Out of a list of 25 black women being recognized for their influence in the world of business this month, two hail from the Garden State’s largest city, and both represent the list’s only honorees from the nonprofit sector.
New York-based “The Network Journal” will honor Newark Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Aisha Glover and Newark Symphony Hall President and CEO Taneshia Nash Laird at the 25 Influential Black Women in Business awards luncheon on March 20 at the New York Marriott Marquis for their efforts and impact on the continuing economic stimulus and preservation of culture in Newark.
“Both of these women are strong leaders who embody the sheer determination it takes to lead their respective organizations. The strengthened partnerships and collaborations currently in place and budding throughout the city serve as a testament to their innovative thinking, strategic planning and commitment to community, all of which help to advance our city forward,” said Newark Mayork Ras Baraka in a statement. “I congratulate them on this honor and for being included in this group of astounding leaders.”
Honorees for this year’s list were chosen from among hundreds of nominations. Other companies represented among the 2020 roster of women leaders include Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s Corp., The Kraft Heinz Co., and Merrill Lynch.
Since stepping into her role at Newark Alliance, Glover has helped to attract new partnerships with The Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Associates and expanded a relationship with Prudential Financial. She has overseen a nearly 500 percent increase in membership, and helped to bring national conferences, like Next City Vanguard and the Forbes Opportunity Zone Investor Summit, to the city. Last December, Gov. Phil Murphy named Glover to the board of the state Economic Development Authority and in February, she was ranked No. 3 on the NJBIZ Power 100 list.
At Symphony Hall, Laird built out and oversees an administrative team of which nearly all members were born and raised in the area. According to a press release, she was able to eliminate annual operating deficits within her first year at the organization – without major personnel changes – and she has brought in new funding, new partnerships and new collaborations.
Before coming to Newark, Laird was the first person of color to serve as executive director of the Arts Council of Princeton.
“I think this distinction says as much about the City of Newark as it does about our leadership,” Glover said in a statement. “We are working collectively to advance Newark, using these opportunities to show the world that whether in business, entrepreneurship, arts, or economic development, there’s something special happening here and it’s helping to create a future with women and people of color at the epicenter.”
The Network Journal is a quarterly print and online magazine for African-American professionals, corporate executives and business owners. According to its website, a recent Research USA study indicates 55 percent of readers are professionals, 36 percent are small business owners and 91 percent have attended college.