Wilma Alonso, longtime BID director, says Fordham Road is ‘thriving’
Wilma Alonso has been the executive director of the Fordham Road Business Improvement District for 17 years and involved with the area for another 10. She says she’s a troubleshooter, which makes her perfect for the role.
"They call me the godmother of the stores of Fordham – and they call me Miss Fordham," she told News 12.
She oversees 300 businesses along Fordham Road – from small sneaker shops to global chains.
She prides herself on being able to connect with the diverse array of owners.
"It's really important to embrace the new generation, especially women,” she said.
Alonso understands the big responsibility on her shoulders, which only got heavier during the pandemic. She helped to provide resources, guidance and comfort to businesses to help them survive.
"If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger - and I think that we are thriving,” she said.
Moving into the area soon will be a Target store, a Five Below and a new bubble tea spot. They will mix with shops that have stood the test of time, such as the women-owned health food store that's been in the neighborhood for 31 years.
"It's been empowering actually, and it's just been wonderful to have this experience to be in this community and do this for so long," Alonso told News 12.
She says the character, the history, the vibrancy and even the noise make Fordham Road what it is – and she has no plans to change that.
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH