Congratulations to our own Steve Case who was recognized as one of the ‘Most Admired CEOs’ within the region last week at the Washington Business Journal’s annual recognition for the best and brightest in business. We were thrilled to also see several other noted Washingtonians among the ranks for ‘Most Admired CEO’, including José Andrés of ThinkFoodGroup, Timothy Chi of WeddingWire Inc., Seth Goldman of Honest Tea, and Nicky Goren of The Meyer Foundation.
That same night the ‘Most Powerful Brands’ in Washington were announced, and our very own portfolio companies’ sweetgreen and LivingSocial were among those recognized. Led by Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru, and Jonathan Neman, sweetgreen has emerged as a fast casual restaurant of choice for socially conscious consumers who enjoy seasonal and locally sourced food. Their partnership with over 100 local and regional farms further adds to their commitment to the regions and customers they serve. With expected expansions on East Coast in early 2015 and preparations to open additional stores in California next year, the company has further elevated its brand through innovative technology platforms. Their mobile payment and rewards app, launched in 2013, accounts for nearly 25 percent of transactions company-wide.
Revolution Growth announced last month a second round investment of $18.5 million in the company that included investors Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm Founder, Scott Belsky of Behance, and restaurateurs Danny Meyer and Daniel Boulud.
LivingSocial received the nod on the heels of its recent announcement that Gautam Thakar joined their ranks as CEO. Thakar joins LivingSocial from eBay Inc., where he has spent over a decade in leadership roles. We are excited about his new role at the company.
Companies joining sweetgreen and LivingSocial in the recognition of Most Powerful Brands were Honest Tea, National Geographic, Politico and many more. And congratulations to Christopher Nassetta of Hilton Worldwide for his recognition of the CEO of the Year. The companies and their CEO’s honored this year represent all-around excellence in a number of industries and we salute each and every one.