2017 marks Jennifer E. Falk’s tenth anniversary as Executive Director of the Union Square Partnership. With Falk at the helm, the district has experienced remarkable growth, attracted new businesses, tenants and residents while maintaining its unique identity as the crossroads of Manhattan.
For more than four decades, the USP has supported the Union Square-14th Street community, creating partnerships that benefit the district, supporting local businesses, investing in the beautification of Union Square Park and advocating on behalf of the neighborhood. Falk — who has spent her entire career in public service — came to USP after serving as first deputy press secretary overseeing then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s communications strategy for the City’s economic development agencies. Since beginning her role as Executive Director, Falk has worked to continue USP’s mission, cultivating the organization’s role as a strategic neighborhood partner and finding new ways to bring entities together to highlight the area’s strengths.
“As Manhattan’s first business improvement district, USP has a rich history of improving, beautifying and celebrating Union Square,” said Lynne Brown, Co-Chair and President of the Union Square Partnership. “Since she arrived a decade ago, Jennifer has not only continued that work but elevated it, championing our local businesses, bringing our public programs to new heights and constantly finding new ways to bring out the best in our district.”
USP has continued to achieve more and more each year under Falk’s leadership. She oversaw the transformation and renovation of the northern end of Union Square Park. This complex $20 million capital improvement project brought new plazas, a 15,000-square-foot playground and The Pavilion, a seasonal restaurant that is returning this spring for its fourth year on the north plaza.
In 2014, Falk was the recipient of the Manhattan Chamber Of Commerce’s “Neighborhood Business Advocate of the Year” Award, recognizing USP’s beautification initiatives, capital improvement investments, and targeted marketing and outreach efforts.
Since becoming Executive Director, Falk has increased the organization’s fundraising budget by 60% and last year achieved the highest-ever fundraising total in USP’s history at $1.15 million, with plans to increase the total in 2017.