goBeyondProfit announces
Herschend Enterprises
as Champion Award winner

PROFILE OF A CHAMPION:
HERSCHEND ENTERPRISES

Leading with love in crisis and prosperity

The story of Herschend Enterprises begins in 1950 with the leasing of a single cave that launched an entertainment business that’s now known as the country’s largest privately-held themed attractions corporation. Each of the business units that make up Herschend Enterprises today — from the original Silver Dollar City® to Dollywood Parks and Resorts® to Harlem Globetrotters® — embody foundational company values that positively impact the 11,000+ employees, and define the experience of their guests and broader communities.

As a result, Herschend Enterprises and their CEO, Andrew Wexler, were nominated and selected as the first 2022 goBeyondProfit Champion by fellow Georgia business leaders because of their exemplary generous work to improve the lives of others and for its business and community focus called “Leading with Love” – a core principle for decision-making in good times and bad.

Operationalizing “Love”

The resulting culture doesn’t happen by accident. My leadership team and the leaders throughout this company make it real, day in, day out. You see it every day at each of our properties, whether it’s how we create memories worth repeating for our guests, or how they take care of each other, or how we’re involved in the communities that we’re in. Our team really believes in it and they act on it. And they know that they have the permission to do what’s right. That’s how we take this timeless concept of love and operationalize it in our day to day business.

Love Tested: Navigating an Industry Crushing Pandemic

To me it isn’t about a company going out of business. It’s the legacy of caring, and taking care of people, and bringing families closer together. And I just cannot let that legacy go under on my watch. We put this idea of leading with love to the test. We challenged ourselves to step into the gap and we paid health benefits for all of our furloughed employees.

Return on Invested Love: Employee Benefits

We truly believe that our guests’ experience cannot exceed our employee experience. Starting in 2022, all 11,000 of our U.S.-based employees are going to have access to over 100 degree, diploma, and certification programs 100% free. We’re really excited that it’s going to create opportunity and reduce a lot of barriers that exists for a lot of people who are trying to get their education. We have the tagline: “your education needs to be funded with love, not loans.”

Long-term Sustainability of Love

If you want to be successful over the long term, you’ve got to be sustainable. And sustainability is all about this balance: customers, shareholders, and employees, and other stakeholders like community, vendors. And you’ve got to think of that in balance. And if you put that in balance, then you’re going to be able to survive the long-term. This idea of love in action, the concept of treating people with respect, dignity, taking care of each other — that’s timeless.

Current & Previous Winners