Andrew Rigie: Executive Director, the New York City Hospitality Alliance

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Andrew Rigie grew up working at his family’s bakery in Queens and went on to graduate from the Institute of Culinary Education.  He joined the New York State Restaurant Association in 2004, where he recruited and served members by providing a myriad of resources and consulting services to operators, chefs and industry providers. In 2009, he took the helm as Executive Vice President of the New York City operations for the 75+ year old organization. In 2012, Rigie accepted a position to launch the New York City Hospitality Alliance, a trade association formed to foster the growth and vitality of the industry that has made New York City the Hospitality Capital of the World.  He serves as the Executive Director of the premier organization, which represents all facets of the restaurant, bar, lounge, destination hotel industries.

What do I do best?

Connect with people from all different walks of life.

What makes me the best version of myself?

My perseverance and interest in hearing what people have to say.

What are my aspirations?

Personal: To always be present and active with my family. Business: To never get comfortable with the status quo. Always push to enhance the business, learn from others and create opportunity for people.    

My Biggest Success?

Creating a personal and professional environment that allows me to socialize and work with incredible people, while leading an amazing community that is the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Challenging moments happen everyday when restaurateurs call me because they’re frustrated with the complex, unjust and always changing laws, the excessive fines and lawsuits they’re subject to. Then I need to channel their energy into constructive initiatives that the NYC Hospitality Alliance can undertake to reform the relationship between government and the small business community.

My Motto?

Don’t talk about it, be about it.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

I don’t have role models but admire traits in people. In business, my grandparent’s tenacity running our family’s bakery. In personal, a man who stopped to assist a visually impaired woman walk a few busy blocks, and then stopped me in the street and asked that I walk with her a few additional blocks to ensure she arrives safely at her destination.  Her destination was a sidewalk cafe at a restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Considering I work in the hospitality industry, am working on initiatives to help restaurants make their websites more accessible to the visually impaired,  and I live in that neighborhood, it was all a nice coincidence.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Running or biking over the Queensboro Bridge towards Manhattan before 6:00am, historical World War 2 sites throughout Europe, the beach in Jamaica. Or, wherever I am with family.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

My iPhone is my favorite product. My daughter’s scooter that I’ll teach her to ride is a new object that I am the most excited about.

My Current Passions?

Learning and practicing how to be a more effective human in my personal and professional life. That ranges from waking up at 5am to go for a run to picking up the phone more often to call a friend or business colleague instead of just sending an email or text.