As the first President of The Alliance, Jeffrey Bank has helped elevate the organization into a political force representing the NYC hospitality industry’s interest in the halls of government.
Before he handed over the baton to upcoming president, Doug Griebel, Jeff sat down with us to share his experience and hopes for the future.
- What would you consider as your greatest accomplishment as President of NYC Hospitality Alliance?
The mission of the Alliance is to protect and support the hospitality industry in New York City. I am proud to have helped lay a strong foundation in the first years of the Alliance, and by doing so, we are ensuring that all of the hospitality industry, even the mom and pops restaurants, which are the backbone of our society, can have a fighting chance in one of the toughest business climates in the country.
- What were some of the challenges you encountered during your term and how did you overcome them?
When we started this, the Founding Trustees were all major players in our industry. I was flattered that the founders suggested me as president, and I was unanimously approved. The challenge then was managing 18 of the greatest culinary and hospitality minds so we could become one voice for the Alliance and hospitality industry. Having to be “politically correct” does not do this challenge justice! I am proud that we have grown from 18 players into 2,000 strong.
- What do you think lies ahead for The Alliance? How would you like to see it grow?
I feel very comfortable leaving the Alliance in Doug Griebel’s capable hands as the new president. The Alliance is rock solid and is financially strong. One of the biggest challenges is getting our message out to the politicians and the public in the form of a 30 second sound bite – to express that restaurants and small businesses create over 70% of all new jobs. We have an industry that can take you from the dishwasher to the boardroom if you work hard enough. We need to make politicians understand we are their saviors when it comes to unemployment, not their enemy.