Our team is a shining example of diversity, consisting of women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community. We represent our company's mission statement to embrace and celebrate diversity in all its forms. With our unique perspectives and experiences, our team brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to the table, helping to shape our company's direction and drive success. Our leadership hopes to inspire and empower our entire organization to continue to be inclusive, innovative, and impactful.
Founder & CEO
Micheal brings a wealth of experience from his thirty-five years working in the design, branding, and fashion worlds to bear on UGK. His career began as an assistant designer Lugene Optical, NYC. Design inspired he launched Artistic Eye, luxury lifestyle products Beverly Hills and San Francisco. Sparks built a distinguished clientele in cities including New York, London, Paris, Madrid, and Osaka. A London move allowed him to concentrate on design, consultant to a number of British brands. then leading to freelancing in Madrid with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) and Loewe. After eight years with LVMH, Micheal returned to NYC,creating Micheal Sparks Design. In 2013, Micheal channeled his considerable talents into the creation of The Underground Kitchen to what it is today.
Richmond native Chef Steve Glenn has dedicated his life to exploring the nuances of Culinary Arts. He started with humble beginnings gaining interest in the art of cuisine from his grandmother at the age of 10 years old. Over the course of his career, he’s worked his way through the ranks of the industry gaining knowledge from world renowned chefs along the way. At the age of 21, he competed in Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen where he finished as a finalist and took home the coveted Black Jacket. From there he moved back home to Virginia and worked as executive sous chef at Richmond Country Club for 4 years. At 25, Steve took on the title of Executive Chef of The Black Hen and Bar Blue in Blacksburg Virginia. During his time in Blacksburg he was able to maintain The Black Hen’s Reputation as the best restaurant in town. Eventually Chef Steve decided to venture independently as a traveling private chef and consultant. He received excellent reviews all along the east coast before deciding to settle back down in his hometown of Richmond Virginia.
A Southern California native, Nancy has served as a seasoned professional in the leisure and hospitality industries for the past twenty plus years. Working up the hotel ladder, the only female in the western region, fast-tracked to Director of Food & Beverage for Marriott Hotels & Resorts. After seven years, accepted the Executive F&B position Loews Hotels, budgets of 30M+ with 300+ employees. Nancy was then offered to oversee Hollywood's Ian Schrager's Mondrian Hotel, dealing with the world's most elite, high-powered clientele. In 2005, relocating to Washington, D.C. Nancy designed, owned, and operated OYA, SEI, and SAX restaurants . In June 2019, following a twelve year run, a decision was made to close the last brick and mortar restaurant and enter the technology field bootstrapping a hospitality tech start up, chattabot.ai. Nancy is also an Executive Board Member for Destination DC (Washington DC Visitor & Convention Bureau) chairing the DDC Marketing Committee.
Justin N. Ferguson
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Justin N. Ferguson continues to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the wine and commercial real estate Industry. Justin is a WSET Level 2 Certified Sommelier passionate about making wine a more inclusive experience. He aims to highlight an appreciation for a craft that has been around for thousands of years with influences by POCs. Bringing years of private event knowledge, wine dinner pairings, and blind-tasting education, Justin can speak the language of wine at all appreciation levels. Why? Because he firmly believes that wine is culture and that it should be shared and enjoyed by everyone. When Justin isn’t discussing wine, he helps corporate professionals, private investors, investment trusts, and developers strategize and maximize their returns to grow their multifamily investment portfolios at faster, more efficient rates. After 150+ commercial real estate transactions, Justin remains a dominant player in Southern Virginia.
Work With Us
There's so many ways we can work together! From social media consulting, product collaborations to photography and PR coverage.
Instagram Collabs - (Static Posts, Reels, IG Stories, TikTok, You Tube, Videography)
Food Photography & Videography
Chefs & Culture
Hospitality Service Professionals