Entries by Craig

Gild Hall NYC – Customer Service Disaster Recovery Part 2

A few years ago I wrote “A coffee for a coffee, a car for a car, $10 for porn?” an article about several positive experiences with businesses’ quick action to make up for service failures. Recently, I had a similar experience with Gild Hall, my favorite NYC hotel.  Located a short walk from Year Up’s […]

PMC Collaboration Kicking Cancer’s Ass

Last weekend I rode CHUBike 160 miles in my 3rd Pan Mass Challenge along with 60 of my Year Up TEAM DMITRI! colleagues and thousands of other like-minded cyclists. The PMC is the world’s most successful athletic fund raiser, having raised over $450 million dollars for cancer research. It may also be the best example […]

A Tribute to the Original Collaboration Evangelist

On the Monday before Thanksgiving [2008] my father, Cecil H. Underwood,  passed away.  The date was November 24th, nineteen days after his 86th birthday and twenty days after Barrack Obama was elected President.   My father was born two days before Election Day in 1922, elected the youngest Governor of West Virginia two days after he […]

Year Up

Thanks to Vanessa Kirsch and Kelly Fitzsimmons of New Profit, I met Gerald Chertavian and got involved in creating Year Up in early 2001. Year Up is the innovative workforce develop program founded by Gerald and Kate Chertavian that recruits and trains low income urban young adults for entry level middle skill jobs and places […]

Three I Leadership

During the time I was CEO of The Loyalty Group, we grew from three entrepreneurs in a Toronto hotel room to over 600 employees when we sold the business to Alliance Data System (NYSE: ADS) in 1998.  Throughout this period, I thought a lot about both leadership and how to help our people develop the […]

Note to Starbucks CEO: Don’t use technology (or loyalty programs) to demotivate your employees

  Summary: While the Starbucks App is cool and makes buying coffee and food quick and easy without dealing with cash, credit or debit cards, the company appears to have developed the app without fully considering the impact on their employees. The app doesn’t offer users the option to tip baristas when making a purchase.  […]

Is the U.S. coalition loyalty’s Afghanistan? Overcoming the challenges of the U.S. market.

Net: Coalition loyalty programs are among the most successful and fastest growing businesses created over the past 25 years, with flourishing coalition programs currently operating in many countries around the world. The one glaring exception – the U.S. market. Why? It certainly isn’t for lack of trying. Over $1 billion has been lost by companies […]