Helping Talent Rise: Gratitude, Tech and Hospitality for Social Impact

Scheduled for: May 23rd, 2023, 10:00 am PT / Category: Interviews

How do soft skills impact the future of hospitality management? Can the recognition and appreciation of soft skills challenge the focus on monetary gain and potentially question the principles of capitalism?

Summary of the video

Adrian Marquez is the founder of a company called Agaru. The episode focuses on helping talent rise in the context of gratitude, technology, and hospitality for social impact. Adrian shares his story of being involved in the hospitality industry for 20 years and his realization that many talented individuals in the industry lack access to education and opportunities. This realization led him to found Agaru, a platform where customers can vote for staff members and provide them with ratings. These ratings serve as a record of their skills and can open doors to new opportunities and career growth. The platform aims to address the challenge of assessing soft skills in the hospitality industry and help individuals showcase their talents. The conversation also explores the impact of soft skills on hospitality management, the potential to challenge the focus on monetary gain, and the role of gratitude in human interactions. The episode ends with an invitation for viewers to visit Agaru’s website and vote for individuals who have provided them with a positive experience.


Adrian Marquez is an accomplished Anthropologist, Sommelier, and Entrepreneur. With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including 20 years as a Sommelier, he has demonstrated a lifelong passion for entrepreneurship. He is a Co-founder of Charlies’ Burgers, “one of the top food and wine experiences in the world,” and the founder of Agaru, a groundbreaking venture focused on hospitality metrics, which has been recognized as one of the top 20 innovative startups worldwide by UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization).

Originally from Mexico City, Adrian is a proud Canadian immigrant who has lived in various cities, including Los Angeles, Chengdu/Leshan, Kyoto, and Toronto. He is fluent in English and Spanish, with the self-proclaimed Japanese language skills of a four-year-old.

He graduated from both the University of Toronto, specializing in cultural Anthropology, and The Founder Institute, an esteemed program based in Silicon Valley.

Adrian describes himself as a techno hippie and a well-rounded nerd. He strongly believes that wasted talent is a tragedy and that the most impactful form of charity involves empowering individuals to help themselves. His interests extend to continuous learning, reading, enjoying disco music, and appreciating well-crafted setups of any kind.