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Woman in Charge

Photo: Manna Design Works, from SJ Magazine
Photo: SJ Magazine

Mayor Dana Redd Leading Camden into New Era

Behind every great city is a woman calling the shots – that’s the saying, right? If you’re talking about Camden, then the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’

You already know that Camden is a growing economic force (and if not, check out our recent post about it here). Business development, holiday programming, support services transforming lives – there has been a lot of news coming out of Camden recently, and the news is good. The common thread weaving together all the wonderful things going on in this city on the rise is Mayor Dana Redd.

When I first met Dana Redd, she was a state senator representing the 5th legislative district. It wasn’t until she took office as mayor of Camden in 2010 that I got to know her better. My first impressions of her were that she was upbeat, focused and driven. She was committed to making things better in the city where she was born and raised. I declared myself a member of the Dana Redd fan club and knew, in my heart, she was ready to face the many challenges ahead of her.

According to Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics, there are 69 women mayors in the state of New Jersey, though I’m not sure if any – male or female – has a job quite like Mayor Redd’s. Dana had something special in the way she handled the tough situations that often plague her city. She’s focused. She’s driven. She’s articulate. She stood up and regularly faced the opponents of the takeover of the Camden Police Department, secured state and federal grants to arm the police with new technology and advocated for safe streets and quality education for school children, and she has done all these things with great grace and compassion.

       Thomas/Boyd has had the pleasure of interacting with this extraordinary leader on numerous occasions for a number of projects:

  • The opening of The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in the Cramer Hill area of Camden.
  • Through our association with The Salvation Army and its partnership with the Campbell Soup Company, we’re feeding more than 300 people a holiday dinner tomorrow night.
  • The groundbreaking and subsequent ribbon cutting for Joseph’s House of Camden, supported by The Joseph Fund and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.
  • The Adventure Aquarium’s announcement of plans for the Syview Tower, a new observation tower ride enabling passengers to rise above the Delaware River and see spectacular views of the Philadelphia region.
  • A variety of projects for Cooper’s Ferry Partnership had us working closely with Mayor Redd’s office on placemaking, art and culture, Camden Night Gardens, holiday lightings, street repairs and more.

And more good news continues to generate around the City of Camden. Today, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced that Subaru of America will receive $118 million in tax incentives and Cooper Health System will receive $40 million to locate their operations in Camden – an announcement that further solidifies Camden’s place as growing economic force in southern New Jersey.

As enthusiastic supporters of Camden – both on a personal and professional level – we are fortunate to know and work with such an inspiring woman. With Dana Redd at the helm, I am sure Camden will continue to grow as a desirable place to live, work and visit.

 

About the Author:
Liz_Thomas_2014Liz Thomas is an award-winning public relations professional and CEO of Thomas/Boyd Communications. Now in her 25th year as a small-business owner, Liz credits much of her success in the communications field to her early public relations and government affairs training in the press office of New Jersey Governor Tom Kean. Liz is constantly on-the-move, providing strategic direction, crisis communications consults and overseeing clients’ day-to-day public relations activities. Her enthusiasm for her clients carries into her “down time,” as well – she serves as board chairperson for Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice and vice chair of NJTV and is actively involved as a volunteer for The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden.

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