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Mike Leven
Mike Leven
Mike Leven

Advisory Council Member

Michael Leven knows the value of having a plan and pursuing it with great discipline. It’s an approach that, over a 50-plus-year career, helped him become an icon in the hotel industry and one of franchising’s most innovative leaders. Now retired, Mike has continued to build on his equally impressive philanthropic legacy.


As Mike discusses in the following interview, having a plan to guide one’s philanthropic work, and the discipline to stick to that plan, is essential. “Grantmaking is a business, and to do it well you need to have a process.” He continues, “Had I known all this starting out, I would have been more efficient and made fewer mistakes.”


In 2010, Mike and his wife launched the Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation, focusing on three funding areas: Free Enterprise, Jewish Continuity, and Oil Independence. Today, Mike also serves as a board member for the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, the Birthright Israel Foundation, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America organization. In addition, Mike is a member of the Georgia Aquarium Board of Directors, an institution where he previously served as chief executive officer.