A Letter From Our Chairman
March 1, 2021
Over the past many years, as Board Member, investor, speaker, and mentor, I’ve had the great privilege to work with, learn from, and get to know quite a few growing companies and their entrepreneurial founders who are eager to advance an employee-first culture. In addition to having created and built disruptive, market-leading businesses, they’ve worked purposefully to fuel an uplifting stakeholder culture, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because they know it’s a powerful competitive advantage. At Union Square Hospitality Group, we call it “Enlightened Hospitality”. Other businesses know it as Conscious Capitalism or Stakeholder Capitalism.
Thanks to the leadership of CEO Adam Sokoloff and our Board and Advisory Council – each exceptional for their range of experience and breadth of relationships – we have just completed the IPO of USHG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE ticker: HUGS), a $287 million special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC). We believe we are among the first SPACs whose “special purpose” is to merge with a remarkable growth company – irrespective of its industry – whose most enduring competitive advantage is its culture. In addition to what it does or makes brilliantly, it is the kind of company whose thoughtful way of doing business attracts and retains the most talented team members who love working there, and one that builds the largest fan base of raving customers and suppliers who love doing business with them. Our purpose is to provide growth capital and strategic support for a beloved company whose growth itself intentionally fuels the well-being of each of its stakeholders, not least of which is its broader community.
We’re proud to have contributed a meaningful number of our USHGAC founder shares to No Kid Hungry whose vital work to end childhood hunger in America inspires us daily. And we thank the NYSE for their generosity in celebrating our IPO through their support of USHG’s employee relief fund, HUGS, and also Rethink, the organization we’ve partnered with throughout the pandemic, which helps restaurants to rehire cooks to prepare and deliver food to underserved neighborhoods.
Over and beyond being a descriptor for the food, beverage, and lodging industries - hospitality is now recognized as a potent business principle that applies across a broad range of sectors, from e-commerce, technology, health, beauty, pets, and any kind of consumer business or lifestyle brand. We welcome hearing from you if you have ideas for the kind of company we are describing.
Warm regards (and HUGS),