By Noah Parks,
By Noah ParksHospitality was already here when the pilgrims landed. The very prim and proper rules of court and noble life that early explorers brought probably seemed jarring to indigenous people. Even more foreign would be the idea that anyone owned land or that property was private. Hospitality in Native America was free and flowing. The incredible bounty of the land was given to those who were able to hunt and farm it. During Lewis and Clark’s journey across the country they encountered many tribes for the first time. They were welcomed and given refreshments, the food that was prepared was available to all and the homes were open to all as well. It reminds me of several events with HMG+ where the goal was to create an inclusive environment that ensured that everyone had whatever they wanted.
One of the guiding principles of HMG+ is creating a welcoming atmosphere for the guests at all of our events. We invite everyone to partake in both food and drink, and anticipate the needs of our guests. Like many of the tribes that George Catlin (traveler with Lewis and Clark) writes about, our events provide experiences that seem to run themselves. Everyone is able to come and go to whatever part of the event they want, they could even adventure to the kitchen or ask our Captains anything in order to learn more about the service. I’ve personally had guests ask how catering, events management, and service works. As much as there is a respectful boundary to ensure guests enjoy themselves, there’s also something fascinating about events that’s universal. This is an evergreen interest inspiring writers from the 1830’s to describe Native American hospitality, and motivating me to write about it today.
Another universal thing are our values, like HMG+ Native American tribes had many values that focused their lives work and experiences in life. Broadly, tribes revered “generosity, fortitude, kinship, and wisdom.” If I were starting a hospitality company today those might be the founding principles! As a person I believe that they are essential to living a fulfilling life. Many of the values that we hold as a company overlap with personal beliefs. That’s what has always set HMG+ apart: we take each event personally. When Service Professionals arrive on site they aren’t just bodies to hold trays, they’re passionate individuals that are motivated by building community and providing excellent service.
Our kinship and community are held up with fortitude of service over these past 30+ years, our future is bright because of the wisdom of our leadership, and the generosity which flows during our events creates lasting relationships. There is also a mutual relationship between guest and host that centers on gratitude and often when things are humming along there is always an air of thanks that permeates everything both guests and HMG+ does. A lot of this gratitude comes from all the sharing that is happening: the space is shared with all types of people, there’s usually great food and drink to share, memorable moments are observed together. As we give thanks this year, hopefully with friends and family in person, let’s remember how the Native American values of “generosity, fortitude, kinship, and wisdom” can help us stay grateful. This kind of observance is important as we recognize the hospitality that was already here before any of us were.