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A New Year’s Message from the President and Vice President

SoHo Broadway Initiative: New Board of Directors leadership shares hopes for 2023

In November 2022, the Initiative’s Board of Directors met to elect new officers. As announced last month, James Cavello has been elected as President, Michelle Choi as Vice President, Sharon Ermilio as Secretary, and Richard Benenson will continue to serve as Treasurer for another term.

We are pleased to share the following New Year’s messages to the community from James and Michelle and wish all of you a happy and healthy 2023:

James Cavello, President

Photo of SBI President, James Cavello

As we move forward into 2023, I am pleased to serve as the newly elected President of SoHo Broadway Initiative’s Board of Directors. This has been a journey for me that started in 2007 as a founding steering committee member and in 2014 as a founding Board member of our nonprofit organization.

As an entrepreneur and President of a fine art gallery, my beginning in SoHo over 30 years ago is reflective of an arts era in our extraordinary historic district. I remember watching large paintings walk down Broadway, with only feet seen at the bottom of a canvas. During this time SoHo was made up of artists, galleries, writers, poets, and musicians as well as textile companies, retail, industry, and a mix of small businesses. Upstairs, in open loft spaces in cast-iron buildings, artists were working and inadvertently creating movements in art history. There were also families who navigated the neighborhood and helped to give SoHo a multi-generational history.

As we look at SoHo today, and the SoHo Broadway District along Broadway from Houston to Canal, we have a diverse mix of innovative businesses, ranging from fashion retailers to businesses in technology, art, specialty goods, real estate, financial, medical, manufacturing, independent design, and other sectors. Our residential community is home to many artists, professionals, and families, and is a growing and important part of our interconnected neighborhood.

What makes our district exciting is what lies ahead in continuing to build upon our successes in achieving a better quality of life for all of us who live in, work in, and visit this globally recognized neighborhood. I am excited to work with all of our stakeholders, including businesses, residents, our Board of Directors, and the Initiative’s staff to listen, learn, and solve shared concerns.

I am a proponent of problem solving and each of us has a responsibility to work together in finding solutions that give back to our community.

The SoHo Broadway Initiative is here to serve this great SoHo district and I look forward to working together and meeting many of you in the coming year. Here’s to a fantastic 2023!

Michelle Choi, Vice President

Happy New Year to everyone in the SoHo Broadway community. For those of you who don’t know me, I am an 18-year resident of the district where I live with my husband and 10-year-old son. I moved to New York City in the late ‘90s, but I didn’t realize how much I could love it until I moved to SoHo. The neighborhood is such a magical place and I feel lucky that I actually get to live here and contribute to the community every day.

I am thrilled to join the leadership of the SoHo Broadway Initiative as the new Vice President of the Board of Directors. I am eager to work with my fellow board members, all of whom bring vital skill sets and experiences to contribute to our shared effort to make the district as good as it can be for all who live in, work in, or visit this special place.

One of my goals over my term is to further build awareness of the SoHo Broadway Initiative among the residents of SoHo as a potential partner. With its available resources, the Initiative can continue to build upon its past successes and find new ways to improve the quality of life and safety for residents. It is also critically important to me to strengthen the bonds between the residents who live in the district and the retail and commercial businesses who contribute to the vitality of SoHo. Our continued collaboration is important to the success of the neighborhood. I look forward to the opportunities to work together in the New Year.

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