Election Opinion South Orange

Zuckerman, Coallier and Jones for South Orange Trustee Announce Agenda

The following is a press release from Your Voice, Our Village Campaign to Elect Zuckerman, Coallier and Jones for South Orange Trustee:

L to R: Walter Clarke, Donna Coallier, Summer Jones, Bob Zuckerman, Sheena Collum, Karen Hilton

It’s no coincidence that Trustee running mates Bob Zuckerman, Donna Coallier and Summer Jones hosted their “Your Voice, Our Village” campaign launch party in the heart of the downtown South Orange business district – they have plans to expand on their past successes with local businesses there and at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (“SOPAC”). All three candidates currently serve on the SOPAC Board of Governors – overseeing SOPAC’s most financially successful year ever. Noting that they believe South Orange government should reflect the diverse South Orange community the trio discussed their campaign.  Village President Sheena Collum and Trustees Walter Clarke and Karen Hilton were there to kick off the festivities.

Hosted in the Essex Room at the Fox & Falcon, Zuckerman opened up the discussion highlighting his devotion to connecting residents and business owners to get the support needed to keep their doors open and to continue to build bridges with the Seton Hall community. 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. Zuckerman spoke about using his experience rebuilding the downtown to assist the Seton Village and Valley Street commercial corridors. He also noted the historic nature of his candidacy, as he will be the first openly LGBT person to serve in the role of Trustee.

Jones announced her plan to run a vigorous campaign; she’s deeply invested in representing the interests of all South Orange neighborhoods and businesses. She is also keenly interested in making South Orange government more efficient. “I am fully committed to using my IT background to streamline government processes, improve stakeholder interactions and communications, and support local business owners in leveraging technology for growth”. The Assistant Vice President of Technical Support Services at Montclair State University, Jones hopped on the technology revolution platform while studying at South Orange’s Seton Hall University and never turned back.

Drawing from her time at PwC and with founders in the food community, Coallier highlighted ticket plans to invigorate the local “founder” network – supporting entrepreneurs, shop owners, and freelancers with practical bootcamps, coaching, and networking. An avid nutrition and fitness buff – she also has a keen interest in helping residents to get to their healthy best – look for a Village wide campaign on that front and strategies to make South Orange more pedestrian friendly.  Coallier will apply her considerable finance and strategy skills to translating ticket goals into practical results, on time and on budget.

Coallier wrapped it up by highlighting the synergistic ticket skillset – economic development, technology, and finance and strategy – and reiterated their alignment with South Orange Village values. As efficiency experts that can make the most of finite financial and human capital resources, the team is keen to make things happen for South Orange residents.

About Zuckerman, Coallier and Jones

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.

Donna Coallier moved to South Orange on Valentines Day in 2003, and has been in love with the town ever since.  Donna is a SOPAC Board Governor where she donates her time and money to further its arts programs for area schools, co-lead its signature culinary event, Savor the Arts, and serves on the Executive and Audit Committees. Donna left a beloved PwC career to found her own healthy food company. At PwC, Donna built a base of accounting and auditing skills, and then as a partner made her way into delivering multi-faceted finance and strategy advisory services for her Fortune 100 clients. She was her business unit’s Chief Diversity Officer and a sought after formal and informal mentor to many of her diverse colleagues. Donna also brings public policy expertise to her candidacy, from her time with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission, Michigan State University’s Accounting and Information Systems Department, and the Standard Setting Committee of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. Driven by strong family ties and education-oriented values, Donna’s passion for children’s charities led to her work with incarcerated women and their families and to teach Girls Who Code in a Newark Public School. She’s also developing a network of STEM professionals willing to spark Orange and Newark children into exciting and lucrative STEM careers.

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. As Assistant Vice President of Technical Support Services, she 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 continuous risks to data. She is a highly sought after mentor in the University’s Women’s Leadership Academy and for the diverse MSU community. Summer is a Governor on the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) serving on the Diversity in Programming, Development, and the Executive Committees and Chairing the Marketing Committee. South Orange Village recruited Summer to its Master Plan Management Committee – a group charged with overseeing a complete overhaul of its Master Plan. During her downtime, you’ll catch her with her local book club, playing softball or networking with the SOMA Tech Collective group.

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