Four new members join SOVCA board of directors

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — South Orange Village Center Alliance unanimously voted to add four new members to its board of directors during the organization’s September board meeting. Joining the SOVCA board are Courtney Bryan, East Region executive director for JP Morgan Chase Global Philanthropy; Catherine “Cat” Fisher, owner of Sadie’s in South Orange; Jonathan Javins, a co-owner of Pet Wants SOMA; and Michael Maza, a partner of Kliment Halsband Architects in New York City. All four new board members reside in South Orange. Fisher and Javins are filling vacant business owner slots on the board, Bryan is filling an at-large position and Maza is filling a vacant resident spot.

“We are pleased to welcome Courtney, Cat, Jonathan and Michael to the SOVCA board,” Chairman Steven Pedigo said. “All four new board members have a passion for downtown South Orange and will bring great skills to our leadership team.”

“We had a record number of applicants for the four positions, demonstrating an excitement for the placemaking, beautification and business development work we are doing here in our downtown,” Executive Director Bob Zuckerman said. “I’m really looking forward to working with all of our new and existing board members.”

Bryan has lived in South Orange for five years — just steps away from the Village Center — with her husband Josh Shaddock and their two children, Molly and Sam. She has had a distinguished career in the field of criminal justice reform. She is now in global philanthropy at JP Morgan Chase and promotes inclusive economic opportunity through job training, entrepreneurship, financial health and neighborhood revitalization.

Fisher lives in South Orange with her husband Andrew and is the owner of Sadie’s, a boutique in South Orange that sells women’s and men’s clothing and home items; Fisher carefully curates the collections to focus on ethical and philanthropic brands while keeping the price point something everyone can afford. Originally from Michigan with 15 years of retail experience, Fisher has been an active participant in the community since moving to South Orange, including coordinating Theater in The Park, an event put on by the Academy Heights Neighborhood Association in Founders Park.

Javins has been in the retail and apparel industry for the past 25 years. Visual merchandising has been the focus of his career, which included window installations and store set-up and design. He has also been involved with purchasing at many well-known retailers across various industries. He is currently a co-owner of Pet Wants SOMA in South Orange Village Center, which he has operated with husband Jack Denelsbeck for the past two and a half years; Pet Wants focuses on health and nutrition for pets, sells proprietary kibble by the pound that is made fresh every 30 days and provides a complimentary delivery service.

Maza, a resident of South Orange since 2010, is a partner at Kliment Halsband Architects; an award-winning NYC-based firm focusing on cultural, educational and civic projects. He has distinguished himself for managing complex renovations and adaptive reuse projects of historic buildings. Maza has participated in panel discussions and given lectures about renovating historic buildings at local and national AIA conferences and events. He is a licensed architect in New York and New Jersey. A father of two young boys, he is passionate about travel and cycling.

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