Biography: Mike Leven

img HOSP Tiefel Leven 170x150Mike Leven has spent his entire career in the hotel industry. He is currently president, COO, assistant secretary and acting CEO of Sands China Ltd; and president and COO of Las Vegas Sands LLC.

In 1995, he formed US Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS), which franchises the Microtel Inns & Suites, Hawthorn Suites, and America’s Best Inns & Suites hotel brands. Prior to that, he served as president and chief operating officer of Holiday Inn Worldwide. During his five-year tenure, the new Holiday Inn Express brand grew from 0 to 330 open hotels, with a backlog of 500-plus units.

From 1985 to 1990, Leven was president of Days Inn of America. He led the company through a reorganization resulting in growth from a 225-unit regional chain to one of the largest brands in the world, with over 1,000 open units and 400 signed franchise agreements. He was also responsible for leading Days’ initiatives to hire older workers, people with disabilities and the homeless, and was recognized by AARP as “Outstanding Employer.” Leven also served as president of Americana Hotels.

In 1998, Leven was appointed to the Tourism Committee of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism by that state's governor. He has served on the American Red Cross' Board of Governors, as well as chairman of its Biomedical Services Board. He is a trustee of The Marcus Foundation, and director of The Chief Executive Leadership Institute. He has served on the boards of Starwood Hotels and Lodgian. He is presently on the Hersha Hospitality REIT board.

Leven co-founded the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) which now has over 8,000 members, and has lectured at most of the hotel schools in the US. He is former international president of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and a member of HSMAI’s Hall of Fame. He chaired the Millennium Occupancy & Revenue Effort (MORE) task force of the American Hotel & Motel Association (AH&MA), the AH&MA Government Affairs Committee, and serves on the AH&MA’s CEO Council. He is chair of the United Jewish Communities Marketing and Public Affairs Committee, and general chairman of the Atlanta State of Israel Bonds Committee.

Recent recognitions include: 2001 UJA Federation of New York Hotel & Hospitality Award; 2001 honorary doctorate of commercial science from The College of Hospitality and Tourism Management of Niagara University; Above and Beyond Award at The Lodging Conference 2001; Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Tufts University 2002; and HSMAI’s “Hot List” of the 25 Most Extraordinary Sales & Marketing Minds in Hospitality & Travel 2004.

Leven is a native of Boston, Mass., and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and Master of Science from Boston University. He and his wife, Andrea, reside in Atlanta. They have three sons and five grandchildren.