Surfers, Skunks and Whelmers: Building an Accountable Culture



As Hospitality Quotient’s founder and primary thought-leader, Susan leverages over 20 years of academic and professional experience in organizational behavior to continually develop and evolve HQ’s offerings, focusing in assessing, building, sustaining, and evolving culture through effective leadership. Susan brings passion, energy, and intellect as she helps clients navigate cultural shifts, and adopt leadership strategies to put hospitality at the center of their business models for sustainable competitive advantage.

Susan launched HQ with Danny Meyer in 2010 after spending seven years as the Director of Culture & Learning for Danny’s restaurants in Union Square Hospitality Group, where her role emphasized growing and evolving the culture of the USHG businesses. Susan’s doctoral dissertation was based on an assessment of USHG’s culture. Her research and expertise are the foundation of HQ’s offerings, enabling organizations to achieve “favorite-in-category” status.

Susan is a weekly contributor for Inc. Magazine, penning her column, “Culture Compass,” which focuses on empowering entrepreneurs with the mindset and tools to design, execute, and evolve their company’s culture to create value for all stakeholders. Susan also brings her passion for transforming workplaces to a broader audience as co-chair of Conscious Capitalism’s NYC Chapter. Co-founding the New York City chapter, Susan inspires business leaders to drive change through a multi-stakeholder model.

Susan has been an invited speaker for leaders in a wide range of industries, including engagements with Citibank Small Business Seminars, TEDx, Stella Summit, Share Our Strength, Grind, GLG Share, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

In addition to her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from NYU/Stern School of Business, Susan holds a BS in Environmental Sciences & Resource Management and an MBA from Lehigh University. Susan has also served as a guest lecturer and instructor for undergraduate and MBA classes in organizational behavior and business strategy at NYU-Stern, University of Pennsylvania-Wharton, and Lehigh University.

Susan lives in lower Manhattan with her husband and their daughter.