating a wide spectrum of technology literacy
    Leverage SOMA Youthnet to recruit more high school and college interns; provide learning opportunities to them that also support Village operations and the community

Keeping South Orange Healthy and Safe

    Assess and remediate traffic patterns and congestion that pose health and safety risks for residents and visitors; consider programs that would serve to reduce auto traffic
    Launch a nutrition and fitness support campaign - educate our kids, parents, and seniors on practical, healthy living
    Limit public exposure to second-hand smoke and vape fumes
    Where needed for safety purposes, or in conjunction with street upgrades, supplement our beautiful gaslights with brighter LED versions
    Create a tracking and reporting system to better press for needed PSEG outage and gaslight repairs and upgrades

Partnering Seton Village and Seton Hall

    Reconvene the Seton Village Committee with new leadership from the Board of Trustees and greater resident engagement
    Use our experience rebuilding our downtown to further revitalize the Irvington Avenue commercial corridor
    Work with the new President of Seton Hall to revitalize Seton Hall/Village relations
    Establish a Village / Seton Hall joint venture to collaborate and identify partnering opportunities

Make Your Voice heard in Our Village!