USP Annual Meeting Highlights Community Partners, Neighborhood Successes

 BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith speaks with USP Executive Director Jennifer Falk before the 2018 Annual Meeting. 

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith speaks with USP Executive Director Jennifer Falk before the 2018 Annual Meeting. 

On Monday, May 7th, USP welcomed neighborhood residents, business and property owners, and other key district stakeholders to our 34th Annual Meeting + Networking Reception.

Hosted by the W New York – Union Square, Executive Director Jennifer Falk presented an overview of USP’s work over the last year. From helping community stakeholders navigate the public realm, to investing in the beautification of our district and park, USP continues to play a multifaceted role in shaping and elevating the experience of everyone who lives, works and visits Union Square. In addition to core services, including sanitation, public safety, marketing and economic development, USP hosted 198 distinct events last year, including the debut of Dale Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower in Union Square Park; free community programming at Citi Summer in the Square; and the premier food and wine fundraising festival, Harvest in the Square.

Read more in the 2018 Annual Report

 Executive Director Jennifer Falk gives the 2018 Annual Report.

Executive Director Jennifer Falk gives the 2018 Annual Report.

 Residents, business and property owners vote on the 2019 slate of directors. 

Residents, business and property owners vote on the 2019 slate of directors. 

“Our collective goal - along with our neighborhood stakeholders of businesses, residents and community members -  is to ensure that this district continues to maintain its status as one of Manhattan’s most dynamic neighborhoods," said Falk. "We are grateful to our community that has contributed to making the Union Square-14th Street district a truly special neighborhood." 

The meeting featured two special guest speakers: District 2 Councilmember Carlina Rivera and BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith.

 District 2 Councilmember Carlina Rivera

District 2 Councilmember Carlina Rivera

 BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith

Councilmember Rivera spoke about her work supporting small businesses as well as her first bill in the Council that expands the definition of discrimination under the purview of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. Next, USP welcomed Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed News – a media company with its global headquarters in Union Square. Smith discussed recent initiatives BuzzFeed is spearheading to keep news relevant and reliable in a time of disruption throughout the industry. BuzzFeed continues to thrive in Union Square, delivering news to millions of people around the world.

Afterwards, attendees heard a review of USP’s year-to-date financials including our Fiscal Year 2019 budget, and eligible members voted on the slate for our 2019 Board of Directors. Finally, the annual Norman Buchbinder Community Service Award was presented to Mary S. McCartney, who served on USP’s Board of Directors for more than 17 years on behalf of Con Edison – USP thanks her for her dedication to serving the neighborhood.

The meeting was followed by a networking reception, sponsored by the W New York-Union Square, where attendees enjoyed drinks and refreshments alongside a jazz performance by The New School Jazz Trio.

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Congratulations to our business card drop winner, Iris Fox who won a basket full of gifts from Union Square businesses including Rothmans NY, Strand Bookstore, Kellogg's NYC, CAVA, Peet's Coffee, Union Square Greenmarket, W New York-Union Square, Breads Bakery, Chihuly Studio, Swerve, and Urbanspace.

Thank you to all of our community partners and members who made the night a great success! Check out more photos from the event on Flickr, and be sure to read The Villager’s Salute to Union Square stories here.

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Photo Credit: Jane Kratochvil