Newark’s New Community Corp. selects former United Way COO as new CEO

Newark’s New Community Corp., one of the nation’s largest community development organizations, on Wednesday said it appointed Simone Gagneron as its CEO, effective Thursday.

She succeeds Richard Rohrman, who retired in 2021.

Gagneron most recently served as chief operating officer at United Way of Northern New Jersey, where she led financial planning and managed human resources and diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives. Prior to that, she spent nearly a decade at the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity serving as vice president of finance and chief financial officer, where she oversaw financial operations and information technology functions and managed risks and compliance.

She began her career in finance, serving as a senior auditor. She then took on the role of a senior lead at the real estate management firm Pinnacle Group. From there, she served as interim CFO/assistant vice president of finance at Palladia Inc., a social services agency in New York City with a $50 million operating budget.

New Community Board of Directors Chairman A. Zachary Yamba expressed the board’s confidence in the selection of Gagneron because of her background, experience and demonstrated commitment to the urban environment.

“The board is confident that Simone will continue New Community’s legacy of service and empowerment,” Yamba said.

Another board member, Edgar Nemorin, who chaired the CEO Search Committee for the selection of Gagneron, noted her proven leadership with strong financial and business acumen, as well as her wealth of experience in finance, housing and project management.

“She has the skills, knowledge and experience from her work at the YMCA and United Way that will lead New Community Corp. to achieve its goals,” Nemorin said.

In accepting the position, Gagneron has committed to New Community’s mission and looks forward to leading the nonprofit to continued success.

“I am excited to join an organization that continues to be influential in its commitment to changing the life trajectory for inner-city families,” Gagneron said. “It is essential that nonprofits and businesses work together to make sure that the next generation has the opportunities and resources they need to thrive.”