With decades of experience, Susan understands the impact leaders have on organizational outcomes.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER, ADVISOR, THOUGHT LEADER, AND ONE OF FAST COMPANY’S MOST CREATIVE PEOPLE IN BUSINESS
In 1992, Susan fell in love, twice: with the man she now calls her husband, and with New York’s Union Square Cafe.
While they were dating, Susan and her husband, Jason, shared many meals at the bar of Union Square Cafe in NYC. Susan was fascinated by the dependably caring service and the staff’s ability to provide authentic, memorable experiences for guests.
Years later, while pursuing a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from NYU’s Stern School of Business, Susan wanted to decipher the correlation between engaging work environments and outstanding business results. Her marvelous experiences at Union Square Cafe immediately came to mind.
In 1998, she had a chance meeting with famed restaurateur—and owner of Union Square Cafe—Danny Meyer. Soon thereafter, Susan had convinced Danny to let her study his organization’s culture for her dissertation research.
When Susan earned her doctorate, she had developed a unique model of organizational culture that decoded Union Square’s remarkable success and, in the process, had fallen in love a third time: with the culture of Danny Meyer’s company.
In 2003, Danny Meyer named Susan the first-ever Director of Culture & Learning of Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). Over the next seven years, Susan’s job was to help create an infrastructure to support the company’s unique culture, facilitating the rapid growth of the organization from 600 people to more than 3,000 with the growth of the Shake Shack brand. To Susan, the trick to smooth scaling resided in creating a blueprint of the company’s culture, then teaching leaders how to sustain and evolve that culture over time.
Throughout her time at USHG, Susan noticed the similarities between family and business. Not only were the restaurants like siblings in a family, but the culture was most effective when actively managed by leaders, much like the role parents ideally play to create a thriving household. She found that the key to sustaining culture at home and in organizations was intense accountability to high standards of behavior, while simultaneously maintaining mutual care and respect.
Eager to inspire further change in organizations, Susan co-founded consultancy Hospitality Quotient with Danny Meyer in 2010. This allowed her to share her methodology across more than 20 industries, and later garnered her a spot on Fast Company’s list of “Most Creative People in Business.”
Today, Susan and her family live and work in Manhattan. Through her keynotes and advisory services, Susan leverages 20 years of experience on her mission to make the world a better place, by creating better workplaces.
Susan has engaged with teams across more than 20 industries.
BJ’s Restaurants & Brewhouse
The Indigo Road
The Marine Hotel Association
Long Island Wine Council
Union Square Hospitality Group
World of Hyatt
Fast Company Innovation Festival
The Department of Education, NYC
The Glenholme School
New York University
NYU Law School
NYU Wagner School of Public Service
The Practising Law Institute
Stanford in New York
School of Visual Arts
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton
University of Pittsburgh, IEE
Yale University, School of Management
Entertainment & EVENTS
Conscious Venture Lab
FASHION & BEAUTY
The Accessories Council
Kiehl's Since 1851
Cedars Sinai Hospital System
Chesapeake Pediatric Dental Group
The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
Community Veterinary Partners
Beth Israel Hospital
InTown Veterinary Group
North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Patients as Partners
Westchester Medical Group
American Benefits Association
MidAtlantic Employers Association
COMMUNITY & NonProfit
Greyston Social Enterprise
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Share Our Strength
Small Business Services of New York
Union for Reform Judaism
SALES & INSURANCE
Global Insurance Symposium
The Richman Group
TRANSPORTATION & Construction
consumer products & retail