CHICAGO—“Curiosity, combined with the ability to be creative and inventive, is the human trait, which lies at the heart of the Hotel EMC2’s brand identity. When a human being can be creative and invent, it can transform their view on life and ennoble the spirit,” said Scott Greenberg, president and CEO of SMASHotels.
Greenberg is the visionary behind Hotel EMC2, a 195-room hotel open since July in downtown Chicago with a focus on the convergence of art and science through its design, cuisine and guest experience.
In an effort to give back to the community in which it resides, Hotel EMC2 has donated $90,000 to Project SYNCERE (Supporting Youth’s Needs with Core Engineering Research Experiments). The local nonprofit implements programs to engage young people in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and set them on a path to college and careers in these fields.
“Hotel EMC2 has a deep passion for putting a spotlight on this message when a guest stays at our hotel, but also has a passion for sharing this experience in underserved communities in Chicago where the creative aptitude exists, but the opportunity for this experience is limited,” said Greenberg. “Therefore, our partnership with Project SYNCERE is perfectly aligned.”
Hotel EMC2 is supporting 20 Chicago high schools in a first-of-its-kind program in the city. Greenberg explained that these students will receive an equivalent of a high school advanced placement introductory engineering course.
“This type of program does exist in many elite suburbs of Chicago, but not the underserved inner city communities,” he said. “The hands-on learning curriculum that Hotel EMC2 is funding through its giving program is provided by the highly innovative and acclaimed Project Lead the Way.”
Greenberg and his wife, Alison Zirn, joined the board for Project SYNCERE in order to add their experience and mentorship to ensure the project is successful for the current students in the program and lay the groundwork for it to grow and become more impactful over the long term.
“I realized in building the innovative Hotel EMC2, that this unique brand couldn’t fully fulfill its mission of truly celebrating the intersection of art and science without also making a real-world contribution to the underserved Chicago community in a way that is consistent with the brand identity of the hotel,” he said.
For Greenberg and the team at Hotel EMC2, Project SYNCERE is a long-term commitment. The program the hotel is funding will pay long-term dividends provided Hotel EMC2 remains committed to funding this program year after year, he noted.
“I believe having a steady giving initiative reminds us each to remain humble and thoughtful of others. It makes us all better people when we can give from ourselves,” he concluded.