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Wildwood Business Improvement District (WBID) President Receives Prestigious Award


Pictured are (L-R): Courtenay D. Mercer, executive director for DNJ; and John Donio  at the Downtown New Jersey Conference in Bloomfield, NJ on October 18.

Wildwood, NJ – October 24, 2019 – Wildwood Business Improvement District (WBID) President John Donio was presented with a prestigious 2019 Downtown New Jersey (DNJ) ‘Individual of Excellence’ Award at the annual DNJ Conference in Bloomfield, NJ on October 18.

The DNJ Award celebrates initiatives and individuals who have made a major or sustained impact on downtown economic development in New Jersey.

Donio, who also owns the Daytona Inn and Suites in Downtown Wildwood, NJ, has been spearheading the Downtown’s resurgence for over a decade. Since the WBID’s founding in 2004, he has played a key role in the WBID’s mission of improving the economic development and growth of Downtown Wildwood.

Donio was instrumental in launching Byrne Plaza, in Downtown Wildwood – a 60,000-square-foot outdoor space that hosts over 100 events annually. The WBID and Byrne Plaza are also recent recipients of a Downtown New Jersey Excellence Award in the category of Built Projects. Byrne Plaza features sculptures of beach balls, vast greenery and a covered amphitheater – perfect for hosting events in the city year-round. The Plaza was designed to host recreational and special events throughout the year, including the Downtown Wildwood Farmer’s Market, movie nights, the Downtown Marketplace, concerts and festivals.

Donio’s contributions to WBID’s mission are a labor of love and an opportunity to give back to a town that has given so much to him all his life. Donio has assisted in organizing tours for realtors and investors to showcase the development of the Downtown and the opportunities for investment. Today, the Downtown thrives with restaurants and shops to explore.

“I deeply appreciate being honored by Downtown New Jersey. I share this award with the many volunteers and staff who are committed to making a better Downtown for the City of Wildwood,” Donio stated.

In addition to his role as WBID President, Donio is a member of the Greater Wildwoods Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Wildwoods Hotel and Motel Association and the Wildwoods’ Doo Wop Preservation League Board of Trustees. He also serves on the City of Wildwood’s Tourism Development Commission. His charitable activities include: collecting donations for the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, sponsoring the annual Nun’s Beach Surf Classic in Stone Harbor, NJ (benefiting the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) as well as being honored by the Wounded Healer Crisis Center in Pitman, NJ for his annual work in giving underprivileged children and their families a place to vacation in the summer (Project K.I.D.S.). Also, the Donio Family recently received the 2019 Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) Humanitarian Award for their involvement in charitable and civic organizations.

DNJ is a non-profit membership organization of individuals, businesses, developers, government agencies, and local and regional entities that are passionate about downtowns. Downtowns reflect our communities’ unique identities, provide a focal point, a convenient local place of commerce, and offer a sense of place where people can gather and truly be a community. DNJ provides advocacy, education, and technical assistance resources dedicated to ensuring the vitality of our downtowns.

Established in 2004, the WBID is comprised of businesses and professionals who, together, enhance, showcase and share The District, more commonly known as Downtown Wildwood. A non-profit corporation, the WBID oversees specific aspects of the district, including: special events, entertainment, advertising and funding capital projects. This partnership and the community provide a forum for business owners to meet and collaborate. The WBID is governed by an elected Board of Directors. This board is elected by the businesses and oversees the annual report and budget. The WBID Board also works closely with the Wildwoods Boardwalk Special Improvement District (WBSID) and shares professional management with the WBSID.

For more information on Downtown New Jersey, visit DowntownNJ.com.

For more information on the WBID and Downtown Wildwood, visit DOOWW.com.