Weekend Inspiration: Minneapolis - United Hub

Weekend inspiration: Minneapolis

By Kelsey + Courtney Montague

Minneapolis is always one of our favorite cities to visit. It has a growing street art scene and so many great restaurants, bars and clubs to choose from.

During this visit we got to focus our adventuring on the North Loop area, a neighborhood enveloped with some of the best spots in town!

Friday evening

Hewing Hotel Bar
Hewing Hotel Lobby

Our favorite hotel in the North Loop is the stylish Hewing Hotel, a refurbished warehouse with up-scale rooms and an immaculate bar. As the Twin Cities continue to grow in popularity, we recommend booking a room early for your next trip.

After checking in, walk down the street to the well-known Bar La Grassa for classic Italian fare. If you don't have a reservation, be sure to be in line right when they open — it's a popular place.

James Beard Award Winner Chef Issac Baker delivers bold flavors and adventurous pasta at this excellent hot-spot. The filled pastas will change your life and the flattened and grilled chicken is excellent.

If you're looking for something sweet post-dinner, walk down the street to Edwards Dessert Kitchen for a scrumptious fig and grape tart that tastes even better when paired with a craft cocktail.

Saturday morning and afternoon

Wake up early and head down for a classic breakfast at Tullibee, the hotel's restaurant.

If you're in the mood to do something a bit more active, and want to visit some of Minneapolis' famous lakes, Uber over to the Lake of the Isles Park. This park features ice skating in the winter, canoeing in the summer and has a stunning two mile walk/bike trail around the lake. If you're feeling really adventurous continue to walk around the larger Bde Maka Ska Lake.

After all of the activities, you've probably worked up an appetite, so when you're back in the North Loop walk over to Black Sheep - Coal Fired Pizza for one of their simple, yet excellent pies.

Saturday evening

Depending on your evening plans, we recommend getting an early reservation at our favorite restaurant in Minneapolis, Bachelor Farmer. Everything at this restaurant is excellent, but you can't leave without ordering a toast board and complementing whatever meal you get with their crazy-good popovers.

If you plan to attend a show, the Orpheum is a stunning, refurbished theater that attracts talent from all over the globe. We were lucky to catch Hamilton while we were there.

Sunday morning and afternoon

Stop by Freehouse for breakfast and be sure to get the breakfast bowl. After breakfast stop by the Walker Sculpture Garden to see some iconic Minneapolis pieces. The iconic cherry on the spoon is not to be missed.

After a stroll through the sculptures, stop by Keirans Irish Pub for their famous fish and chips and an IPA.

If you're still looking for an art experience, we suggest taking an Uber over to the installation at the Rosedale Center. Inside the center you will find three huge, beautiful sets of wings that make for the perfect photo opportunity .

Sunday evening

Spoon and Stable is another Minneapolis staple that's smart and classy with beautiful cocktails. Focused on Midwest cuisine with an edge, another James Beard Award Winning chef Gavin Kaysen delivers exceptional food. May we humbly suggest the orecchiette and the swordfish?

Afterwards top off your trip with a delectable cocktail from the speakeasy Marvel Bar. It's unmarked, so keep an eye out for a long hallway (under Bachelor Farmer) that ends with a purple door.

Enjoy your time in this Midwest marvel that's full of great food and kind people.

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Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

Jessica Kimbrough named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

By The Hub team, July 10, 2020

Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.

Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.

In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.

"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."

As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.

Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.

Jessica's new role is effective immediately.

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