Herschend Enterprises Honored with goBeyondProfit 2022 Champion Award


March 07, 2022

ATLANTA (March 7, 2022)goBeyondProfit, a first-of-its-kind business leader initiative that highlights corporate generosity, today announced it has honored Georgia-based Herschend Enterprises as a winner of the goBeyondProfit champion award for 2022. Past award winners include Gas South, Creature Comforts Brewing, H.J. Russell & Company, Aflac, W&A Engineering and Cox Enterprises.

Herschend Enterprises, a 70-year-old entertainment business and its CEO Andrew Wexler were nominated and selected for this award by fellow Georgia business leaders because of their exemplary generous work to improve the lives of others.

Herschend Enterprises, which owns venues and organizations such as Silver Dollar City , Dollywood Parks and Resorts  and the Harlem Globetrotters , was nominated for its business and community focus called “Leading with Love – a core principle for decision-making in good times and bad.

Among its noted works include:

  • Silver Dollar City’s Care for Kids program coordinates with public schools to provide necessities for kids, from school supplies to food to coats and vision and medical and dental care.
  • The Dollywood Foundation’s Imagination Library was created with teachers to help increase literacy by providing books for children ages one to five. The program now reaches 10 percent of every child born in the nation.
  • The Harlem Globetrotters. This iconic organization focuses on volunteer time spent visiting children in hospitals, US troops overseas, assisting in disaster relief and spreading joy to kids.

Herschend also cares for its employees with their new Herschend GROW U. program, which provides all US-based employees with 100% free tuition, including books, fees and supplies for more than 100 degree, diploma and certification programs – starting day one of employment.

The company maintained health insurance for all furloughed employees during the pandemic despite no revenue earned.

“Love is demonstrated in what you do for others and there may be no better business example of love in action than Herschend Enterprises and its CEO, Andrew Wexler,” said Megan McCamey, President of goBeyondProfit. “At goBeyondProfit, we are eager to raise up exceptional companies that show this generosity mindset that not only prioritizes community needs but is central to guiding business decisions inside the company.”

In an interview, CEO Wexler offers constructive insights for other Georgia business leaders on how to show love for others – including employees. For example, Wexler discussed how to make core business values consistent across an organization through defined language, clear expectations and a purposeful structure that ensures all 11,000+ employees understand and can align around the values. www.gobeyondprofit.org/champion

“Our team really believes in leading with love and they act on it,” Wexler said. “This idea of love in action — treating people with respect, dignity, taking care of each other– that’s how we take this timeless concept of love and operationalize it in our day-to-day business,” Wexler said.

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 26 business units across the US and British Columbia that make up Herschend Enterprises today embodies the company’s foundational values that positively impact the 11,000+ employees and define the experience of their guests and broader communities.

About goBeyondProfit

goBeyondProfit is a statewide alliance launched by business leaders for business leaders to spur corporate generosity and improve people’s lives. To submit a nomination for future goBeyondProfit Champions, visit the goBeyondProfit website and nomination form.

About Herschend Enterprises

Herschend Enterprises is the parent company for a family of 26 entertainment brands with a collective purpose of bringing families closer together by Creating Memories Worth Repeating . The company’s roots date back to 1950 when the Herschend family founded their first attraction, a small cave tour Branson, Mo., which later expanded into the famed Silver Dollar City . Today, Herschend Enterprises’ properties entertain more than 14 million guests annually across the US & British Columbia and is currently recognized as the largest privately-held themed attractions organization in the US.

Operating companies within Herschend Enterprises includes Herschend Family Entertainment (Dollywood®  Parks & Resorts, Silver Dollar City®, Adventure Aquarium®, Newport Aquarium ®, Kentucky Kingdom®, and Wild Adventures®), Herschend Live (Harlem Globetrotters®), Herschend Entertainment Studios (Splash & Bubbles® and Chuggington®) and Herschend Adventure Holdings, LLC (Pink Adventure Tours®).


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