Meet: Jon Lodge
Jon Lodge grew up skating the Washington Ledges (Newark). Now you can find him at the Avon Ave Skate Park and is a promoter of all things skating in Newark through his company Certified.
Jon got into skateboarding because of Tony Hawk Pro skaters and seeing kids skating during the summer while he was playing basketball. It was at a funeral for his 18-year old cousin, who was murdered on Grove Street & Roosevelt Avenue (South Ward), that gang members told him to keep skateboarding. Jon was working for Zoo York's non-profit, Stoked, and in the evenings would come up with concepts and ideas - which started Certified Skateboards.
Certified and the city are doing more skateboarding events in Newark because of its positive influence - and that is a drastic change since Jon started. Jon has been a part of the bourgeoning skateboarding scene with launch of the Avon Skate Park, hosting skateboarding clinics and giveaways at Lincoln Park Music Festival, Street League finals that came to Newark, and just recently giving away holiday gifts to youth at Avon Skate Park. He attributes some of this to Mayor Booker - who is a big fan of the sport and benefits it brings to our community, says Lodge.
As to what is to come from this young entrepreneur? "We have a ton of projects going on from music, skate, fashion, and even technology. I'm trying to turn my brand into an enterprise but still keep core skateboarders happy."
Learn more about Jon and Certified Skateboards at his blog.