SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Steven Pedigo has been elected the new chairman of the South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA), following a unanimous vote by the board of directors on Wednesday morning, according to a press release from SOVCA.

SOVCA, founded in 2012, is the nonprofit organization that manages South Orange’s downtown special improvement district. Matt Glass, who is also a board member, has been the chairman of SOVCA since its inception, stated the press release.

“It’s been a pleasure serving as chairman and helping create a diverse business community in South Orange,” said Glass. “Initiatives like PlayDay and the construction of the parklet show just how much we can achieve through collaboration.” He added, “I can’t think of anyone better suited to pick up the mantle than Steven Pedigo.”

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Pedigo, who has been a board member and South Orange resident since 2014, is a professor and the faculty director of New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate Urban Lab, according to the press release from SOVCA.

“As chairman, my focus will be on helping to grow our local businesses, which are the cornerstone of the Village Center,” Pedigo said. “Building off Matt’s accomplishments, we will continue to improve our downtown by ensuring that public spaces are clean, programmed, and well kept. These efforts will help make South Orange a place where every resident is proud to live.”

SOVCA executive director Bob Zuckerman praised Glass’ legacy as chairman. “It is impossible to overstate the enormous contribution Matt has made to South Orange Village Center over these six years,” Zuckerman said. During his term, Glass developed signature brands such as “Everybody Belongs Here.”

Along with Pedigo’s appointment, the board elected the following officers to the SOVCA executive committee: Mark Murphy, owner of Mark Murphy’s Music, as vice chair; Deborah Engel, founder and owner of Work and Play, as secretary; Mark Hartwyk, South Orange Parking Authority executive director, as treasurer; and trustee Steven Schnall, who will continue his role as the Board of Trustees liaison to SOVCA, according to the press release.

The SOVCA is currently accepting applications for two open board positions, and South Orange business owners and residents are encouraged to apply. Interested parties should submit their resume with a letter of interest to Melissa Hodge, melissa@sovillagecenter.org.