Over the past 20 years, in positions of increasing responsibility, Dan Pisark has established an exceptional track record in retail development, management, finance, marketing, and operations for organizations involved in New York City district revitalization. His knowledge of the issues driving retailing and of the factors and forces involved in the economic health of urban districts has given him unparalleled skill in bringing private and public entities together to revitalize neighborhoods. In addition, he has created professional, pro-active operations whose programs have resulted in measurable and widely-acclaimed success.
Following a seven-year career with Macy's where he worked at the department, store, and regional levels, Mr. Pisark joined the popular South Street Seaport Museum in lower Manhattan. Over a nine-year period he served first as Director of Operations and, ultimately, as Director of Marketing. During this time, he converted a small, largely volunteer effort into a thriving non-profit business with an annual operating budget of $4 million. Given carte blanche by the Seaports President, Mr. Pisark developed and implemented such programs as tourism marketing, a new excursion boat company, and nearly $3 million in capital improvements.
Mr. Pisark was then recruited by Dan Biederman, President of the Grand Central Partnership, the 34th Street Partnership, and the Bryant Park Corporation, mid-Manhattan's largest business improvement districts, to spearhead the effort to make the Partnerships' retail assistance program into a major component of the district's revitalization. He built a professional department, supplemented by outside consultants, whose wide-ranging programs include retail recruitment, communications and research tools made available at no cost to area merchants and store-leasing brokers, as well as special activities to help independent budgeting and streetscape improvements for the Partnerships overall. In August of 1999, he was named Vice President, Retail Services, for the 34th Street Partnership and the Bryant Park Corporation, with additional responsibilities for Public Affairs and for the supervision of the directors of the Visitor Services and Public Events Departments.
Under Mr. Pisark's leadership, the Retail Services Department has been directly responsible for a resurgence in retail business in the midtown districts. In just a few years more than two dozen quality merchants, including major national chains, have opened stores in the Grand Central and 34th Street districts. This revitalization has been hailed in the local, national, and trade media. Mr. Pisark's retail improvement initiatives have been acknowledged with achievement awards from the American Institute of Architects and the International Downtown Association.
Mr. Pisark's expertise and his exceptional communications skills have made him a valued resource for reporters and editors. He is routinely quoted in such major publications as The New York Times, Crain's New York Business, Shopping Centers Today, Women's Wear Daily, and Shopping Center Business. Business improvement districts in other cities - including Philadelphia, New Orleans and Chicago - frequently invite him to make presentation on his work; he was a guest speaker on the topic of streetscape improvements at an urban revitalization conference in London, and he recently conducted a sold-out workshop on "Creating and Managing a Retail Improvement Program" at the 45th Annual Conference of the International Downtown Association in Philadelphia.