Meet Amy & Associates

    • Our team is comprised of nine diverse associates, each are knowledgeable about different aspects of the hospitality industry. Our dedicated staff works as a team to put the right person in the right job. While based in New York City, and known for our East Coast connections, we also place positions world wide.

Amy Falbaum


After working in top managerial positions in the restaurant/hospitality industry for more than 20 years, Amy switched gears and decided to enter the industry’s recruitment field. Amy’s knowledge of the industry as an insider and ability to “speak its language” resulted in immediate commissions and assignments from upscale hotels and high-end restaurants in the U.S. and overseas. Major and well-known hotels and restaurants recognize one of their own and knew Amy would have the right focus when fulfilling their interests.

In addition to several notable achievements on the front lines, Amy has served the industry as executive manager for the kitchen at the ’21’ Club, and she has also held other top managerial positions at Sarabeth’s Kitchen, American Renaissance, and Gramercy Tavern. She is a part time instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in its Culinary Management program.

Federico Trigo

Recruiting Manager

Federico (Fed) Trigo is recruiting manager for AF&A. Fed’s creative, organizational and linguistic skills, along with his unbridled enthusiasm and a dedicated work ethic, help keep AF&A operating at peak performance at all times. Fed holds a bachelor of arts in from George Washington University and a master’s in fine arts from the New School in New York City.

Robin Meir

Senior Executive Recruiter

Robin Meir is a Senior Executive Recruiter for AF&A. Prior to recruiting for AF&A, Robin held various roles in event planning and sales in restaurants and hotels.

With her experience in the hospitality industry, Robin understands first hand the intricate details that need to be in place when finding the best fit for your organization.

With a strong network of contacts and a diverse background, Robin is able to work with a broad range of clients to match the most qualified and highly skilled candidates for a large variety of positions.

Marisa LoBianco

Resume Writer

Marisa LoBianco, a resume writer and coach for AF&A, has over ten years of experience providing career counseling to clients with diverse professional backgrounds. A certified professional resume writer, Marisa currently oversees employer relations at the #1 rated design college in the country and provides supervision and guidance to career counselors. She holds a master’s of science degree in counseling and has been a frequent speaker on career-related issues at national conferences. A member of several professional organizations, Marisa works closely with clients to get an understanding of their backgrounds, experience and personalities to create tailored resumes that are results-oriented and showcase our clients’ qualifications for their desired positions.

Simone Kirlew

Executive Recruiter

Simone Kirlew is a Executive Recruiter for AF&A. Simone has spent the majority of her career in corporate/human resource (HR) management positions within the hospitality industry.

Among her prominient positions, Simone has served as HR manager for SUSHISAMBA Restaurants and as director of HR at both OTG Management and 3Sixtyhospitality where she was involved in providing hr recruitment and management services for several high profile venues such as the Aspen Social Club, Highbar, Norwood, Bond Street (LA) and Delicatessen.

Simone was also involved in the launches of two NYC hot spots: Susan Sarandon’s Ping Pong Social Club, “SPIN NY”; and Celebrity Chef Susur Lee’s “Shang LES”.

Naomi Azhar

Office Manager

Naomi Azhar, the office manager at AF&A, has been with the company since its founding. Originally from Japan, Naomi holds a bachelor of arts degree from Queens College in New York, and has extensive experience as a top-notch administrative assistant. She has proved to be indispensable in assuring that our clients’ issues are dealt with as quickly as possible and assists the entire staff in meeting deadlines.

Marjorie Wasner

Director of Operations

Marjorie Wasner has enjoyed a diverse career in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, most of them in managerial positions at prominent restaurants and hotels.

She brings to Amy Falbaum & Associates valuable administrative talents and experience which will help assist us in matching candidates with clients’ needs. She is a specialist in providing operational leadership and serves as the Director of Operations, logistically uniting the AF&A team.

Among the positions, she has held were human resources manager for the Tao group at the Dream Downtown Hotel in New York, general manager for Hiro in New York’s Maritime Hotel, and helping to open and manage the development of operations for The Standard Grill, which has set trends in the industry.

In her career, she also has participated in numerous openings of nightclubs and restaurants within high-end hotels in geographically diverse settings, including New York City, Miami, Oregon, and Australia.

Tessa Thompson

Executive Recruiter

Tessa Thompson is a dynamic leader in the hospitality industry having enjoyed a 15-year career as a chef, restaurant manager, food and beverage director, teacher, advisor, and consultant. She has had the good fortune to live and cook around the world, including New York City, Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Tessa’s major accomplishments include the opening of three high-profile restaurants: Barbie Café and The Pink Room for Mattel in Shanghai; St. Betty by Wagamama restaurateur Alan Yau in Hong Kong; and Trattoria Il Mulino in New York City. She has created numerous menus in various cuisines and implemented training plans and costing/inventory systems, all while managing front of house and daily operations. In addition, she’s worked closely with students in her role as career advisor at the Institute of Culinary Education where she’s developed an extensive network. She relishes and is very effective in connecting people and ideas within the industry.

Born and raised in Central Kentucky, Tessa moved to New York City in 1996 and earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies at Fordham University. She was studying toward a master’s degree in food studies at New York University before moving to Paris and graduating from Le Cordon Bleu. She also holds a diploma in restaurant and culinary management from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Passionate about industry issues and advocacy, Tessa participates in both the NYC Hospitality Alliance and NYC Hospitality Group. She volunteers for Wellness in the Schools and the refugee culinary training organization, Emma’s Torch.

Photo credit: Courtney Winston     Location credit: Caffè Storico