Election South Orange

2019 South Orange Trustee Candidate Profile: Bob Zuckerman

From the Your Voice, Our Village Campaign for South Orange Trustee:

Bob Zuckerman is a South Orange resident who has spent the last five and one half years as executive director of the South Orange Village Center Alliance (“SOVCA”), the nonprofit organization that manages the special improvement district for downtown South Orange. Bob is also a proud Essex County native, having been born in Newark and raised in Livingston. He graduated from Livingston High School, then received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University and a law degree from American University. After spending a number of years living in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Bob, along with his husband Grant Neumann, a Vice-President of Random House, returned to his Essex County roots five years ago to make a new home in South Orange.

Bob presided over the opening of over two-dozen new businesses during his tenure at SOVCA, and personally 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, which brings approximately 5,000 people to the Village Center annually, the South Orange Food Stroll and Hometown Holiday. He also was responsible for adding new murals and artwork downtown and helped revitalize Spiotta Park and the area underneath the train viaduct. Bob worked with numerous other groups and committees while at SOVCA including the South Orange Environmental Commission, the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee, the Community Relations Committee and the Community Coalition on Race just to name a few.

In addition to his work with SOVCA, Bob has contributed to South Orange’s resurgence in numerous other capacities. Bob continues to serve on the SOPAC Board of Governors, chairing the board’s Outreach and Education Committee. Additionally, he still serves as a member of the Village’s Development Committee, adding his small business expertise to issues surrounding development throughout the Village. Bob served as a founding member of the Design Review Board, an advisory commission that helps business owners beautify their commercial storefronts, and he also helped steer the South Orange Business Code Review Task Force, a group comprised of business owners and government officials who have been working to make it easier to open a small business in South Orange. Furthermore, he is a member of the SOMA Action LGBTQ Rights Committee.

Prior to leading SOVCA Bob 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 and Grant live in the West Montrose neighborhood along with their cats Ozzie, Wilie and Zoey.

About the Your Voice, Our Village Ticket:

The Your Voice, Our Village ticket is comprised of Bob Zuckerman, Donna Coallier, and Summer Jones – the most diverse slate of Trustee candidates in South Orange history. The trio is committed to guiding smart development and driving a robust local economy – and expanding past downtown successes in these areas to other parts of the Village. They are also uniquely suited to spur progress toward more government efficiencies. Their synergistic skillsets – economic development, technology, and finance and strategy – can’t be matched by the other tickets. As efficiency experts that can make the most of finite financial and human capital resources, the Your Voice, Our Village ticket is keen to make good things happen for South Orange residents.

Look for more 2019 South Orange BOT Election coverage on Village Green here.

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