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Susan Reilly Salgado

Founder and Managing Partner of HQ

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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 Reilly Salgado's Programs

Surfers, Skunks and Whelmers: Building an Accountable Culture

Do you have surfers? Those amazing, reliable employees who demonstrate the highest levels of accountability to the standards of excellence by modeling adaptability and athleticism in their work?

Do you have employees who are skunks? Those negative nellies who foul up the work environment – and need to be held accountable for their behavior?

How about Whelmers – those employees who never overwhelm you with how great they are or underwhelm you enough to make you fire them – they just ‘whelm’ all the time?

These three types of employees impact the quality of your workplace and have the ability to make or break your culture. Do you know how to deal with each?

One of the great challenges for organizations that seek to put their employees first is finding ways to hold teams accountable to the highest standards of excellence while still taking care of the team In this session, Susan will share some best practices for how to do just that – holding employees accountable to your standards, while still being “on their side” – whether you have skunks, surfers, or Whelmers on your team – so you can create an accountable culture that is positioned to succeed.

Susan Reilly Salgado's Books