SOVCA's Leadership Change: Chairman Matt Glass Hands the Reins to Vice Chair Steven Pedigo


The South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) has a new chairman. Following a unanimous vote by the board of directors, Steven Pedigo was elected the new head of SOVCA, the nonprofit organization that manages South Orange's downtown special improvement district. Pedigo assumed the role from Matt Glass, board member and chairman of SOVCA since its inception in 2012.

"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."

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. "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."

After expressing excitement over Pedigo's appointment, 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.

SOVCA will host its first-ever Business Summit on Monday, October 8th, 7:00-9:30 p.m. at 1 South Restaurant. All South Orange business owners are invited to attend the summit, which will provide a forum for networking, exchanging ideas, and offering feedback for SOVCA's year ahead.

The SOVCA will accept applications for two open board positions; South Orange business owners and residents are encouraged to apply. Interested parties should submit their resume with a letter of interest to Melissa Hodge,