The Hub Cofounders Reimagine Meetings
by marni prichard manko
John New and Bill Decker at the hub of it all.
As business consultants for some of the world’s most prominent companies, one would think that The Hub cofounders Bill Decker and John New would be accustomed to working in the lap of luxury. But that was hardly the case. “There just was never enough space, anywhere, anytime. It was chaos,” says Decker, reminiscing about his years working for the likes of Eli Lilly and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
So the former Georgetown University buds—who found themselves working in drab offices and meeting in cookie-cutter hotel conference rooms—began what they call the “shared-space revolution” in the form of The Hub Centers for Meeting & Collaboration. With locations at CityView, the Cira Centre, and, this fall, Commerce Square, The Hub will offer 95,000 square feet of collaborative meeting space in Philadelphia.
The concept is simple: create a purpose-built meeting space that offers inspirational surroundings combined with state-of-the-art technology, essential meeting tools, ergonomically optimized seating, and any other business amenity imaginable. Artwork from Calder, Dalí, Lichtenstein, and Warhol dot the walls. Triple-filtered water is served in lieu of bottled water to reduce the carbon footprint (The Hub Cira Centre is the first LEED-certified privately held meeting and event center in the country). Catering is provided by Stephen Starr and Jose Garces. “We put time and energy into creating an environment that’s emotive and interesting,” says New.
Decker and New work with every one of the region’s Fortune 100 companies and more than 50 percent of the Fortune 500 companies. Yet they both readily admit that their meeting-space revolution is 100 percent collaborative. “We’ve known each other for 15 years,” says Decker. “Some of our Wall Street investors said if we asked them seven years ago if they thought John and I would be partners this far along, they would have put their money against it, for no other reason than statistically it’s just unlikely. But that just makes me appreciate the strong working relationship and strong level of trust that John and I have together. It’s pretty powerful.”
photography by stuart goldenberg