May 13, 2002
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG WELCOMES
AMERICAN EXPRESS BACK TO ITS
WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER HEADQUARTERS
American Express Announces Series of Sponsorships
Designed to Revitalize Downtown
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today welcomed the return of the American Express Company to its corporate headquarters in the World Financial Center. To mark the event, the Mayor and American Express Chairman/CEO Kenneth I. Chenault announced a series of major cultural sponsorships designed to draw tens of thousands of people to Lower Manhattan this summer. American Express had been operating from seven temporary locations throughout the tri-state area since the September 11th attack. Governor George E. Pataki, U.S. Representative Charles B. Rangel and other members of the New York Congressional delegation, as well as leaders of the downtown community also attended the event.
events of 9/11, we worked closely with American Express to ensure
that they were one of the first major companies to pledge their return
to Lower Manhattan and, today, I welcome the American Express family
back to the World Financial Center," said Mayor Bloomberg. "A
shining example of good corporate citizenship, American Express didn't
just move home; they decided to do so much more. Using their creativity,
connections and corporate muscle, they have made a commitment to sponsor
a series of events this summer that will make downtown 'the place'
to be for all the best that New York has to offer. American Express
is a company that has always looked to the future and has always had
New York City's best interests at heart, and I thank Ken Chenault
and American Express for helping to make downtown even better than
it was before."
"Our 152-year history is filled with defining moments - staying open during crises when others close, coming through for our customers all around the world, doing the right things even when it is difficult to do," said American Express Chairman/CEO Chenault. "When we look back on this day several years from now, I believe we will see it as another defining moment that marked the beginning of a new era of growth and opportunity for our company and our city. And we will take pride in knowing that we were a vital part of that renewal. We are delighted to join with so many of our downtown partners to present the River to River Festival, which will help show the world what makes this neighborhood so special."
"For more than a century and a half, American Express has helped New York build and maintain its stature as the capital of the world," said Governor Pataki. "Since September 11th, American Express' commitment to helping us rebuild and revitalize Lower Manhattan has been an inspiration to me and millions of New Yorkers. On behalf of the nineteen million citizens of the Empire State, I would like to thank Ken Chenault and American Express for their continued leadership in helping New York rebound and recover from the horrific events of that unforgettable day."
"Along with all of the many activities underway, the return of American Express is a great event because it highlights the renewal of Lower Manhattan," said US Representative Rangel.
Downtown NYC River to River Festival 2002American Express marked the occasion by announcing the launch of the "Downtown NYC River to River Festival 2002", a five-month festival that will bring more than 500 music, dance, arts, and cultural events including free concerts by headline performers Sheryl Crow, Wynton Marsalis, and Randy Newman to venues throughout the downtown area.
The festival represents a unique partnership reflecting the combined commitment of the Alliance for Downtown New York, the Battery Park City Authority, the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the South Street Seaport Marketplace and the World Financial Center Arts and Events Program.
American Express earlier announced its founding sponsorship of the Tribeca Film Festival, which last week helped attract thousands of people to Lower Manhattan. As part of its commitment to the downtown community, the company will continue to sponsor events, large and small - each with the goal of encouraging people to come to the area.
The company first announced its decision to return to the World Financial Center in November. The American Express Tower, part of the World Financial Center, has been the company's headquarters for the past 15 years. American Express is returning to downtown New York with the same number of employees - 4,000 - that worked there prior to September 11th. American Express Company, founded in 1850, is a global travel, financial and network services provider. For more information on the "Downtown NYC River to River Festival 2002", please see www.rivertorivernyc.org.
Skyler / Jennifer Falk