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 Oct. 18.
The 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, has been spearheading downtown's resurgence for over a decade.
Since WBID's foundation in 2004, Donio has played a key role in the district's mission of improving the economic development and growth of downtown Wildwood. He was instrumental in launching Byrne Plaza, a 60,000 square-foot outdoor space that hosts over 100 events annually. The WBID and Byrne Plaza are also recent recipients of a 2018 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 year-round events in the city. 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 downtown, and the opportunities for investment. Currently, downtown Wildwood 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.