Veteran economic impact executive Aisha Glover to join the Center’s mission – to launch and prove out equitable community and economic development initiatives in Newark, N.J., and other cities around the world
NEWARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, today announced the creation of the Global Center for Urban Development, which will expand the company’s community and economic initiatives while launching new and measurable models focused on advancing equality, racial justice and economic empowerment. While based in and focused on Audible's corporate hometown of Newark, N.J. the Center’s mission will encompass Audible locations in 14 cities around the world and include programs and policy initiatives that can be adopted in cities globally.
Audible also announced Aisha Glover will join the company as Vice President of Urban Innovation on October 5, reporting to SVP, Center for Urban Development, Abhinav Mathur. In her role, Glover will help establish the strategic direction of the Global Center for Urban Development and will lead a team dedicated to advancing equitable economic development solutions in cities worldwide. Glover joins Audible from the Newark Alliance, where she served as President & CEO for the past two years.
Audible relocated to Newark in 2007 to pursue one of its core corporate principles: We work to improve the lives of those in the cities and countries in which we operate, because Audible seeks to exemplify what a company can mean beyond what it does. We believe in giving people a chance, and we work to make this so, particularly in the urban core. Our focus on education innovation and urban economic and social renaissance is about advancing equality, and this mission should inform and inspire our days.
In pursuit of this defining principle, the company launched the social impact early-stage investment fund Newark Venture Partners; introduced the “Live Local” program that incentivizes Audible employees to live in Newark with after-tax subsidies; created the Audible Interns and Scholars programs alongside the Cornerstone program focused on creative Newark resident employee development; and offered corporate support for local small restaurant businesses, which during the crises of 2020 has become Newark Working Kitchens. In just 23 weeks since launch, Newark Working Kitchens has reopened 25 local restaurants and delivered more than 440,000 meals to underserved Newarkers.
The new Center for Urban Development will report into Audible Founder and Executive Chairman, Don Katz. “At a time of unprecedented crisis, Newark’s historic comeback is dependent on continued support from companies, philanthropies and governments working together. We believe all members of society -- with strong companies like Audible and other scaled corporations leading the way -- must commit to meaningful support for innovation and investment, focused on civic and social change that addresses the underlying causes of structural inequality,” said Katz. “With the Global Center for Urban Development, Audible aims to draw upon global best practices, cutting-edge analysis and elite talent to amplify its impact in Newark and beyond by establishing new paradigms that advance equitable development in cities everywhere. The Center has been specifically designed to partner more deeply with government, community organizations and corporate partners to coalesce around new and legacy programs that work at scale.”
A seasoned economic impact executive, Aisha Glover has a proven track record of spearheading equitable economic development programs throughout the region. Glover has more than 15 years of experience as an agent for economic empowerment and social justice. At the Newark Alliance, she worked closely with Mayor Ras Baraka to push for inclusive economic growth, helping to align dozens of corporations and private institutions with Newark’s needs, attracting billions of dollars in real estate development, and advancing citywide economic empowerment initiatives, including workforce training and women entrepreneurship programs.
“Aisha Glover’s commitment to and success in improving the lives of the people of Newark makes her uniquely suited to help carry out the vision of our Global Center for Urban Development,” continued Katz. “Aisha’s experience bringing together public, private and community-based organizations to create and sustain equitable economic development will be critical as we double down on our efforts on behalf of the city we call home, and other communities in which Audible operates. Aisha’s leadership of this new Global Center, along with Abhinav Mathur – a truly visionary executive who has led some of our most important efforts to be an inventive company that pursues meaning and purpose – is very exciting indeed.”
“I commend Audible for embracing its role in Newark, advancing its economic and social impact and investing in and launching initiatives that are aligned with my vision for an inclusive and equitable city,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “Aisha is the perfect leader to continue this work from within Audible on behalf of the City’s residents and small businesses. We need all corporations to take an active role in helping to accelerate our recovery.”
“We are at a critical juncture in Newark and in many cities around the world. We’ve seen how corporations are beginning to step in to fill the gaps to help drive equity, and with Audible’s leadership and backing, the Global Center for Urban Development will be at the forefront to create a new type of urbanism,” said Glover. “My commitment to developing deep community, corporate and government partnerships have generated strong results for Newark, and I am energized to bring similar innovative and inclusive solutions to bear in Newark that not only help the city recover, but ensure that it thrives.”
Under Glover’s leadership, the Alliance and its corporate and institutional membership base has advanced a Hire Buy Live initiative, helping over 2,020 Newarkers secure employment within these institutions, increased local procurement spend with small businesses, and expanded opportunities for homeownership and relocation into the city. Prior to leading the Newark Alliance, Glover served as the President & CEO of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, where she oversaw efforts to attract real estate development, businesses and more than $3B in development funds to Newark, leading the city to be shortlisted for Amazon's second headquarters. Glover also served as the Vice President of External Affairs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, where she led strategic partnership development, community engagement, public affairs and fundraising to help establish Navy Yard as a global model for urban industrial development.
The Global Center for Urban Development will bring together all equitable community aspirations at Audible under a single organization, from existing community projects in Newark to new efforts around urban innovation, to work to improve the lives of those in the cities and countries in which Audible operates.
ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible content includes more than 550,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers.
Kay Sarlin Wright
Public Affairs Director