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MMPI's Mark Falanga to step down as president

CHICAGO - Mark Falanga, president of Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., will step down at the end of February from the position that he has held since 2011 when he took over from Chris Kennedy.

At that time, Falanga's "directive was to simplify and re-position our business. With a very capable team, we accomplished these objectives by selling off non-core assets and focusing on making our core assets great," he noted in a letter addressed to friends and colleagues announcing his resignation.

"I had been contemplating this for awhile - since 2008 when I sold a personal real estate portfolio," Falanga told sister magazine Gifts and Decorative Accessories. "I have some outside entrepreneurial interests, including a snowboarding product development project and some personal real estate ventures, that I wish to pursue. ...With the Mart and MMPI's business so well-positioned now, I feel that it is a good time to leave."

Falanga's resignation will have no effect on the gift and home industry in Chicago, he said.

"We made a significant investment in consolidating gift and home at the Mart. It is now right-sized for the market here," Falanga said.

Falanga will be succeeded by Myron Maurer, current COO and a 25-year veteran of MMPI.

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