by Jaimie Julia Winters

Montclair Center Business Improvement District (BID) Executive Director Israel Cronk is resigning to take a new position in the private sector.

Phil Cantor, president of the BID, made the announcement in a release Friday afternoon, Aug. 17.

The BID Board of Directors will begin a search for Cronk's replacement next week, Cantor said. Cronk will stay on until the fall.

Cronk was a board member with the BID and the manager of Bangz Salon and Wellness Spa in Montclair when he accepted the executive director position in April 2016.

Cronk, the third executive director since the BID's founding in 2004, took over for Luther Flurry, who had held that position since 2012.

Under the leadership of Cronk, the BID expanded its lineup of public events with Women's Empowerment Week, Small Business Saturday, the Crane Park Market and Oktoberfest, Cantor said. In addition, he instituted an extensive series of educational seminars for downtown merchants focused on marketing, ecommerce and beautification.

READ: BID 2018 budget

READ: Parklets coming to Walnut, Glenridge

Cronk, working closely with township officials and the BID board and staff, also initiated streetscape programs such as parklets, plantings, banners and wall murals.

He formed partnerships with Montclair State University, the Montclair Public Library, YMCA, Partners for Health and SAVE of Essex to further the BID mission.

“Israel brought incredible enthusiasm, energy and creativity to our downtown,” Cantor said. “And, he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.”

Formed in 2002, the Montclair Center BID represents the interests of nearly 600 businesses and properties in a one-mile stretch of Montclair’s downtown business district along the Bloomfield Avenue corridor. The BID is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization with a $567,000 annual budget. BID revenue is derived from a special assessment based on the total assessed value of all retail and combination housing/retail properties within the district.

According to the 2018 BID budget, the salary for director was set at $95,000.