January Newsletter

Message from the Executive Director

To IBID members, partners, friends, and stakeholders:


As the Ironbound and the City of Newark adjusts like so many traditional business centers to the new realities of the work environment that covid exposed and furthered, the pandemic enters its third year. The Ironbound hangs on and in many cases thrives. We adjust, we rebuild, and we move on. We help each other out and work with our City to keep improving.

Newark is changing and building for the better, and the Ironbound leads this effort as the Live, Work & Play Neighborhood to be. We have a great location, people, culture, businesses, and amenities.

In July 2022, I depart, and we welcome longtime Associate Director of the IBID, Vince Baglivo, as our new Executive Director. I will serve as CFO and continue to support ongoing efforts in our district. For me, it’s been 20 years of exciting challenges and fun times. It’s been a privilege serving this community and this wonderful important City.


Thank you.

Seth A. Grossman

Executive Director

Ironbound District Welcomes Two New Members to Board of Directors

The IBID’s board of directors unanimously approved the appointment of Nicole M. Fields, President and Chief Executive Officer, St. James Health, Inc., and Angela Williams, Senior Aide to Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, as the newest board members at its December meeting.

IBID Executive Director Seth A. Grossman and President Manual Lopes welcomed Fields and Williams, noting the commitment both have demonstrated through their work benefiting the Ironbound community. “All of our board members, representing the diversity of our business and residential neighbors, share a commitment to the Ironbound and to Newark and are contributing to the partnerships that are the hallmark of the IBID’s efforts to improve quality of life and business activity in the district, the City’s leading live, work, play neighborhood.”

Fields’ family has a long history contributing to the East Ward’s business community and has served at the helm of St. James Health since 2014. An outstanding healthcare provider that has been a leader in both testing and vaccinations throughout the covid pandemic, St. James Health provides a full spectrum of quality primary care in a culturally competent setting.

Williams is an Ironbound native and a graduate of East Side High School who has been a proactive representative of the Ironbound community, participating in and contributing to local programs serving residents and businesses as the pandemic response and recovery continues.

2021 Community Service Awards

The Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID) announced 2021 Community Service Awards at its December meeting of the board. Honorees included longtime volunteer board members, professional staff, a local healthcare provider and municipal partners. The awards were presented for outstanding dedication to the City of Newark and the Ironbound District.

Community Service Award winners included Manuel Lopes, IBID President, Renato Baptista, IBID Treasurer, and Hal Laessig, IBID First Vice President, who have all contributed decades of their time and professional experience to the organization and the Ironbound community. Leysly Roldan, IBID Office Manager, Vince Baglivo, Baglivo Strategic Communications, and Matt Christensen, IBID Clean Team Supervisor representing Commercial District Services (CDS), have provided years of dedicated service as well.

Newly elected IBID Board member Nicole M. Fields, President & CEO of St. James Health, represented the Ironbound-based healthcare provider in accepting their community service award. Other awardees included Brandi M. Daniels, Records Manager & Paralegal, and Abraham Negron, Executive Assistant, City of Newark.

Newark Gift Card Program

IBID President Manny Lopes, longtime owner of Lopes & Sons Hardware at 98 Ferry Street, proudly accepted Newark Gift Cards in his store during the holidays and will continue to welcome them in 2022. The IBID launched a social media contest this holiday season with lucky winners receiving one of 15 $100 gift cards!

Some of Newark’s largest corporations, including Audible and Prudential, have invested tens of thousands of dollars into the program to provide a boost to local businesses and restaurants still struggling through the impact of the pandemic. As their employees return to work in the New Year, they also want to welcome them back, introduce them to the local business community, and encourage them to support them by spending Newark Gift Cards.

If you are a business or restaurant owner in the Ironbound or anywhere in Newark, YOU TOO can be a part of the program for Free! Gift cards are accepted like a Mastercard. Program staff are available to visit to help you get started; there are even representatives who speak Spanish and Portuguese. For more information or to sign up for the program, visit www. thenewarkgiftcard.com.

Holidays in the Ironbound!

What would the holiday season be like in the Ironbound District without the festive lights and LED Christmas trees provided by the IBID? IBID representatives were on hand to join members of the community, and organizer Councilman Amador and staff, for the annual Christmas Tree lighting at Five Corners. Special thanks to Andros Diner for the great cookies and hot chocolate, and for the carolers from the Ironbound Boys and Girls Club.

IBID Joins Partnership to Sponsor New Welcome to Newark Video

Seth A. Grossman, the IBID’s Executive Director, joined Mayor Ras J. Baraka, representatives of the Greater Newark Convention & Visitors Bureau (GNCVB), and joint sponsors United Airlines, NJ Travel & Tourism, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), at a press conference to introduce the GNCVB’s new “Welcome to Newark” video.

The 2 minute destination video, which includes multiple scenes filmed in the Ironbound District, is the centerpiece of a multifaceted marketing campaign on behalf of the City of Newark as we prepare to welcome visitors, workers, students, and residents to experience all the amazing things that Newark has to offer as we work together to move past the pandemic.

Immigrants Memorial Documentary

The IBID was proud to produce a documentary about the Immigrants Memorial at Peter Francisco Park. The Ironbound District has welcomed generations of immigrants seeking freedom and opportunity. These hopeful newcomers from eastern and southern Europe and the Americas included Germans, Irish, Italians, Poles, Jews, Lithuanians, Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilians, Ecuadorians, Mexicans, and more, as well as African Americans from our southern states.

The monument pays tribute to them all for their contributions to today’s Ironbound District, and its recognition as one of Newark’s most welcoming neighborhoods for residents and visitors. In 2016, communities from every Ward in the City celebrated Newark’s 350th Anniversary.

A plan for an Immigrants Memorial in the Ironbound District, led by East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador, was proposed to celebrate the generations of immigrants with roots in Newark’s Ironbound, and to commemorate forever the individuals and families who began their pursuit of the American dream in Newark.

Produced locally through a collaboration between the IBID, Councilman Amador’s staff, sculptor/artist Camilo Satiro, and Ironbound-based creative/production/marketing experts Raise Newark. The video has been widely shared through digital and social media channels and can be viewed at whttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkMCXmNnPc8.

IBID Contributes to Newly Dedicated Media Center at East Side HS

IBID representatives participated in the dedication of the newly renovated media center at East Side High School honoring retiring Councilman Augusto Amador for his many years of service to the school and the Ironbound community.

A bronze statue of Councilman Augusto Amador, created by local artist Camilo Satiro, gifted to the IBID and donated to the media center, was unveiled as part of the dedication ceremony. Councilman Amador was the catalyst behind the $300,000 fundraising effort that made the extensive renovations to the media center possible.

Celebrating 100 Years: IBID Supports Portuguese Sports Club Anniversary

A banner across Ferry Street celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Portuguese Sports Club on Prospect Street was just one example of the IBID’s support for this important milestone in the Ironbound community.

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