Our Team

Amy Falbaum brings over two decades of experience to Amy Falbaum & Associates, having built her career working front and back-of-house managerial positions at globally-acclaimed restaurants including 21 Club, Sarabeth’s, and Gramercy Tavern of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Inspired by this deep-rooted experience, Amy takes a hospitality-focused approach to her company’s efforts, aiming to fill a position based on more than skillset and business acumen; working to understand the company’s infrastructure, business and culture to best succeed at the job at hand.

Founded in 2009, Amy Falbaum & Associates is comprised of a diverse team of associates showcasing a wealth of skills and vast knowledge base that spans across a range of industries and specialties. Our dedicated, entrepreneurial-minded staff work collaboratively and intentionally to place the right candidate in the right job. While based in New York City and known for our strong East Coast relationships, we are proud to have grown our business across the US.

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. amy@amyfalbaum.com

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 prominent 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”. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Christopher Newport University, Simone went on to graduate with a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management from New School University. simone@amyfalbaum.com

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jennifer Wasner

Project Manager

Jennifer Wasner joined the talented team of AF&A in 2018 after 25 years on the front lines of the hospitality industry. After attending The University of Oregon in her hometown of Eugene, she spent 10 years in New York City assisting in the openings of several restaurants, nightclubs, and lifestyle companies. Later in her career she represented Kerzner International and Mulholland Leisure on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. While pursuing her career she continued her education at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, earning a Graduate Gemology degree from the Gemological Institute of America. Without leaving her first love — the hospitality industry — she also worked as a stone buyer for Karen Karch Jewelry. Jennifer returned to Eugene in 2008 where she opened the first three-star certified Green Restaurant in Oregon. She excels in her dedication to detail in serving clients and works tirelessly with our team to assure the success of our projects. We are proud to have her on board.


Industry Experts

We live and breathe our business from restaurants and hospitality to culinary to the tech and start-up space and are constantly looking to grow and expand our knowledge and network to ensure we know our business best to do the best job for you.

Trusted Advisors

We are here to find the best fit for every role. We listen, we share feedback, and we pride ourselves on unparalleled confidentiality and discretion required in our business.

Relationship People

In the last 10 years, we have built a strong global network featuring top talent from around the country, and relationships with businesses across industries. You are a priority to us, and the relationships we forge with our clients and candidates are invaluable and long-lasting.

Personally Invested

Amy and her team take the time to get to know and understand your organization. Our search process starts with conversations with key leaders and employees to best understand your business and culture. We then lead the search process to help you find the right candidate.

Let’s Get Started

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