20 Mar2015

Hunter Hotel Investment Conference to Honor Mike Leven



For immediate release:

Contact:  Martha Seabrook, Hunter Hotel Advisors

404-725-5854 or



Hunter Hotel Investment Conference to honor Mike Leven

 Veteran hospitality executive named recipient of Hunter Conference Award for Excellence and Inspiration


The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference will honor  Michael A. Leven as the 2015 recipient of the 6th annual Hunter Conference Award for Excellence and Inspiration at their upcoming national conference slated for March 25 – 27th at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.  The prestigious hospitality award is given annually and recognizes an industry owner who has exemplified high standards in leadership, citizenship and innovation and has been an inspiration in the hospitality industry.


Leven retired at the end of 2014 as president and COO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, and returned to Atlanta as chairman and CEO of the Georgia Aquarium on Jan. 1.  His distinguished career spans 50 years in the hospitality industry.  He was formerly president and CEO of U.S. Franchise Systems, Inc., the company he founded in 1995; president and COO of Holiday Inn Worldwide; president of Days Inn of America; and president of Americana Hotels & Realty.      


Mr. Leven is perhaps best known for his longtime leadership in the lodging industry.  He co-founded the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAOHA) in 1989 which now has over 9,300 members.  He is also the former international president of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and a former chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Government Affairs Committee.  He previously served as vice-chairman of the Marcus Foundation, and currently serves as a board member and trustee for many non-profits including Hersha Hospitality Trust, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America organization, American Gaming Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Birthright Israel Foundation and is currently chairman of the Job Creators Alliance Board of Directors and chairman of the Biomedical Services Board of the American Red Cross. 


“Mike’s prowess in the hospitality industry is unmatched,” said Bob Hunter, CEO Hunter Hotel Advisors.  “From his foresight to launch AAOHA to his compassionate interest in those who work with him, Mike is a role model of inspiration and excellence.  As a longtime colleague and friend, I am honored to present this award to Mike and know that he will continue to inspire and lead us for years to come.”

Leven will receive the award on Friday, March 27 at The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, one of the nation’s four top hotel investment conferences.  Former honorees include Tom Corcoran, Chairman of FelCor; Jack DeBoer,  Value Place LLC; H.P. Rama, JHM Hotels;  Bruce W. White, White Lodging Services, and Gary Tharaldson, Tharaldson Companies.  As part of the honor, Leven will be presented with a video salute from industry friends and a portrait.

Hunter is a recipient of the prestigious Allie Award as Best Tradeshow and Conference.  Proceeds from the Hunter Conference provide scholarships to hospitality students within the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University.  For on-line registration, please visit the conference website at or contact Nancy Petenbrink, conference director, at 770-916-0300 or

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