Executives in Residence
- Niki Leondakis
- Pamela B. Crawley
- Jonathan M. Tisch
- Ted Turner
- Kellen Winslow
- Gary Kelly
- Michael Roberts
NIKI LEONDAKIS, Chief Operating Officer of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, oversees operations, marketing, human resources, sustainability and social responsibility initiatives for the company’s 44 boutique hotels and chef-driven, destination restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada. Leondakis joined Kimpton in 1993 as director of restaurant operations and advanced through the restaurant division to an eventual role of Senior Vice President of Restaurants. In 2001, Leondakis was promoted to Executive Vice President, Hotels and Restaurants. She became Chief Operating Officer in 2003.
Actively serving on the steering and senior executive committees, Leondakis has been a key player in the creation and development of Kimpton’s values and culture, and in leading the growth and expansion of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the U.S. In 1998, Leondakis formed Kimpton’s Mentor Program, aiding in the development and advancement of emerging leaders. In 2003, she launched Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Diversity Initiative, which is committed to creating a culture that acknowledges, understands, accepts, values and celebrates differences among people. Leondakis is also responsible for furthering the mission of Kimpton University, an education and training program that inspires personal as well as professional development and growth.
Prior to joining the Kimpton, Leondakis worked as a food and beverage director for the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company in Marina Del Rey, Calif., Atlanta and San Francisco, from 1985 to 1993. She began her hospitality career as a manager for Marriott Hotels in 1982 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Leondakis has received numerous industry awards, including being named one of the “100 Most Influential Women” by the San Francisco Business Times every year from 2002 to 2009, being recognized as one of “30 Women Power Players” by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2002, and named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Travel” by Travel Agent Magazine that same year. In 2007, Leondakis received the International Food Service Manufacturer’s Association Silver Plate Award for Operator of the Year. In 2008, Leondakis received the Fred Tibbits Hospitality Award for Lifetime Excellence
An avid contributor to the community, Leondakis serves as Chair of the Worldwide Board for Dress for Success, an international nonprofit organization that provides job interview suits and career development assistance to low-income women. Leondakis has served on the Board of Directors for the National Restaurant Association since 2004 and currently chairs the National Restaurant Association’s Sustainability and Social Responsibility Committee.
Leondakis holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant management and travel administration from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. A native of West Springfield, Massachusetts, Leondakis now resides with her husband in Hillsborough, California.
Pamela Browner Crawley
Pamela Browner Crawley joined the organization in 2009 as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations.
Crawley plays a key role in designing and overseeing the organization’ strategic communications, public affairs, media relations, government relations and community relations responsibilities. She joined the Eagles from her previous role as Senior Vice President and Director of Public Affairs at Citizens Bank.
“Pamela Browner Crawley is an outstanding professional with terrific experience in the communications field, and we are delighted to have her with us,” said Joe Banner, Eagles President. “We think that her skills match perfectly with our needs in this area, and we also look forward to her participation and leadership in the many programs that we run in the community.”
As part of her role, Crawley develops and implements comprehensive community relations strategies to promote the Club’s role as good public citizen throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. She also works with senior management to set priorities and define the media and government relations strategies for the organization.
Crawley is an accomplished businesswoman in the City of Philadelphia. In her work at Citizens Bank since 2001, she was responsible for shaping Citizens Bank’s public image and community focus for the mid-Atlantic region of the Bank. She spearheaded communications, government relations, public relations and the Citizens Bank Foundation. Crawley’s responsibilities included directing many of the Bank’s successful community initiatives such as the Neighborhood Investment Programs in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other cities across the Commonwealth. In that capacity, she helped create and launch the company’s innovative $250 million Citizens Job Bank program. The first of its kind in the nation, the Job Bank created a partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to spur the creation or retention of more then 5,000 jobs statewide.
Involved in civic and community activities, Crawley chairs the Marian Anderson Award, named after the famed Philadelphia born contralto. The Board’s mission is to provide financial support to young, financially-challenged artist and to recognize and bestow the Marian Anderson Award on artists/humanitarians who utilize their talents to make the world a better place. Past recipients include Harry Belafonte, Oprah Winfrey, Sidney Poitier and in 2008, Maya Angelou and Norman Lear.
“The Eagles are a great team and terrific organization, and I am thrilled to be part of the Club,” said Crawley. “This is a tremendous opportunity to build on the team’s dedication to the community oriented programs, to impact Philadelphia’s passionate sports fans, and to continue to showcase the great work of the Eagles.” Pamela is a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She earned a BA in Communications from Youngstown State University.
Jonathan M. Tisch
Jonathan M. Tisch is Co-Chairman of the Board and a member of the Office of the President of Loews Corporation, one of the largest diversified financial holding companies in the U.S., and is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of its subsidiary, Loews Hotels.
During his tenure, Tisch has engineered Loews Hotels’ expansion and emergence as a leading luxury hotel chain by infusing the properties with a widely praised corporate culture that places a high value on partnerships. His leadership philosophy, explored in his best-selling book, The Power of We: Succeeding Through Partnerships, provides a blueprint for achieving enduring success through partnerships that empower employees, satisfy customers, contribute to communities, and improve the bottom line. His best-seller follow-up book, Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough: Reinventing the Customer Experience, nominated for a Quill Award as one of the five best business books of the year, offers a detailed look at how the right customer experience can produce long-lasting success for any organization.
To get a better perspective on the essential connection between upper management and entry-level employees, Tisch starred in the premier episode of Now Who’s Boss?, a television series by TLC and New York Times Television, that explored what happens when a CEO is put back in frontline positions at his own company. Tisch also hosts Beyond the Boardroom, a television series on CNBC where he goes one-on-one with the nation’s leading CEOs. The program reveals the person behind the successful executive and shows that business is about more than just numbers, but rather guts, hard work, imagination, and people.
Recognized as a national leader of the multi-billion dollar travel and tourism industry, Tisch has served since 1995 as Chairman of the Travel Business Roundtable, a prominent coalition of chief executives representing various sectors of the travel and tourism industry, and in 2003, he was appointed to the United States Department of Commerce U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Tisch also served a five-year term as an officer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, culminating in his Chairmanship of the organization in 1997.
In his role as a national leader of travel and tourism, Tisch frequently can be seen in the media touting the industry’s importance to the economy as a vehicle for economic development and job creation. He has received numerous honors and accolades for his leadership, including “Hotel Person of the Year” by Travel Agent magazine, one of the “Business Travel Industry’s Most Influential Executives” by Business Travel News, and one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” by Meeting News magazine.
Tisch is also committed to a vibrant tourism industry in New York City, where for nearly six years he served as Chairman of NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism marketing agency and local convention and visitors bureau. Concurrent with his national efforts to help stimulate travel and tourism in the aftermath of September 11th, Tisch served as Chairman of “New York Rising,” a task force set up to help rebuild the city by reviving tourism. In recognition for his leadership and civic involvement, Crain’s New York Business named Tisch one of the “Top Ten Most Influential Business Leaders” and was named the 2006 “CEO of the Year” by the Executive Council of New York.
Believing you can do well and do good at the same time, Tisch is a champion of corporate responsibility and his community and philanthropic activities are extensive. He served as the Vice-Chairman of The Welfare to Work Partnership, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Tufts University, where he is also the naming benefactor of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. He is also on the Boards of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Tribeca Film Institute and the Business Council for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition, he is on the Board and is the Treasurer of the 2007 Super Bowl Champions New York Football Giants.
Throughout his career, Ted Turner has received recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen, sharp business skills, leadership qualities and his unprecedented philanthropy. Now the philanthropist, environmentalist, rancher and outdoorsman is promoting his love of Big Sky Country and its tradition of hearty food through a restaurant company called Ted’s Montana Grill.
Turner is chairman of Turner Enterprises Inc., a private company which manages his business interests, land holdings and investments, including the oversight of 2 million acres in 12 states and in Argentina, and more than 45,000 bison head. The mission of Turner Enterprises is to manage Turner lands in an economically sustainable and ecologically sensitive manner, while conserving native species.
Over the past four decades, Turner stepped into the international spotlight with one accomplishment after another. Whether in billboard advertisement, cable television, sports team ownership, sailing, environmental initiatives or philanthropy – his vision, determination, generosity and forthrightness have consistently given the world reason to take notice.
Turner is also chairman of the Turner Foundation Inc. The foundation supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect our climate, safeguarding environmental health, maintaining wildlife habitat protection, and developing practices and policies to curb population growth rates. He serves as co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which works to close the growing and increasingly dangerous gap between the threat from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and he is chairman of the United Nations Foundation, established to promote a more peaceful, prosperous and just world.
In January 2002, Turner launched Ted’s Montana Grill, a classic American grill, with his co-founder and restaurant partner, George McKerrow Jr., headquartered in Atlanta. Ted’s Montana Grill currently has more than 50 restaurants in 19 states.
Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1995 and member of the NFL All-Time Team, celebrating 75 years of NFL history are just a few of the achievements of Kellen Winslow. He continues to define success on and off the field. Today, he serves as the Director of Planning and New Event Development for the Walt Disney World® Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida where he is responsible for developing the business strategy for this multi-million dollar facility. This facility has been ranked number one in the country as being the premier facility for amateur athletic events. It serves as spring training camp for the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Bucanneers as well as host to a variety of nationally recognized athletic events.
Before joining Walt Disney World Kellen served as the Executive Director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, an affinity group made up of minority members of the National Football League front office, coaching and scouting personnel. Kellen’s strong blend of leadership and tactical foresight helped forge partnerships with NFL teams ensuring that minorities were equally represented and considered in the hiring process.
Kellen’s accomplishments are not just limited to football and the boardroom, he also led a successful career in the media. He served as an analyst for Fox Sports Net College Football Saturday Studio Show; and provided color commentary for NFL broadcasts on CBS Radio, ESPN college football and for University of Missouri football.
He has appeared on ABC’s Nightline, ESPN, Fox Sports and most major local and national radio and television sports talk shows. He is a professional speaker and is often called upon to speak on social, political, economic and racial issues relating to sports.
Kellen was born on November 5, 1957 in East St. Louis, Illinois. He began playing football during his senior year at East St. Louis Senior High School. In 1975, Kellen was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Missouri, Columbia. In 1978 he was named Big Eight Player of the Year for his academic and athletic achievements and earned consensus All-American honors. He was the 13th player selected in the first round of the 1979 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. Kellen enjoyed a nine-year career with the Chargers; earning All-Pro honors five times and setting both team and league records that stand to this day.
Other honors from Kellen’s football career include being named All-Pro, Consensus Collegiate All-American and induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2002. Kellen is said to be the player who defined the tight end position for the rest of pro football to follow.
A firm believer that academics and athletics go hand in hand, Kellen graduated from the University of Missouri receiving a Bachelor of Educational Science in Counseling Psychology. He returned to school after his football career and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1993.
Gary Kelly is Vice Chairman of the Board and CEO of Southwest Airlines Co., the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers boarded.
Gary began his career with Southwest in June 1986 as Controller. He was promoted to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Finance, in 1989, and to Executive Vice President in 2001. Gary was named Vice Chairman and CEO in July 2004.
Gary has a rich financial background. Prior to working at Southwest, he was Audit Manager for Arthur Young & Company in Dallas, Texas. He also has worked in mainframe software development as a Controller for Systems Center, Inc., now part of Sterling Software, in Irving, Texas.
Gary received a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and also is a Certified Public Accountant.
His financial organization affiliations include Financial Executives Institute, Southern Methodist University Finance Association, Working Council for Chief Financial Officers Corporate Executive Board, and Texas Society for CPA's. Gary also serves on the Accounting Advisory Boards at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at Dallas.
Gary and his wife, Carol, have two children: Caroline and Elizabeth.
Michael Roberts is the classic American entrepreneur. Born to middle class hard working parents, educated in the St. Louis public school system, he worked his way through college and law school to become one of St. Louis' leading businessmen. Throughout his rise in business, Mr. Roberts maintained a strong commitment to the African-American community from which he came. Locating his headquarters in the heart of this community, his endeavors over the last thirty-five years have created thousands of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, raised the level of economic activity and enhanced the quality of life for the African-American community.
Mr. Roberts' broad range of professional knowledge and experience developed as both a business owner and public official (St. Louis Board of Aldermen, 1977-1985) encompasses the application of innovative financing strategies for large public projects, public-private sector development negotiation strategies, and successful management techniques for urban commercial properties. His leadership in the creation of innovative strategies for financing of redevelopmentprojects propelled the City into a major redevelopment phase that lasted throughout the 1980s.
In the decades that followed, Mr. Roberts used his extraordinary and creative leadership abilities to build a business empire that encompasses television and radio broadcasting, real estate development, plus hotel ownership and management. Today, he is one of America’s most successful and respected African-American business leaders, and is the recipient of numerous awards such as:
- 2009 Trumpet Award for Business
- 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
- Morehouse College Distinguished Leader
And, selection as a participant in some our country’s most prestigious programs:
- Citizen Ambassador Program, Securities Delegation to China, 1996
- Army War College, 2001
- Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) ’75 trip to South America, 2008