Exchange Place Alliance announces new executive director as part of management transition

The Jersey City-based Exchange Place Alliance board of directors on Thursday announced that longtime Executive Director Elizabeth Cain is stepping down from her day-to-day role, and Deidre Crockett has been appointed to succeed her in that position.

Crockett is a former alliance board member and executive vice president/chief administrative officer at Mack-Cali before starting Crockett+Co., a real estate advisory firm.

Cain, who served in the role for seven years, is stepping down from her post at the alliance to become chief strategy officer at Corcoran Sawyer Smith, a residential real estate brokerage. She will remain a consultant to the alliance, serving as a marketing and programming coordinator.

At the same time, Director Martin Schmid is stepping down to pursue a career as a fulltime musician.

“Elizabeth has been with us since the formation of the alliance, and all of the success we have been able to garner is because of her hard work, intelligence and dedication,” Mike DeMarco, president of the alliance board of directors, said. “Even though we are fortunate she is staying on in an advisory capacity, her daily presence will be sorely missed.

“Martin has been with us five years and is an exceptional person with one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met. He’s a noted musician who’s now going to focus his talent there. We look forward to his success.”

The board said in a statement: “We are so excited to have Deidre assume this important leadership role at the alliance. As a downtown resident with deep real estate experience who loves walking her dogs throughout her neighborhood, she is exactly the type of downtown enthusiast we need to further advance our agenda, making Jersey City the best place to live, work and play in our community.”

The board has overseen significant expansion of the alliance’s responsibilities. Exchange Place Plaza has been completely rebuilt, featuring playgrounds, seating and a more welcoming environment to match a neighborhood that has become more residential. New wayfinding and historical signage, dozens of new trees and shrubbery, public art installations — both permanent and for shows — have been featured, and outdoor programming from movies to music has significantly increased.

“We look forward to serving Jersey City to the best of our abilities in every way possible, with a continued focus on creating public spaces, with special attention to children’s playgrounds as well as supporting the arts,” DeMarco said.