Great Hearts Always Endure

In 2004, Hood & Strong was fortunate to bid on — and win! — a beautiful San Francisco heart sculpture benefitting the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. The Hearts in San Francisco project debuted that year, featuring works by local Bay Area artists to support the life-saving work of our hometown’s world-renowned public hospital and trauma center. In the years since, and again this week, millions of dollars have been donated to Zuckerberg San Francisco General through the annual Hearts fundraiser, now a beloved City tradition and a shining example of the Bay Area’s continued creativity and generosity.

Created by artist Peter Mangan, Hood & Strong’s “Spotted Heart” was selected by H&S Partner Kathy Grogan and current Managing Partner Susan Malone, who made the trek to the San Francisco Giants’ parking lot to see all of the life-size hearts displayed in advance of the inaugural auction. After picking three to bid on, they went full-out for the one that was “really cool, part metal and part glass, and totally unique, not at all a typical heart.”

Then, elated with the newest addition to the acclaimed Hood & Strong art collection, Susan and Kathy had to figure out how to get the 600-pound piece of art into its new home…

As Susan tells it, “We didn’t think to measure or ask about the weight, so our heart turned out to be too big to fit in the elevator in our office on Spear Street, and we tried for weeks to figure out a way to get it into the building. We even had friends of the firm offering to help us hoist it by crane through a high-rise window!” But H&S ingenuity persevered, and the art storage company eventually worked with the artist to safely unbolt one side of the artwork so it could then fit in the freight elevator.

When Hood & Strong moved its offices to First and Mission streets, the heart moved to its next honored place — in the entry — complete with custom-designed lighting. And now it resides in H&S’s current space at 275 Battery, where the lobby again was reconfigured to ensure its perfect display!

For more than 17 years, this one-of-a-kind heart has held a big place in the heart of Hood & Strong’s offices. And, on this Valentine’s Day – as the world begins to emerge from the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic and a 2020 wrought with both personal and professional challenges – it is again a fitting reminder of all the good hearts and good works that have always defined our firm.

A heart-felt example is Guittard Chocolate Company, whose Make It Sweet program aims to pay forward the kindness, camaraderie and empathy that the Guittard family attributes to the company’s 150+ year success… Or the talented creatives at SFMOMA, who have kept us grounded and connected with an enlightening roster of online events and interactive experiences… And, our amazing and dedicated co-workers, who continue to share their time and talents by volunteering with worthy non-profits in San Francisco and beyond, even within the constraints and challenges of COVID-19. The list goes on.

Throughout Hood & Strong’s century-plus history, the great hearts of our clients, colleagues, families and friends have always endured. This last year is no exception. A very Happy Valentine’s Day 2021 from all of us at Hood & Strong LLP.

 

 

Guittard’s Gourmet Brownies

Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and natural nutrients that can be beneficial to your heart health. This Valentine’s Day, try these decadent, delicious brownies from the award-winning Guittard family kitchens featuring their 100% Cacao unsweetened chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz (3 bars) Guittard 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate broken into pieces
  • 1 cup +2 tablespoon (2 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9x9x2 inch pan with foil covering the bottom and extending up the sides.
  2. Melt unsweetened chocolate and butter in a medium microwave safe bowl at medium power (50% or level 5) mixing at 30-second intervals until smooth and all of the chocolate is melted.* Set aside.
  3. In large bowl of electric mixer beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt at high speed for about 2-3 minutes or until light and creamy. Blend in melted chocolate at low speed, stopping to scrape sides as needed. Add flour just until incorporated. Spread into prepared pan. Bake about 40-50 minutes or until top is puffed and cracked and toothpick inserted in center tests moist. It is best not to over bake as brownies set as they cool. Allow to cool before cutting.

*Stovetop: Melt in top of double boiler over hot (not boiling) water.