Richard was born and raised in Bloomfield, NJ and is a life-long New Jersey resident. Over the course of his career in the restaurant industry, in key roles such as General Manager and Food & Beverage Director, Richard has opened seven new restaurants, coordinating all front-of-house operations in conjunction with each culinary team. His experience in organizing management systems and operations has won recognition from Wine Spectator Awards and consistently high ratings from reviewers such as Zagat, New Jersey Monthly and the NY Times. In 2015 Richard moved to the City of Burlington, his first apartment located on High Street. “Looking out on High Street every morning and seeing the beauty of the historical buildings was so inspirational; I was reminded daily about the unique charm and character of our downtown.” In 2019, Richard decided to play an active role in helping the downtown revitalize. He observed that too many empty storefronts dotted the streets, and current businesses were struggling for foot traffic. He became aware of the Main Street group in town and decided to attend meetings. Shortly afterwards, he became President of Main Street Burlington. “Our goal is to re-introduce the City of Burlington to the County residents and all of South Jersey, and have folks from all over come to visit, work, and live in Burlington. We are fortunate to have the most beautiful view of the Delaware that you’ll find in this part of Jersey, the greatest collection of historic buildings, a charming downtown, and a rich history of importance in the creation and evolution of the United States. With these ingredients, and with the good will and determination of our citizens, we are poised to succeed!”
Sharon is a CPA with a long career in financial services marketing. Sharon is also an entrepreneur; she has been a founder or senior member of several ventures and start-ups, including NextGen Trading, a technology firm that developed unique sell-side software, and Vocal, a community platform that provides storytelling tools for artist, musicians, filmmakers, writers, and brands to get discovered and fund their creativity. In 2018, she leveraged her extensive Foundation and Corporate Citizenship experience to create Kaleidoscope Transformation Development LLC, a company that supports economic transformation in underserved cities that have made a commitment to redevelopment. Kaleidoscope’s first project is The City of Burlington New Jersey, a city with historical significance which is currently undergoing a much-needed transformation. Beyond her career on Wall Street, Sharon is a member of several non-for-profit Boards including: Independent Film Project (IFP), an organization that mentors and supports independent filmmakers and multimedia storytellers; Youth Inc., a non-for-profit organization that supports over 70 youth related charities in the NY area; Congregation Ahavath Torah, a leading US religious Center; Main Street Burlington, dedicated to economic development. Sharon also has served as Executive Advisor to Innovation Africa a non-for-profit organization that brings Israeli innovation including solar energy and water drilling and, to remote villages in Africa. “Being a part of Main Street Burlington allows me to amplify the impact of work I’m passionate about by engaging with the residents, business and property owners through the MSB organization to bring about positive change.”
J Roosevelt Smith
Jason Roosevelt Smith is a military veteran with 27 years in the United States Army. He served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom. Jason specializes in training and logistics. His military experience has helped him to develop strong problem solving and decision-making skills with the ability to create and implement effective action plans. As an entrepreneur, Jason has managed several successful businesses and rental properties. His latest venture in partnership with his wife Nakia is launching Ryde Spin and Fitness and the ever popular outdoor classes on the Promenade. In his downtime, he likes to play golf and travel with his family. Jason currently lives in Burlington City. “Fostering the economic vitality of our downtown will be a catalyst for transformation and revitalization. I look forward to bringing my skills and experience to Main Street Burlington to make this happen in our community,”
Thomas J Swan
A lifelong resident of Burlington, Tom has always had a keen interest in community, law, and politics. After graduating with honors from Rutgers University – Camden, Tom obtained his JD from Widener University – Delaware Law School and began his legal career clerking for the Law Offices of Patrick McGuinness, with a specialty in Immigration Law. Tom, along with his wife, Alejandra, are active volunteers in civic and community organizations. Since 2014, Tom has represented Burlington City's Second Ward as a member of City Council, where he has been instrumental in getting roads repaired, funding capital improvements, and working with redevelopers. He is known for being responsive and being a strong advocate for city residents by using his negotiating skills to arrive at win-win solutions for all involved. "I'm proud to represent City government on the Main Street Burlington Board as the City Council’s appointee, From this vantage point, I'm able to foster open dialog with the City on the needs and concerns of MSB and work together to bring economic prosperity to our downtown."
Born on February 9th, 1953, Assemblyman Kennedy has been a business owner and an economic development advisor throughout the state of New Jersey. He is the Principal of Skye Consulting, which focuses its efforts on community development, world water issues and cultural arts. He is also the former owner of Kennedy Jewelers in Rahway. He was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly on November 3rd, 2015. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Mr. Kennedy served as mayor of Rahway from 1991 to 2011. He also served as Commissioner on the Rahway Senior Housing Corporation, on the Board of Directors at RWJ University Hospital Rahway, as well as a panelist/delegate to Istanbul, Marseille, and Mexico City for the World Water Forum. Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees for ArtPride NJ. As an Assemblyman he serves as Vice-Chair of the Environment and Solid Waste Committee and Tourism, Gaming and the Arts, as well as a member of the Transportation & Independent Authorities Committee. He and his wife, Lori reside in Rahway.
Brian Minker had an interest in computers and electronics at an early age, starting with a Commodore VIC-20 that he still has to this day. An early career as an automobile mechanic at a GM dealership provided invaluable training in diagnostic practices that put Brian on the track of being the go-to person at a young age for friends and family with computer problems. By the year 2000, Brian decided he wanted to pursue a career in computers and started studying for and passing Microsoft and CompTIA certification exams while still working as a mechanic. Brian next started teaching Microsoft Certification classes at several local trade schools while also building a small group of corporate IT clients. This quickly became a full-time business and continually grew until sold in 2010. In April of 2013, Brian partnered with George Davis IV to start Able Technology Partners LLC. Able has become a premier provider of outsourced IT support and consulting for numerous companies in the Philadelphia market area. Brian and his team at Able Technology Partners LLC have built a reputation of being an extension of their client’s businesses instead of just a vendor. “After seeing the astounding improvements in other towns that have embraced the Main Street model, I’m extremely excited to be involved in Main Street Burlington. I see so many good things for our town on the horizon.”
Hailing from a small town outside of Boston, and having lived for many years in Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley and the Lehigh Valley, Donnamarie Mazzola is thrilled to have crossed the river to make Burlington City her new home. She fell in love with the community spirit, the history and waterfront, and most of all, the sense that the city is on the brink of something big. “I came here eager to be part of the transformation. We have all the right ingredients, and the Main Street approach provides the structure and blueprint for community involvement in revitalizing downtown, by focusing on economic vitality, aesthetics, marketing and organization.” Donnamarie’s career in digital marketing, technology product management and ecommerce operations has spanned decades and industries, from internet music pioneer CDNOW, to ecommerce ventures marketing women’s apparel and pet supplies, to online counseling, employee assistance and psychic advice services. Establishing a brand strategy, tone of voice and digital footprint is one of her favorite professional pursuits. She’s passionate about supporting small business and in 2006 co-founded a Venetian plastering company which provided decorative plaster contracting services to the tri-state area, and yearly classes in Italy. An artist at heart, she enjoys working with mosaics, fiber and fabric.