Downtown Q&A: Jessica Lappin

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JESSICA LAPPIN President of Alliance for Downtown New York, which manages the country’s largest Business Improvement District. Instituted a solar-powered recycling program, created Lower Manhattan HQ, an innovation hub and collaboration center, and secured $100 million in resiliency funding for Lower Manhattan.

President Jessica Lappin; Brookfiled Place; Jessica Lappin headshot

1. Name three women that inspire you, and tell us why.

The women who inspire me are: my mom for breaking down doors on Wall Street and starting her own successful business in a field where women were practically nonexistent; RBG because she’s a badass and expanded legal rights for all women;  And, my sister-in-law who’s a single mom of three and works her butt off to be an awesome mom.  

2. What has been the secret to your success?

Hard work, organization, and preparation; and a loving and supportive family, especially my husband.  

3. If you were going to pass on one piece of advice to a young woman, what would it be?

Don’t let the haters get to you.  You’ve got to set your sights on a goal, make a plan, and keep pushing until you get there.  Setbacks will happen, that’s part of the process, but you’ve got to keep pushing forward even through tough times.    

4. In the fight for equality, what area do you think needs the most attention?

Equal pay for equal work and an Equal Rights Amendment to our constitution.  

5. What are you most proud of in your career?

I have been blessed with a career that’s consistently fulfilled my need to give back to this great city, and I’m proud of the work I have done on the ground to improve the lives of every day New Yorkers. 

6. Where do you get your confidence?

My parents always told me I could be anything I wanted to be, and I believed them.  I try to instill that same confidence in my children. 

7. What makes a woman beautiful?

Her soul.

8. What gives you joy?

My children!