SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — After 17 months of promoting downtown businesses and working with business owners as executive director of South Orange Village Center Alliance, Julie Doran is taking on a new role without leaving town. She was voted in as the new deputy administrator for the Village last night during the South Orange Board of Trustees meeting.
Doran “has a background in communications and also marketing, and has been a beacon of customer service,” said Village President Sheena Collum. Having her on board will allow the governing body to “bridge ourselves better with the village center alliance and the volunteers, the tremendous volunteers who are always working with the business community.”
Previously, Doran worked in Maplewood in two roles which promoted local businesses there before taking the position with SOVCA in August 2019; there she ran headfirst into a pandemic in her first year on the job and has helped downtown businesses navigate ever-changing rules and ways to stay open safely during a public health emergency. She will be working with Adam Loehner, village administrator, with an emphasis on working with the businesses in town.
Trustee Summer Jones congratulated her, saying, “I've seen what you've done so far. It's been really, really great… I think that you will be a great addition to the Village, so welcome aboard.”
Trustee Karen Hilton said that Doran has “a tremendous capacity for output and quality output,” and that she is excited to see her take the position. “It’s going to be really fun to work with you in this capacity,” Hilton added.
Prior to running for and being elected to the BOT, Bob Zuckerman was the SOVCA exec before Doran. “One could see where it would be easy for it to be sort of awkward to work with my successor in my old position,” he said. “But Julie made it absolutely seamless. I enjoyed every minute working with her.”
He said her skills will be put to good use. “It's a great move for you, but it's also great for all of us and it's great for the village to have you in this position. We're looking forward to working with you in a new capacity,” he added. Trustees Walter Clarke and Steve Schnall also offered their congratulations and words of support.
“I'm very excited,” Doran said during the streaming meeting. “It seems like a natural extension of the work that I've been doing for the last year and a half for SOVCA and the work that I did in Maplewood before that prepare me for this role.”
“I was a 20-year resident of South Orange,” she added, and it was where she raised her family; she is now a Maplewood resident. “So the fact that I care very much about the community makes this something that I feel really great about taking on. I care very much about the decisions I made and the future of the community. So I look forward to putting my skills to use in this new position.
“And I'm really very happy that I will continue to be a liaison to the business community in this role. That is the work that I've done for the last 12 years and I really do, especially right now, care very much about the direction and the decisions that are made that impact our business community.”
Doran begins her new position on Feb. 15.
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